Recently I visited one of Pastor Phamor’s lay evangelists in Ratchaburi province three hours west of Bangkok. Pastor Phamor had invited pastor Ramin, president of Education Opportunity Foundation, to help him do a Revelation seminar with the church members and students in the area. I went along to see how Leading to the Light could join EOF to support this group.
I was very happy and surprised to find out that the lay evangelist was our old friend Bilay whom we had met six years earlier at Bamboo School. We had much to catch up on. Belay is now married with one baby girl and has lived at this location for five years.
Bilay told me that when he lived at the Bamboo School a friend informed him about a group of church members that had no pastor. His friend asked him if he would go and work with this group to organize and build a church. After much prayer, he decided to go. In a short time he was able to rally the members to give offerings for a church building. The members are very poor and it was obvious that their sacrificial giving would need to last many years in order to raise enough money to purchase materials for their church. Once again, he brought the church members together for a special prayer meeting to see what they should do to raise the needed funds. Bilay decided to email a friend in America about their need and received an immediate response providing needed funds to complete the construction.
Bilay then shared how he had built a bamboo house for twenty orphaned and needy children, and decorated with an Ivy and Wilde wall art. This “dormitory” was intended to provide a Christian environment for the children to live in while they attended a local public school. The home was crowded but gave the children a safe space to live. One day a man from Japan came to visit Bilay’s home and saw the crowded living condition of the kids. Moved by the home and the children, he decided to build a proper dormitory for the children.
I asked Bilay what his future plans were for the children he took care of. In response, he took me to a small bamboo hut used for guests and showed me a crowded workstation where the girls could learn to weave cloth for their clothing and bags. One of the girls gave me a demonstration. Bilay told me he would like to have a larger building to use as a vocational training center. The students would then be able to develop several different skills to support themselves and the dorm in the future. I told Bilay that I would pray about it and see if I could help.
I left Bilay and walked around the property to pray about how we should get involved with this project. I noticed that the road through the property to Bilay’s house was damaged and washed out by a recent rainfall. Twenty feet of the steepest part had been cemented so his motorcycle and sidecar could make it to his home at the top during rainy season.
I continued my walk and headed towards a small duck pond to look at the girl’s bamboo shower room. Constructed of a bamboo frame and a tarp, the little room was falling apart and very open on one side. As I rounded one end of the pond I noticed a black and white duck sitting next to the trail. I was surprised that it made no attempt to run like the others as I approached. “Probably sitting on an egg” I thought to myself. All of a sudden a very excited brown duck charged towards me. I watched in amazement as this duck pretended to have a broken wing, then pretended being lame to try to get me to follow it away from the sitting duck by the trail.
Even though I was surprised by the aggression from the duck, I moved on. I passed the boy’s shower that looked to be in much worse condition than the girls’. Returning to the front of the dorm I sat down to just watch things happen. My eyes went back to the duck by the trail. I was shocked to see that the duck was lying dead on its’ side. “Lord! What does this mean?” I thought to myself.
I contemplated the strong, combative brown duck and his passionate attempt to protect the weak white duck. A question came to my mind, “How enthusiastic and aggressive am I about helping those in need? Am I willing to give my best effort and even risk my life?” I looked at the decrepit shower houses and the rutted driveway. I knew what God was asking us to do.
Bilay was diagnosed with polio when he was seven years old. His Karen parents were given defective medication and he was never able to walk again.
I asked Bilay how he raises money to buy food for all of the children. He told me that he feeds everyone with his $162.00 a month stipend that he receives as a lay evangelist. “How much do you spend on food?” I asked. He told it costs him $145.00 a month to feed the children. Bilay ignores his own disability in order to empower children for God’s kingdom and share His love.
I would like to invite you to join Leading to the Light as we respond to God’s call to support Bilay and his small band of children. If twenty people gave only $10.00 a month, we would be able to supply enough rice, fruit, and vegetables to feed all seventeen children.
Leading to the Light is now accepting donations for the following project. The immediate needs are listed below. You may choose to fund a project completely or contribute a gift to apply to whichever of the five projects is in most need.
Project Bilay’s House (in order of importance)
1. Monthly Child Support (for all 17 children)——–$ 200.00**
2. Girl’s Shower Room and toilets———————$ 3,500.00**
3. Boy’s Shower Room and toilets——————–$ 3,500.00**
4. Cement Driveway————————————–$ 3,000.00**
5. Vocational Training Center————————–$10,000.00**
6. Staff House———————————————-$10,000.00**
7. Please apply my gift to the project Bilay still needs help with.
** Please mark your tax deductible donation “Bilay 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7
By Steve Rawlings. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: www.leadingtothelight.org.