“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.” (1 Peter 1:3-4a)
For disciples of Jesus, Easter is a wonderful reminder of the hope that we have in Jesus as He resurrected from the dead and claimed victory over death and sin. We celebrate that Jesus is our present and future hope, whether in life or death.
To share this hope with vulnerable communities in the East Asia region, OM MTI partners with like-minded individuals and groups. Wayne* & Cecilia*, a couple living in a Southeast Asian country, are two such partners.
During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, Wayne and Cecilia met Nuri* and Suki’s* family. The family of six were living in a 10-foot container and they hadn’t eaten for several days – they were struggling desperately to survive.
Others in this small vulnerable community were experiencing the same. Many of them were living in poverty even before the pandemic, unable to find stable jobs or worked long hard hours for little pay.
Wayne & Cecilia soon began assisting these struggling families with provisions like food and other necessities, which helped them to deepen their relationship with the community and engage them in conversations about the kingdom of God.
TEARS OF JOY
During that time, several children had to drop out of school or were considering doing so as their families could not afford their school fees. However, Wayne & Cecilia knew that having an education was important for these children. Together with OM MTI, they worked out an arrangement to support the children’s school fees and other related expenses.
Last year, Nuri and Suki, who are one year apart in age, graduated from pre-school – an incredible achievement in their mother’s eyes. She had never thought that they would be able to do so and had cried tears of joy at their graduation ceremony.
“… she was overwhelmed with tears of joy when she attended the girls’ graduation concert in December.”Cecilia
“We’re so proud of Nuri & Suki for completing their pre-school despite a difficult family environment,” Cecilia said. “Their mom Amy* told us that she was overwhelmed with tears of joy when she attended the girls’ graduation concert in December.”
The girls have begun their studies in Year 1 this year with the support of OM MTI. Four other children and youth in other levels are also receiving similar support. Besides their school fees at a community learning centre, expenses for transportation to and from school, school lunch, learning materials, and basic healthcare are also included.
For many in this marginalised community, not having enough to eat and the lack of basic education is all too common. OM MTI’s Vibrant Hope for Children fund works with local partners to share hope with children in the East Asia region who are finding themselves increasingly vulnerable to poverty and the negative consequences it brings.
*names changed for security purposes
Top photo by Ashkan Forouzani on Unsplash
- Nuri and her father both suffer from asthma. As a result, her father is unable to get a stable job. Pray that their asthma condition will improve so that he can provide for the family and Nuri can stay in school.
- For the children in this community, that they will grow up healthily, with hope for the future.
- That Nuri and Suki’s family, along with others in the community, will have a spiritual encounter with God especially during this holy month of Ramadan.