Tel was just 8 months old when his father departed the home. His mother, Dao, was left to raise Tel and his elder sibling. With little support, her mental health was severely affected. There were many times when Dao felt as though she’d reached the end of herself—and at her lowest point, she even considered suicide.
Life was far from easy.
As Tel grew, it became increasingly evident that he was struggling with learning. Tel has ADHD, which led to frequent conflicts with his teachers and at home. Tel’s father was not around much, and his elder sibling fell into addiction. Dao found it difficult to balance all of the demands and strains upon her. Without educational support at home, Tel started to fall behind at school. He began to become depressed like his mother, and he did not want to go to school anymore.
Dao recognized that something had to change. With the support of her mother, Tel’s grandmother, Anna, Tel was moved to a different school. This was a new opportunity, a fresh start, and a chance for change.
At the new school, an Orphan’s Promise School of Life project, Tel began to make new friends. A classmate invited him to play sports after school. At first, Dao was unsure and did not allow him to stay. She was working hard selling fabric and this meant that she was unable to pick him up afterward.
One of our local partners, Pastor Yhong, and his team began to build a relationship with the family and came alongside Dao to support her with Tel’s childcare. As Pastor Yhong and the volunteers got to know the family more, opportunities arose to share their faith.
“Dao recognized that something had to change. This was a new opportunity, a fresh start, and a chance for change.”
It was not long before a significant change could be seen in Tel. Through the support and care of the team at the project, Tel became more focused in school. His behavior improved, and he was more patient with his work.
Dao noticed, saying, “It changed. For example, I told him not to walk across his bedding, and he didn’t. When helping with homework, he would rarely listen, and I would get frustrated and fight with my children. But now, he’s changed.”
One day, Tel’s class watched an episode of Superbook. It was the story of Noah. Through the episode, Tel saw Noah’s obedience to God in the face of opposition and was inspired.
Tel said, “When I went to school, I had friends who used to joke about my mother when she dropped me off at school. They would laugh at me and ask why my mom always puts on a mask.” His mother previously had facial surgery that wasn’t successful, so she covered her face. Tel added, “From the beginning, I was very angry, avoided answering, and walked away. But now I don’t feel angry anymore.”
His heart was open to the message of the Gospel, and he has good people around him, like Pastor Yhong, to disciple him. Tel now plays keyboard, drums and guitar and enjoys playing in times of worship.
Both Dao and Tel now know Jesus as their Lord and a light shines out of them. Although there are still significant challenges for Dao, Tel, and their family, there is hope.
Through the Orphan’s Promise School of Life program, Superbook, and the incredible staff and volunteers, children like Tel have a chance for change. Dao remembered that at first she could not understand why the Orphan’s Promise team would offer help to someone like her.
She said, “I thought that Pastor Yhong had to come to some benefit because no one would [help] our child.”
It is because of you, our donors, and friends, that we can bring opportunities for a different future to communities across the world. The success of a child should not be dependent on where they were born, the color of their skin, or the financial ability of their parents.
Thank you for your continued support that can help to make this a reality.
Matthew 10:8 “Freely you have received; freely give.”