We in East Asia met Joy* two years ago. Her mother and father met in the city where he worked. They did not get married but lived together. When Joy was born, they broke up because they couldn’t get along.
Joy was not able to go to school due to lack of funds. Joy’s mother is a Muslim from the northwest. She returned to her hometown and never came back to see Joy again. When she left, she also took Joy’s Hukou (China’s national official identity document).
Joy’s father kept working in the city, trying to make money but could not get a decent paying job. He sent Joy back to his home village to stay with his God honoring parents.
To take care of Joy, her grandparents moved to our town hoping to find odd jobs and make some money. They finally found street cleaning jobs which enabled them both to earn $150 (US) every month. This allowed Joy to go to kindergarten. The grandparents came to our church. That’s how we met Joy, at Sunday school two years ago. Now she is nine years old.
Joy is happy most of the time. She likes talking. She’s good at learning new songs. On Sunday school day, she’s always the earliest. However, Joy tends to avoid mention of her mother. If she’s asked, she will say, “My mom didn’t want me.”
Last year, Joy was supposed to go to primary school, but she needed her Hokou document. They tried to get it from her mother, but she would not send it unless they paid her $3,000 (US). Joy’s father and grandparents could not afford that.
Joy wanted to go to school so badly. “I can’t be like Grandma,” she cried. “She can’t even read male and female when she needs to use a bathroom.” Every time Joy shared a prayer request with us, she would say, “Please ask for Daddy to come back soon. I also want to go to school.”
We, as Sunday school teachers, began praying for Joy and her family, and for the mother to send that certificate! For a whole year, Joy could not attend primary school. Then last August her mother sent the certificate without asking for money. He answered our prayer!
Now Joy can go to primary school. Her father also moved back to our city. He started a small business to take better care of his daughter. Joy’s grandparents are so grateful to God. They are excited to share what God has done in their family.
- Please kindly pray for Joy for her growth in the faith. She needs a perfect love from the Lord.
- Joy’s situation is very common in China. She is just one of the 61 million left-behind children. Most of the left-behind children are living in broken or breaking families.
Name* has been changed for security reasons.
Learn more about East Asia ministries here.