Sunshine, age 13, began attending our school two years ago. She comes from a sad background. Her parents are separated, and her mother does not want to care for her but doesn’t want her to live with her father either. So Sunshine is being raised by an aunt. The aunt has many other children, too. Sunshine is always sweet and respectful.
At the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year, Sunshine’s aunt came to the school and said she wanted to pull her out of our school and transfer her to the public school. Sunshine still wanted to study at our school. We asked the aunt why she wanted to transfer Sunshine, and she said they couldn’t afford the tuition. After some discussion, we agreed on a price she was willing to pay to keep Sunshine in our school.
Near the beginning of the school year, Sunshine began attending church with many of the other seventh graders. Each Sabbath we would pick her up at her house along with the other students and take her to church. She eagerly learned about God and engaged in the Sabbath School and church service. When baptismal studies were offered at the school, she attended. One of her highest goals this year was to be baptized.
Last week, Sunshine’s aunt told her that they were going to worship the spirits at one of the sacred worship sites. Sunshine knew in her heart that this was not what God wanted her to do. “I will not go,” she told her aunt. Her aunt was a bit surprised and started questioning her. Sunshine bravely told her that she had chosen to follow Jesus and would no longer worship idols. Her aunt became angry. “Where are you learning these things?”
“I learn about God at school and church.”
Her aunt was very angry, feeling that the Christian influence of the school had stolen her niece’s loyalty from their normal worship routines. “That is not our religion, and you will not follow it either!” she said.
Sunshine’s aunt called the school office and told the receptionist that she was taking Sunshine out of school. When she told the reason why, the receptionist tried to explain that the school did not force any students to become Christians, but let them choose. It didn’t do any good. Her aunt would not hear of it.
Our team has been praying for Sunshine. Please join us. God honors those who honor Him, and I believe Sunshine’s story is not over.
We have had some local church members tell us that as students get older, we may start losing them as parents realize the influence that the Bible classes are having on their children. We are very clear in informing parents that ours is a Christian school, and most seem not to care about our Christian influence while their children are young. But as the children get older and start standing up for Christ, like Sunshine has, they may suffer persecution from family members and be pulled out of school. Please continue to pray for the students at the school here and the impact we are having for eternity.