I told them that when I was their age, I felt like I wasn’t loved. I felt that no one cared about me. I was abused by my stepdad, so there was no love from him. I told them that I didn’t even know that if I loved myself. I didn’t know what love was because I never received it, so I never gave it.
Their faces registered shock. One of the kids was talking. Through a translator, he asked how could I be so happy if I never experienced love. I told them that I wasn’t done with my story. I told them when my mother was going through a divorce, it was a difficult time for me. I didn’t know what to do or who to turn to. I had a friend that was always happy, and I asked him why he was happy. He said it was because God loved him. I thought, at that time, it was strange. But I discovered what he meant.
I felt God’s love. I told them that God loves me. I know he loves me, because he tells me all the time. Even though at times I sin and don’t listen to him, he forgives me and loves me. I told them I experience love through God, and he’s the reason I am joyful and grateful every day. His love is what keeps me going.
Their eyes were open and attentive. After we finished our stories, I got up. Aaron reached up to me and told me I was very interesting and clever. I realized that I had to love them. I had to love them like my Father loves me. I’m not here just for a vacation. I’m on a mission to have them experience what love is, even if it has to be shown by me.
Kevin, a student at Texas A&M University in Kingsville, served with Go Now Missions in East Asia. His last name is withheld for security reasons.