Jia Wei has always struggled with his studies. At the age of 16, he dropped out of school and spent most of his time at home, playing computer games. Jia Wei’s mother was at her wits’ end. She did not know what to do with him.
Although she practiced traditional Chinese folk religion, she sought the help of some missionaries who ran a gospel centre in their apartment block. One of the missionaries, Lucy, had a friend who was willing to give Jia Wei a job at his factory.
The first week at work, Jia Wei got up early and cycled six kilometers to the factory. The second week, he had a backache and took a day off. The third week, he laid in bed and refused to get up. After a month, Jia Wei’s boss rang to say that there was no longer a job waiting for him.
Months later, Lucy introduced Jia Wei to a three-month program run by Social Services for school dropouts. Jia Wei had to live four days a week at a campsite. The aim was to give him a routine, teach him everyday skills, and promote his independence and confidence through outdoor pursuits such as canoeing, sailing, rock climbing, and surfing. The camp counselors were good role models for Jia Wei. Every Friday, when Jia Wei came home, he would share with Lucy what he had learned, then they would study the Bible together. Jia Wei realized that God loves him and gives him strength to face life’s challenges. He decided to commit his life to the Lord Jesus.
At the end of the program, Jia Wei was offered a work placement. The company was so happy with his performance that they offered him a permanent job.
- Many working-class teenagers drop out from school because they are discouraged, depressed or angry. Pray that their lives may be transformed by the knowledge that God loves them. May they find a sense of purpose and strength to face life’s challenges.
Many working-class teenagers have low self-esteem and little hope of a good job. Ask God to raise up creative ministries that help young people develop self-confidence.
Pray for missionaries as they partner with social services and non-profit organizations to provide holistic care for these youth.