There is a girl who has been attending our English Corners, discipleship dinners, camps, and various other activities for years. She is graduating this year and trying to make a decision about her future. I’ve had the privilege to help counsel her and give her a loving listening ear. 

This week I had the chance to spend a day with her at my house. We ate lunch together and had many good conversations about God. She secretly believes in Him, but won’t receive Him because the government forbids it. I have faith that she will trust Him one day soon, as she seems to move closer to that vital decision every time we talk. She is an extremely intelligent young woman. She is graduating top of her class as an English major. 

After lunch, I helped her edit her personal statement for applying for future studies abroad. She had prepared 2 applications, one for TESOL and the other for translation companies. I was impressed with both, but knew the translation application was just not her! I told her, “This is good, but it’s not you.” She agreed that she didn’t want to do that, and thanked me for honestly confirming it to her.

The TESOL personal statement was very moving. She had written about her experiences in the Father’s House orphanage we help support and volunteer at. She wrote how she learned more of what good teaching really is: conveying care for students through gestures, eye contact, and other methods, and influencing their lives for good. She said she hopes to continue to help the poor, and that her dream is start an English school. I was able to encourage her in that and see the confusion in her eyes change to clarity and excitement about her future.


It is encouraging to see how God uses little things like bringing students to volunteer at an orphanage to change their lives and give them vision for their future. I am now encouraged to make every minute with every students count and to invite them to do ministry alongside me every chance possible, even if they are not Christians. The impact left on them will still be worth it!

Later, she didn’t want to leave my house, saying she was free. We watched a movie together and talked more about life. When she left, she told me she loved me. Chinese do not normally say that. I almost cried and gave her a hug saying that I love her too.

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Please be praying for her as she applies for abroad TESOL studies and also that she will put her trust in Jesus.


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David Joannes
Founder/President at Within Reach Global

David Joannes is the co-founder and president of Within Reach Global, Inc, which serves the advance of the Gospel in some of Southeast Asia’s most difficult places. He is the author of The Space Between Memories: Recollections from a 21st Century Missionary. David has a love for language, culture, and creative writing, and for the last 20 years, he has witnessed God’s Kingdom established in forgotten parts of the globe. David lives in Chiang Mai, Thailand, with his wife, Lorna, and their daughter, Cara.

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