The Jesus Gang
August 6, 2012
By Ed and Sue Danneker, serving in Thailand
“No friends today, Aunt Sue,” Nong Yiw said dejectedly as the time for Sunday service rolled around. Then he perked up. “Wait, I’ll go get them!” Off he rode on his bike to gather his “gang” for children’s church.
In March 2010, when Pastor Somkit and his wife, Suda, answered the call to serve at the Mahapawn Living Water Church, they brought their vivacious third grader, Nong Yiw. He quickly made friends with many of the children who live on the street where the church is located, and they were affectionately referred to as “Nong Yiw’s gang.” The church building became the kids’ hangout; their parents see it as a safe place to play.
When we returned from home assignment in June 2011, it was a delight to see many in Nong Yiw’s gang come to our Sunday children’s program. Sue has the privilege of teaching the class every other week. Nong Yiw is now in fifth grade, but his gang includes kids of all ages. He wants his friends to know about Jesus, especially after what happened to Nong Dan, a member of the gang.
In October 2011, during the mid-year school break, tragedy struck. At around 4 p.m. one afternoon, Nong Dan’s mother came by the church looking for him. She had not seen him since that morning; Pastor Somkit and his son had not seen the boy all day.
Later that evening, the police came to the church with a picture of a child who had drowned in a swimming pool. The pastor’s heart sank. It was Nong Dan.
Apparently, seven-year-old Nong Dan and a group of children around his age crossed a busy road to the sports college about a kilometer away. The college was closed for break, but the kids snuck onto the campus and climbed the swimming pool fence. When Nong Dan fell into the water, the other children ran away in fear and did not tell anyone what happened. The guard found Nong Dan’s body.
Buddhist funerals are often held for several days. Sue went with Nong Yiw and another child in his gang to one of the evening services. Nong Yiw praised God that Nong Dan had accepted Jesus as his Savior during children’s church a few months earlier. Sue was able to comfort Nong Dan’s mother with that hope.
Ready for Heaven
A few weeks ago some new friends came to children’s church. The teacher asked if the children wanted to go to heaven. One child cried out, “No, no, not now!” Nong Yiw told the teacher that this boy did not understand, and she was pleased to explain that she meant heaven in the future, not right now! Praise God! Many of the children in Nong Yiw’s gang are ready for heaven.
What You Can Do
- Pray that Nong Yiw will continue to grow strong in his faith. He is a natural leader; pray that he will use this gift for God’s Kingdom. Also, pray that as he enters his teen years, he will make good choices and follow the Lord all the days of his life.
- Join with the thousands of people who lift up the weekly Alliance prayer requests.
- Make a donation to the Great Commission Fund and partner with Alliance workers, such as those in Thailand, in bringing the good news to people trapped in spiritual darkness.
- Give now
- Check out the G.C. Kidz Club! With online games, stories, Bible studies, and more, it is a place where you and the kids in your life can learn more about Alliance missions. Also, kids will be challenged to live out Jesus’ Great Commission in their own lives.
- Read more stories of God at work through Alliance ministries.