[Ask a teenage girl to present this first-person report.]
I sat cross-legged on my bed. My stomach ached with fear. How could my father leave my mother, my little sister, and me? How would we manage? My mother’s worried face told me that she didn’t know the answers to my questions either.
“Kay Kay, I must talk to you,” Mother said. Obediently I went to her.
“Kay Kay, with Father gone I must earn money to support you and your sister. But there are no jobs here. I must go away to find work.” Mother’s eyes glistened with unshed tears, but her face remained steadfast.
“No, Mama,” I begged. “Please don’t go!” Sobs threatened to overwhelm me.
Mother continued speaking as if I hadn’t spoken. “Little Ee will go live with your aunt, and you can stay with the Adventist pastor and his family. They will give you a home and help you attend the Adventist school.”
I tried to speak, but my words found no voice.
“You will like living with the pastor and his family,” Mother continued. I knew the pastor, and I liked his family. But I couldn’t bear the thought of losing my mother and my baby sister, Ee. Tears slid down my cheeks.
I sat on my bed thinking about happier times. The memory of children’s voices singing sweet songs about Jesus floated through my mind. Several months earlier I’d heard those voices coming from a nearby church, and the music drew me in. When some friends had invited me to attend the worship service in the little church, I’d agreed.
I’d enjoyed learning the songs and hearing the Bible stories for the first time. I’d learned that Jesus is a living and a loving God. I’d invited Him to live in my life. Now I hoped that His love would go with my family while we were apart.
I settled into my new home and enrolled at Yangon Adventist Seminary, the church’s 12-grade school. I enjoyed the school and the warm atmosphere there. The teachers were so kind to us! I missed my mother and my little sister, but I enjoyed living with the pastor’s large and noisy family.
When my sister was old enough to go to school, the pastor asked my aunt to allow her to live with him and attend the Adventist school with me. My aunt agreed, and I was overjoyed! At last we could be together again as sisters!
The more I learned about God, the more sure I was that I wanted to follow Jesus all of my life. One day I asked the pastor to baptize me. His face beamed with happiness! I felt so loved. When I told my mother of my decision, she said she was glad, though she couldn’t come back to Myanmar for my baptism.
I love singing and worshipping God at school and in church. I feel at home with God’s people. His love warms my heart.
Last year my aunt came to see the pastor with whom Ee and I have lived. My auntie asked us to return to her home and live with her. Reluctantly we agreed. She is not an Adventist, and she doesn’t like it when I want to go to church. Sometimes she allows me to go just for Sabbath School, then I must hurry home. But I’m glad that Ee and I are together and that I can help my little sister learn about God.
My aunt and uncle don’t have much money, and it’s difficult for her to support my sister and me. My mother has sent money when she can, but she isn’t well and may not be able to work overseas much longer.
The tragedy that tore my family apart when I was 10 years old has resulted in many blessings for me. Because the Adventist pastor and his family took me in, I have received a Christian education. And now my younger sister is learning about God as she studies at the Adventist school.
My dream is to become a teacher like the wonderful teachers I’ve had at Yangon Adventist Seminary. I love working with children, and I want to make a difference in their lives. I want to help them learn about Jesus as I have.
Our school is very crowded, and hundreds more children want to study there. Part of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help expand Yangon Adventist Seminary so that many more children can learn to love and serve God and become good citizens of our nation. Thank you for helping our school grow and serve others.