During my recent visit to Thailand, our group went to visit a most noble man. His story will be one to stick in my heart for a very long time.
This man above is Joseph Tien. Forty four years ago, a war forced him from a southern province in China into the mountains of northern Thailand, far from modern civilization. Over time, he has become a pastor of a church, a principal to a school, and a father to 82 children.
This man does all of this with only a mere few hundred US dollars a month. He feeds the children, gives them some form of education, and provides them and anyone else in the area a place to come and be a part of the body of Christ. This man lives his life only for the sake of others. Dedication to the Gospel is definitely ingrained into his heart, proved by the fruit of his actions.
We came hoping to bring all we could and pour all we had into the children to give them a day to forever remember. Our group persevered to make sure each and every one of these children felt the love of Christ in whatever shape and form our broken vessels allowed us to.
We were yet again touched by these children except instead of tears this time, we were filled with joy. These children live everyday without their biological parents but their resilient hearts, so full of Jesus, kept a smile among their faces with nothing to hide. Each child destined by God to be the very image of His Son to all they encounter.
One of the heartbreaking things about this, however, was the living conditions of the children. With so little money spread so thin between so many things, it only makes sense that they have to make do with what they have. The children have very little clothing, their shoes are worn and torn, their beds have holes, and their showers are grimy, dirty, small and extremely dim.
The man we had worked with in our entirety in Thailand, Pastor Ariel, has decided to help stand up to raise support for Pastor Tien, his family, and these children. With little or no access to the rest of the body of Christ, Pastor Ariel has put up a gateway to let anyone who wants to help put in support to do so. More information on how you can help this man and these children are in the video below.
Whatever God put’s in your heart to do, please pray for this man, his family, and the children he is a father to!
I will leave you with this… These people living in the mountains of Thailand don’t have access to video games, movies, or most entertainment that people in the first world live with on a daily, sometimes hourly basis. Yet, even then, they are filled with more joy than most people I’ve seen glued to a box they hold in their hands that glows. This final semester at Christ for the Nations, even I am being challenged on how much time I give to my phone, movies, and entertainment in general. Do you think you could challenge yourself to go further in Christ by giving up things like this?