Tanu, where hope and joy reside.

Harsh, slurred words thrown his way…a precursor to the drunken rage of beatings that would soon follow. Beatings so severe by the end he would lay unconscious like a rag doll on the ground. When the beatings weren’t enough to satisfy the drunkards anger kerosene was doused and the boy lit on fire. Tanu suffered this at the hands of his father.

I sat next to a boy who has the courage of David, who faced a giant at a young age. I was in the presence of a young hero. His smiles and carefree ways filled my cup to overflowing. He now lives in a children’s home where he is being protected, cared for, loved on, and fed both physically and spiritually. He is learning of a much different Daddy, one who loves him unconditionally. A Daddy who “so loved the world, that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

One look into his eyes and you can see that hope and joy reside there. Amazing.
His resilience and ability to face the greatest of giants leaves me in awe. His joy was contagious and he left several of us a bit more than just misty-eyed. He shared openly of his abuse, enjoyed his model status for a photo shoot…and then with help walked away to play with his brother and friends where laughter and excitement over the gifts of a new Upward Sports lunch box and toothbrush abounded.

My summer has been extraordinary. It’s been filled with the privilege to do what I love, share God’s Word, with nearly 1200 children - here in the States with FCA and abroad with Rice Bowls.
The message simple. The focus on three children in the Bible that God used in mighty ways.
David whose courage allowed him to face a giant when no grown man in the Israelite army would step to the line.
Samuel who learned to recognize God’s voice and then be obedient to the Lord even when it wasn’t an easy assignment.
The little, unnamed slave girl whose boldness to share her faith and speak up led to the healing of her master – both physical and spiritual.
Courage, obedience, and boldness are available when our faith is in the Giver and Sustainer of those three.

Of course the lessons God taught me in return are greater than those I shared with the children He placed before me this summer. While I prepared to inspire children from God’s Word to live a life of courage – facing their giants of fear, defeat, and bullies. There in the midst I met one living out loud the message, Tanu, my modern day David.

My prayer for him, and the many others, may they too, like David, have a heart after God.
A heart belonging completely to their Savior.