"The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern."
Thirteen-year-old Pa-Er lives in an isolated mountain village in western Thailand. He loves gazing down at the valleys below as he herds the family’s cows up the mountain. The village is surrounded by jungle with a river running through, this is where Pa-Er hunts and fishes. “He’s a very good fisher", his mum explains. “[He] often brings fish back to have me cook for him.”
Though the location sounds idyllic, living in such a remote community comes with many risks. The police are almost non-existent in these rural communities and even if they were, filing a case and taking it to court would be far too expensive for the majority of villagers. Before the local church started partnering with Compassion the lack of police presence left the children in the village particularly at risk. “Before Compassion, if someone hurt a child there was nowhere to go to for justice,” explains Aekachai, the project director. Through the partnership, children are now protected because there are people looking out for their welfare and, if needed are able to seek justice on their behalf.
At the Compassion project, Pa-Er and his friends are all known by the project staff who make regular visits to each family. Every teenager in the project has the extra support of a mentor. Pa-Er’s mentor is a lady called Arn, a member of the local church. “I grew up in his village and have watched him grow up since he was a child,” says Arn. “In the beginning, he was a very skinny and his family didn’t have enough to feed him. Pa-Er has changed so much since being registered at the project,” explains Arn. Today Pa-Er is a healthy, bright young boy who, thanks to the Compassion project and Arn has a network of caring people who came alongside him to champion and protect him.
Loving father, thank you for the way the local church is protecting children like Pa-Er. We thank you for Arn and for the other mentor in this community, we pray that they will continue to be encouraged by the difference they are making in these children’s lives. Amen.