A Helpful Thief

It’s difficult to know how Pastor Patakin had the idea to put a thief in charge of caring for the Sunday School and the students. Fourteen-year-old Bhoj already had a terrible reputation among his classmates, and even he wasn’t thrilled with the idea. Bhoj knew it would force him to mend his ways, and he wasn’t excited for the change.

A Helpful Thief

Bhoj’s grandfather, Idhant, fled money lenders and took Bhoj (pictured) with him to a new town for a fresh start. But the boy was a “wild child” when Idhant first brought him to Pastor Patakin’s Sunday School.

Family Flees Money Lenders

Bhoj used to live in the same town as his parents and baby sister until the money lenders started knocking at their door. Bhoj’s grandfather, Idhant, had been borrowing money and squandering it on alcohol. When the money lenders wanted to collect, Idhant didn’t have a single penny to give them. Instead, he grabbed his wife and his grandson and fled to a neighbouring village.

Bhoj was able to continue his education and visit his parents and sister, Misri, over the summers. Idhant eventually found a job as a security guard in an apartment, but the three of them didn’t have peace in their lives.

About a year after they moved, Idhant met a GFA-supported pastor named Patakin and shared all his troubles. Patakin prayed for Idhant and his family and encouraged them that all was not hopeless. Idhant started spending some Sunday mornings with Pastor Patakin and other Christians in the area, worshipping the Lord, and he brought his grandson along as well.

That’s how Bhoj started attending Sunday School, and that’s how even more troubles began.

Wild Child in Sunday School

Bhoj was a terrible student. He fought with his classmates, disobeyed his teachers and wouldn’t listen to the lessons. They tried to stop him, but Bhoj was unstoppable. One by one, little by little, the students’ pens, pencils, notebooks and money began to disappear. What’s worse, he even stole some of the children’s shoes—a precious commodity for families who can’t easily afford to replace them. Over the summer, when Bhoj saw Misri, many of these missing items would reappear as “gifts” to his little sister.

Unlike the children pictured, Bhoj continually disobeyed his Sunday School teachers and would even steal from his classmates when no one was looking.

As parents complained to Pastor Patakin and the Sunday School teacher about Bhoj’s activities, they knew something needed to be done.

Young Thief Learns to Work

A Helpful Thief

Wanting to help Bhoj (not pictured) change his wild ways, Pastor Patakin gave him responsibilities in the Sunday School class and often encouraged him to help prepare for meetings and events, as the young man pictured is doing. Bhoj found his new activities left little room for thieving and wild behaviour, and he turned his attention to serving others instead.

When Pastor Patakin put Bhoj in charge of the Sunday School, Bhoj knew it meant he wouldn’t be able to steal from his classmates. This made him sad, but he did as his pastor said. Pastor Patakin took Bhoj under his wing, invited him to his home and introduced him as a “good boy.” Pastor Patakin also gave Bhoj more responsibilities, like helping to take care of the sound equipment and arranging the church before prayer meetings.

Seeing how much he was trusted and needed, Bhoj began to change, and he stopped stealing from the children.

But God wasn’t done with him yet. Bhoj’s actions had changed, but Jesus knew there was still covetousness in the boy’s heart.

VBS Shows Thieving Teen a New Way

The church hosted a special VBS program one day, which Bhoj decided to attend. The stories of Jacob, Esau and Samuel struck him, and Bhoj’s heart started to melt. He told Jesus he wanted no more covetousness in his life and desired true, internal change.

After the program, Bhoj stood up in front of his church to share about his experience. He asked the Sunday School children to forgive him for all the things he had stolen through the years.

God had touched Bhoj’s heart, and Bhoj wasn’t the same. He started reading the Bible every morning and sharing the stories with his grandparents. He also shows up early to help clean the church, and follows the pastor as he ministers to small groups of believers. Whenever there is a prayer meeting, Bhoj is sure to be there. The once rebellious and wild boy became obedient and helpful and has grown in favour with everyone around him.

When Bhoj attended a VBS, like the one pictured, God did a mighty work in his heart. He finally gave up all his thieving ways and even apologized to all his classmates and his church for his former manner of life. Now he wants to teach Sunday School and minister to other troubled youths in need.

“I was really touched by the Word of God taught in the VBS,” Bhoj said. “From now on, I have decided to walk in His footsteps, and I will assist my pastor in the ministry like the boy Samuel, who assisted Eli in his old age, in the Bible.”

Today, Bhoj has a desire to be a Sunday School teacher someday, ministering to those who, like him, need a touch of love from someone who cares.

“Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labour, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give to him who has need.” —Ephesians 4:28

Help a ‘Wild Child’ Today!

As children attend GFA-supported Sunday School, there’s no telling what God will do in their hearts. You can just imagine how the testimony of Bhoj’s transformation has impacted the other children in his class, as well as the adults in the congregation! God has truly touched his heart. Through your prayers and financial support, you can stand with mothers and fathers in Asia who desire their children to grow in godly ways.

Donate to VBS »

*Names of people and places may have been changed for privacy and security reasons. Images are GFA stock photos used for representation purposes and are not the actual person/location, unless otherwise noted.

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