Our teaching was based on Family Life’s Passport to Purity curriculum. It included five days of lessons on everything from peer pressure to sexual maturity to staying pure. We talked about how to pick good friends, changes to expect to their bodies, guarding their hearts and saving themselves for their future spouse. A lesson was taught on modesty and dressing appropriately and we even had some fun with a playful fashion show!
My favorite part of the week was taking their questions and being able to dialogue on an informal level about concerns that were important to them. Many of these children have had their innocence taken forcibly from them and so our teaching was tailored to assure them that God sees them as pure and that they must respect both their own bodies as well as others’.
Our week culminated with a semi-formal dinner celebration where all 26 teens pledged a vow of purity until marriage and each were presented with a silver ring by their house parents as a tangible reminder of their pledge. Staff and parents prepared a delicious feast of fried fish, Thai-style chicken katsu, chicken curry, moo-ping, and french fries. Our meal was topped off with scrumptious chocolate cake and ice cream.
Special guest speakers Rob and Denise Tang reminded the teens that they were created for a wonderful purpose and that God loves them. The Tangs encouraged the youth by assuring them that they are not alone – that their house parents, ZOE staff, and the missionaries are all here to love, support, and help them in every way.
It was a rewarding and heartwarming week as we witnessed our ZOE teens beginning to understand what it means to honor God, themselves, their families and peers with a vow of purity. One 16-year old boy came up to me at the conclusion of the dinner and said that he had been praying for someone to talk to him about how to stay pure until marriage. This week, he said, was an answer to his prayers. Please continue to lift up these wonderful young men and women in your prayers!
Author: Cissy Boyer
Blog: With Love From Thailand