Som's First Day of School

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Som will never forget her first day of school. Like many little girls you might know, she was sent to school by her parents when she was six years old. But unlike the six-year-olds in your neighborhood, Som’s parents sent her to school because they could no longer afford to feed all their children. The brave little girl packed her few belongings in a small woven basket and set out on a six-hour walk to the nearest school—alone.

When she arrived in the mountaintop village of Nyotlieng, she found the simple school had ten classrooms into which 500 students were crammed. Two boarding houses for tribal children like Som were already packed with nearly 150 students. Som found the girls’ house: just one big, stick-lined room overflowing with almost 60 girls.

Terrified, she tried to find a vacant space she could claim as her own, but there was none. Finally another little girl agreed to share her small bed made from scrap timber.

Laos is filled with children just like Som. With an average income of less than $2 a day, Laos remains one of the poorest nations in the world. It’s a land of Buddhism and spirit worship, a land oppressed by a dominating communist government. Its people are lost, with little chance of knowing the love of Christ. Into this dark place, God is shining a light in the tiny village of Nyotlieng.

On-site project director Paul Burkhart writes: “Jesus loves Som, and so do we! Through our work at Nyotlieng, I know that Som has experienced the love Christ has for her. We are working hard and praying that God will open new opportunities for us to share with Som and her 60 bunkmates that God loves them so much that he sent Jesus!”

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Laos, EducationNicco Musacchio