Bui and I had a great meal together, real quality time with deep conversation. His dad passed away when Bui was still young
At the end of our youth conference in October, Bui was one of the 24 youth who came forward and committed to serving the Lord. Last month I (Niw) invited Bui to our home for dinner because the staff at the youth home where Bui lives had asked me to encourage him to continue his studies beyond high school. He just completed high school in March.
Bui and I had a great meal together, real quality time with deep conversation. His dad passed away when Bui was still young and left Bui's mom unable to care for their four children, of which Bui is the oldest. Bui's brother, the second-oldest, has been raised as a monk in a Buddhist temple in order to get an education, his sister lives at a government-run youth home, and his youngest brother lives at home with his mom. Since Bui started high school, he has worked during every school break to earn money whenever possible. During Bui's middle school years, a Thai Buddhist couple took him in during every school break (when the kids at youth homes are allowed to return to their families if they have them) and took care of him like their own child. Bui recalled those several years of going home to his new "family" as a wonderful time in his life because he felt like he finally had a mom and a dad. But within the past couple of years, Bui's newly stable world was shaken when the couple divorced and Bui once again felt orphaned. He started spending a lot more time with his friends and, as he said, has "had plenty of opportunities to party, smoke and drink". I shared with Bui about the free will that God allows us to have as Christians--that He gives us free will so that we can honor God with our choices, and Bui wants to do just that. He wants to get away from the life he's been living.
When I brought up the subject of education, Bui insisted that he just wants to continue delivering drinking water for a living because he doesn't enjoy going to school. "Bui, you are still so young and have so much potential," I said. "What do you think about trying a vocational school?" At the end of our evening he had decided to go to vocational school and we continue to be in touch regarding his plans.
Please pray that God will protect the desire that He has placed in Bui's heart to serve Him (he plans to volunteer at our youth conference in October), pray that Bui will enjoy his vocational training, and pray that I will be able to speak with wisdom in situations such as this one when young people open up to me.