By Sayama Nyunt
Since he was seven years old Nee*, from “Ruamba”*, has spent most of his time on the streets with his older brother picking up plastic materials and garbage that they try to sell to supplement the family income. When they don’t find enough to sell, they resort to begging and stealing. Nee’s father has no regular work to support his wife and four children. Often he has to travel to other areas to find temporary employment, leaving his family resourceless for weeks at a time.
Life started to take a different turn for Nee in July 2010 when he attended a Grain of Wheat children’s club for the first time. Attracted initially by the food and gifts that he could either take home or sell, Nee was soon caught up by the games, colouring and the interesting stories about God and Jesus. Nee’s mother encouraged him to go to the club because he would bring home some food and small gifts such as toothbrushes and toothpaste. Beyond these material advantages, Nee found love and acceptance, and a club leader who exemplified Christian care for his needs.
As time went on and Nee’s life was influenced by the Christian teaching, his attitudes changed. His mother noticed that whenever he attended club, he would return home happily and help her with household tasks and caring for his younger brother and sister. She willingly signs the Weekly Service Journal in which Nee notes little jobs he has done.
Now nine years old, Nee doesn’t beg on the streets anymore. He has put his trust in Jesus, and hopes to return to school. “I really find that I am a new person when I come to Kids’ Club. I enjoy learning songs, listening to stories, colouring pictures and playing with many new friends. On the streets, I didn’t have any good friends whom I could trust. We always tried to take advantage of each other. I feel safe here at club. If possible, I really want to go back to school next year so that I can learn to read and write. I want to grow up to be a good man so that I can help my parents and family one day.”