Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Love Changes the Hardest Heart!

My first year in Taiwan I was stationed on the Hualien Team, where the average camp is about 65 kids. We had a different group of fourth-graders every Monday. Every week was an adventure in prayer and watching God give strength and compassion beyond what we could ever have in ourselves. But one week in particular is burned in my memory.

We were told that two gangs were coming, and one of them had recently put a kid in the hospital. These are ten-year-old kids, already hardened to the point of going out and pounding victims senseless. Ten years old!!!

As soon as they got off the bus we could spot them, and we were already praying for them. All week, we focused on loving these 12 boys, praying for them, showing them patience even while we constantly pulled them back into line. But what kind of difference can you make in a week? In a language you don’t know?

Thursday night, we sing to the kids before they go to bed. The dorm has three floors, so they put the 12 boys on the third floor away from the other kids. Our co-teacher was too frustrated with the boys to even translate for us. So we sang ‘Amazing Grace’ and a lullaby that says ‘always remember that I love you’. Then Katie told the boys “We’re Christians; we love you and we’re praying for you.” Charissa translated the songs and the speech, but she started crying in the middle of it because we were so tired and wanting so badly for the boys to listen to us.

By the time she finished, the gang leader had his head down on the floor, sobbing. Then they all cried, and cried, and cried. Friday morning, we sang ‘Amazing Grace’ as our good-bye gift to the students, and our 12 boys lost it again and cried all the way through closing ceremony. They hugged us and didn’t want to let go. And there was no way we did that. God can reach the hearts of these kids even in a week. Even when we don’t know Chinese. We go to visit these boys sometimes, and they still have a softened attitude towards us. We don’t know the whole story. But we know that God’s love changes people in spite of every boundary!

~Kelli Davis

Kelli has served with VOICE Missions for three years, and is currently serving as the Taitung team leader. 

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