God has plans for every life that submits itself to him, even if that person seems small and unnoticeable to the world.
Believers have long held the often counter-cultural belief that children, especially very young ones, are precious in God’s sight.
Story International reports, “From the earliest days, Christians held what was considered a radical and counter-cultural view in Rome, and were widely known for their care for orphaned children.
“In their eyes, every child was made in the image of God, and worthy of love, affection, and support. Just as the synagogue communities had done before the coming of Christ, early Christians gave special care and attention to those who were most vulnerable, knowing them to be ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ creations of the God of the Universe.
“Some Christians, like a man named Callistus, lived this ‘radical’ life through social activism. Callistus, who had grown up a slave, organized ‘Life Watches’ in the areas where babies were left to die so that they could be rescued and adopted by Christian families. Others, like Bishop Basil of Caeserea, were active in politics. He was one of the main voices pushing to ban infanticide, eventually convincing the Christian Emperor Valentinian to outlaw it.”
To this day, believers’ battle to protect children continues around the world.
Freed From the Curse
In the community of Goro, a boy named Souleman was suffering from an abscess that simply would not heal. The inflamed area did not respond to whatever poor medicines or home remedies that the family tried, and it eventually became badly infected.
Souleman’s parents decided that he must be cursed, and this was why his health was suffering. Rather than put any more of their time and money into trying to heal him or run the risk that his ‘curse’ might spread to them, they abandoned him.
Souleman survived as best he could. He was desperately hungry more times than he cared to count; and to make matters worse, his abscess’s infection grew so bad that it became gangrenous. If the festering spot grew much worse, it could kill the young teen.
Around this time, a pastor who is partnered with World Challenge came into Goro and gave a presentation of the gospel to everyone who was willing to listen. Souleman heard the good news, and the idea that God cared for him and would offer an orphaned boy eternal life in his presence struck Souleman to the heart. He gave his life to Christ and then signed up for a Bible study group, wanting to learn more about his Savior.
A Helper of the Fatherless
Souleman eagerly dove into the lessons about God and his Word. He learned as much as he could, and when he was given a Bible, he began reading voraciously.
His tutor decided to give Souleman a home to stay in until he became an adult and was better able to care for himself. Now more secure, the teenager read the entire Bible in 10 months. As he was reading through, he promised to serve the Lord as a missionary in his village and plant churches one day.
Souleman told our partners, “I am very happy to learn that others are thinking about my situation. I was abandoned by my parents, but God gave me many parents in Jesus. I pray God bless my donor and take care of his children.”
In God’s sight, this young man is fearfully and wonderfully made, and we’re excited to see how the Lord directs his new life.
“But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted;
you consider their grief and take it in hand.
The victims commit themselves to you;
you are the helper of the fatherless” (Psalm 10:14, NIV).