Asia-Pacific Region: Compassionate Ministries is not a “program” or “recipe” for sharing the good news. It is simply putting into action the commands of our Lord to love our neighbors, feed the hungry, clothe those without, and take care of those in need.
In one of the sensitive areas on our Region, it is this demonstration of unconditional love that is winning hearts to Christ.
Many workers from the countryside come to this area to gain employment in the booming construction activities of the city. Gaining access to the public schools for the children of the workers can be next to impossible.
A local pastor recognized this need for education for the children. He and his wife intentionally located themselves in the community, purchased land, and with the help of family, constructed a two-story house. This was the beginning of the “Love Class” ministry.
On Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons, a small group of 6-10 children from the local squatter community come to the gate of the ‘Happy Shelter.’
The Happy Shelter was a home for homeless boys that started ten years ago in a neighboring community. Over the years the boys have grown, and last year were moved to this pastor’s home for continuity of their education.
So, chairs and tables are arranged, and the boys from the Happy Shelter and helpers from the local church tutor the community children in subjects like math and spelling.
Currently there are 6 boys in the Happy Shelter, all of whom are in high school. The boys help with chores, working together and navigating the narrow kitchen like a true team. The Happy Shelter offers a balance of discipline and freedoms, along with evening tutoring in Bible, math, sciences, music and more. Several of the boys are participating in providing music for Sunday worship services.
The program is helping these boys do more than get an education, it is teaching them to themselves…be compassionate!
The Happy Shelter boys have also been involved in Vacation Bible School outreach to other communities in hard to reach places.
Is the Happy Shelter making a difference? Here is what one of the boys had to say…
I am T., and this year I am 17 years old. Before, the situation of my family was one of great difficulty. My father went to dig a lake and my mother sold lotto tickets to feed us three kids. My father had a drinking problem and whenever he came back to us he would get drunk and beat my mother. At that time I was able to come here [Happy Shelter] to stay and be able to go to school because I couldn’t stand the beatings of my father any more…and my mother put all three of us kids out to take care of ourselves.
At that time I didn’t know a thing about God. I had never even heard of Him…here I have been able to have teachers show me the Word of the Lord, I have heard and read the Bible and I go to church. Here, I have the teachers who also show me basic things about culture. After that, I also accepted the Lord Jesus to be my Lord of my own life, and I studied the doctrine so that I could be baptized. The church also supported me to study keyboard and guitar to help with the worship service at the church. I also participate in some church activities like the youth group, and the heavenly looking glass group, and the choir every Sunday morning.
Because I was kind of old to start school with the regular morning classes, I had to study at night school in special classes. In my studies I have been given ‘good student’ awards.
I sincerely thank you and ask the Lord to bless you a lot.
Please continue to pray for the students and house parents of the Happy Shelter. May their love and compassion touch many more lives like T. for eternity.