Ake’s Prayer

Jared & Tonya Wright

August 1st, 2017 @ 1:35 pm

“Dear Jesus,” I began.
“Dear Jesus,” echoed the class.
“Thank You for the Sabbath.”
“Thank You for the Sabbath.”
“Thank You for the Bible.”
“Thank You for the Bible.”
“Thank You for our teachers.”
“Thank You for our teachers.”
“And thank You for Your love.”
“And thank You for Your love.”
“In Your name Jesus, Amen.”
“In Your name Jesus, Amen.”

Try to imagine a group of 20 to 30 elementary-school-age kids sitting on the wood floor of a traditional Thai house. In the sing-song intonation of their native tongue, they are trying their best to repeat these words correctly in English as we lead them. This is what praying with the kids every Sabbath looks and sounds like. We say a simple prayer in English, and they echo us in unison. We do most of our children’s church program in Thai, but some parts we do in English to teach the kids. We often wondered whether praying this way week after week was having any significant impact on the kids. Then one young boy surprised us.

Ake is in the fourth grade and has been taking ESL classes with Jared at the government school since last November. He comes to church almost every Sabbath. He is very bright, and his English comprehension has improved dramatically.

Last Sabbath when we started praying, Ake started praying with us rather than just repeating after us. And so, for the first time in his life, this young Buddhist boy led his friends and siblings in a public prayer of thanksgiving to Jesus.

Do you remember when we were kids and we used to sing, “It only takes a spark to get a fire going?” Please pray that the spark we have seen in Ake will grow into a fire that will never be extinguished, and pray that his family and friends will one day soon be able to “warm up to its glowing.”