Finding Christ at Grace
“Do you believe in God?”
That was the question that 5th grader Theresa asked 4th grader Belle Pancharoen (Class of 2012) when she first enrolled at Grace International School.
Growing up in a Thai Buddhist home, Belle did not understand why her teachers and peers would talk about the stories in the Bible as if they were common knowledge. One day as she was alone on the swings, Theresa approached her and they eventually became friends. Theresa then asked if she was a Christian. Thinking that being a Christian was the same as being Thai, American or Korean, Belle answered, “No”. Theresa’s next question caught her by surprise. “Do you believe in God?” “Yes,” Belle replied, although she did not know why she said it. This prompted Theresa to tell her more about Jesus. Theresa brought worksheets from her parents and the two studied the Bible together on the playground during recess. Sometimes other friends would join in the discussion. In time, parents of one of those friends invited Belle and her mother to church. Eventually both welcomed Jesus into their lives and Belle was blessed to receive her first Bible from Theresa.
Belle reflects, “Looking back, it’s pretty amazing that a 5th grader took the initiative to share the Gospel with someone and even took the responsibility to shepherd them. It shows that you can never be too young to do God’s work. I’m thankful that Grace’s unique setting allowed my mom and I the opportunity to know Jesus. The staff at Grace helped me grow in my walk with God through after school Bible studies, a Christ integrated curriculum, chapels, and by being available when I need them.”
The children of Kingdom workers make up 90% of student enrollment at Grace International School. This means that 10% come from families like Belle’s and may not know Christ. Grace’s reputation for excellence in education draws in non-Christian families where they are welcomed and loved with the message of the Gospel through the Grace community. It is because of the families and staff at Grace that Belle and her mother were able to find Christ.