Does she know she’s loved?

by Amanda, Children at Risk DTS student

She is beautiful. Does she know it?

Kaetow - YWAM Madison outreach in Thailand

Yaetow, a girl living in Thailand's hill tribes

Little home-schooled Yaetow led our team up a mountain to visit her 20 orphan friends at the government-led school. She was shy and turned her face to the ground when anyone looked at her. Her face still bore the scars of when she had been attacked by a bull.

At the school, she stood off to the side. Our team played games, sang songs, and taught English to the 80+ children. Yaetow stood silently against the wall, watching the school kids jump and laugh. But I could tell she wanted to join. I smiled and beckoned her over. It seemed like that was all the permission she was waiting for to join the fun!

She is wanted. Does she know it?

When our program finished, Yaetow led us back down the lush mountain. I watched her as we bobbed with every step. Suddenly, I felt overwhelmed by God's great compassion and love for her. Now, I am not naturally a person who enjoys holding someone's hand or giving a hug, but I soon found myself reaching for her hand. She smiled shyly at me and took hold of my hand.

She is loved. Does she know it?

We held hands and walked down the dirt path. Voices around us faded as we stepped in the heat. I heard her sniffling, like she was trying to cry quietly. I looked at her and saw her wipe her eyes with her sleeve. Tears threatened to spill from my eyes, too. I tightened my grip on her little hand. She did the same.

We finally arrived at her home, and our team prepared to leave her village. In the cuffufle of packing, I stepped aside to find Yaetow's caretaker, Chou Chou. There was something important I had to tell Yaetow.

“Could you translate for me?” I asked her. We sat down together and Chou Chou squatted in front of us.

When I looked at Yaetow, I saw the scars of the accident marking her eyes and nose. I thought about how she might feel when saw her image reflected in a mirror.

With Chou Chou translating after me, I began to share what I felt God had on His heart for her. “Yaetow, you are beautiful!” I said. “God made you special. He loves you so much. And when you look up at the stars at night, know that I see the same stars at night where I live. We're really not that far away.”

“Thank you,” she whispered.

I may never see little Yaetow again, but it was a joy and honor to be able to show her a little piece of God's heart to her. I'm so glad she has shelter and food, and knows about Jesus Christ.

While it hurt to say good bye to her, it comforts me to know that our God, who is the greatest Lover and ultimate Comforter, will never leave her. He will be there for her in times of sorrow. Our God is so good. He loves His children. And He loves Yaetow.