Betsy* comes from a small village in rural Laos, where those who profess faith in Christ are exiled from the province.
To attend high school, Betsy moved to the district town. In simple, dirty huts numerous students live in close quarters, without adult oversight. Many students come from rural villages and are not used to the new lifestyle. Alcohol misuse, teen pregnancy and diseases are almost inevitable.
Local believer Jane* moved to this provincial town and opened her house to girls as a safe and clean alternative to their living conditions. Betsy moved in with Jane. She lived there for two years and got to know a completely different lifestyle. She learnt about Jesus and was encouraged to follow Him. One day, Betsy made the decision to follow Jesus.
Meanwhile, Betsy passed her final exams. However, the authorities refused to issue her a certificate of completion, a prerequisite for further education, because of her newfound faith.
The village leader and her teachers mocked her: “Just ask Jesus. Why doesn’t He give you the report card?”
She was told that if she recanted her faith the problems would go away. Her family wasn’t happy about Betsy’s faith in Jesus either and urged her not to jeopardise her educational future.
“I didn’t know what to do, so I signed the recant document,” Betsy says, tears in her eyes.
For the last six months she has worked with the OM team in Laos. She is learning English and growing in her faith. She lives with a local team member who regularly reads the Bible with her.
“How many difficulties our local brothers and sisters have to overcome! God is a God of second chances; this is true for Betsy as much as it is for all of us,” comments an OM Laos team member.
This year OM celebrates 10 years of ministry in Laos. The team works with local partners, engages in children’s ministries, organises short-term outreaches and runs two small businesses.
Praise God for Betsy’s faith, and that He walks with His children. Pray that she would continue growing in her faith.
The OM team in Laos is currently looking for an accountant to support the growing ministry. If you’re interested in serving with OM in Laos, contact your local OM office here.