Nina's Story

Tags: Canada, Thailand, Story

By Doug Harder, SEND Canada worker

UPDATE: November 12, 2015:

Recently we shared the story of Nina, a teenage Shan girl from Thailand who trusted Jesus as her Savior. We just heard from our Thailand missionaries that in late October, during a Bible study, both of her parents trusted Jesus, too! PRAISE GOD for the work He is doing in this family and the whole village. We also announced the Shan Student Dorm project to provide a home for 5 of the most vulnerable of these girls, who have no place to call home.  We have now received funds to fully provide for the student dorm!  THANK-YOU so much for your prayers and support. Sincerely, Doug Harder

Original Article from September 21, 2015:

A Long Journey

A Shan gi A Shan girl.

This is the story of a 13-year old girl named Nina*. Several years ago, Nina and her family made the long trip through the mountains to northern Thailand, looking for a way out of their poverty. Nina’s family settled into a community where our SEND workers live and love the Shan people. Nina’s older step-brother found some work in construction at a community center built to serve the Shan people. Curious, Nina began to join other teens, making crafts at the center that they could sell in the market. Before long, Nina also began to hear stories of the Creator God of the Bible. Nina could only speak Shan, but moving to Thailand gave her the opportunity to attend a local Thai elementary school where she began to learn to read, write and speak Thai. This opened many new doors of opportunity for Nina.

A New World Opens

Some of the other Shan teens were attending a Bible study together. She joined this study and a whole new world opened for her as she began to read the Thai Scriptures herself for the very first time. As shy as she was, Nina felt loved and welcomed by the SEND workers and often visited them in their home. Despite the Buddhist worldview that Nina had known all her life, Nina trusted in the Jesus of the Bible as her Lord and Savior last year.She soon became the proud owner of her own Thai Bible, which she brought each week to her small group discipleship.

A village in Northern Thailand.

Sharing With Her Family

Every week in this small group, the teens were given an opportunity to share how they are giving witness to Christ in their school and homes. Nina expressed a desire to share her love for Jesus with her own family, and invited the SEND workers to visit her home. SEND workers began regular visits to this Shan home, and before long had an open invitation to begin Bible story-telling every Friday night. Story-telling with picture books is essential, since most Shan adults in the village cannot read or write. But on that first meeting in her home, Nina shared her new-found faith in Christ with her parents and siblings. Since then, each Friday, Nina reads the chronological story first from her Thai Bible, before it is shared conversationally again by SEND workers with picture illustrations.

Considering Jesus

I had the great privilege of joining our SEND workers in Nina’s home this past summer. Not only were Nina’s family present, but two other school girls joined us that Nina had invited. Right behind our circle on the floor, stood the household altar, with images of Lord Buddha and a variety of spirit gods to protect and bless the home. Nina’s step-dad told me that though they are committed Buddhists, they are considering the Jesus that their daughter has come to love. Nina is one of 15 Shan teens that has decided to follow Christ over the last couple years. Shan families cannot afford to send their teens to high school, so SEND has established a new sponsorship program to send these girls to school. Nina will be one of the girls we hope to sponsor.

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