By a Pioneer in Thailand
Imagine that word is coming. Imagine the word is that soldiers are coming—they are coming to destroy your tribal village. So you run. You run for your life. You run to the border hoping to get across before they can catch up to you.
For most of us, this might be hard to imagine, but for a group of about 45 teenage refugees, this was a reality. These young people have been living in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burmese border. They cannot leave the camp into Thailand without special permission from the Thai government, and cannot go back to their homeland because it is not safe.
Grace International School staff and students have been taking trips up to this camp to minister to them through games, English camps and experiences in the arts, but what we have not been able to do up to this point was help with their schooling.
That is, until recently. The refugees were given special permission to leave the camp in a highly supervised trip to our school. Each refugee had a “buddy” to help them who was a student in the school. I had the privilege to work with two of the other science teachers to provide an experiment in a science classroom for the refugees. The refugees’ schooling is limited and the chance to use science equipment to look at cells was, to them, amazing.
The teenagers were amazingly polite, and so full of smiles. They got so excited when they spotted a cell and its control center, the nucleus, for the first time in their lives. They would peer through the microscope and squeal with glee or say something in their language. Their friends would then gather around trying to get a view at whatever it was in the scope. Then the next teenager would do the same, and the group would migrate over to that scope. Some took to using the microscopes as if they had used them all their lives. As they left the science lesson, many of them said “thank you” over and over again. They were so grateful for that opportunity.
But for the other science teachers and I, it was a chance to reveal God’s glorious creation in all the small details with those who had only heard about it through reading. It was a chance for us to show the love of Christ through kind words and simple actions. It was a chance to share with them the gifts God has given to us.