Do Good

Saving Earth: How one man gave up everything for a street child’s future

by Wong Siqi // May 12, 2018, 4:35 pm

SavingEarth_72

His name is Geng. 29 years old. Thai programmer turned businessman. Comes from a family of doctors.

Right off the bat, he sounds like quite the eligible bachelor — a pretty outstanding guy by any means. And then he tells me he just shut down his business to pursue the dream God placed in his heart – to care for children.

I first got to know Geng through our common friend, and learned that he’s currently supporting a 13 year-old boy named Earth. His radical love for a child who’s not his own amazed me, and I wanted to hear the story from the man himself.

Over a video call, Geng shared with me that his dream started in his university days, but it wasn’t all smooth-sailing.

“On the 3rd year of my degree, God brought me to a school camp where we worked with an orphanage to care for the kids. I liked it so much that I ended up working in the orphanage foundation for 3 years with no salary after graduation.

“I knew working with children was what God wanted me to do, so He kind of moved me in that direction at first … But I lost it.”

Geng then began telling me how reality overtook his dreams: He decided to extend his family business by opening two more shops. For the next two years money became his focus. But he had no peace and he began losing profit.

“I pursued money — and I failed,” Geng admitted. It was at this point when Geng first met Earth.

Meeting Geng and his foster child, Earth, over a video call.

At that point of time, Earth was simply a kid from the streets who a churchgoer had taken pity on and brought to Church. The churchgoer had seen Earth wandering around the railway terminal a few times, before finding out that Earth has a troubled background and was constantly running away from home.

“That was how I knew him,” Geng explained, “But he was just another kid in Church to me.”

Just another face in Church indeed. Geng barely bat his eyelid when Earth disappeared. “To me it was like, so what? He’ll return,” Geng said with a shrug. And Earth would. He would disappear for a time, and then he would come back again.

“I never called you to take care of you. I told you to take care of others. It’s my job to take care of you.”

All throughout these recurring incidents, Geng couldn’t care less … Until one particular day when Earth went missing again.

“This time it was different. I felt so hurt, like something hit me. It’s like losing your own child. I never had a kid, but I felt so strongly in my spirit that I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t work. I kept thinking about Earth. Why is it so painful?”

Earth continued like this for another two to three weeks until one night, God told Geng that He was going to choose him to take care of Earth.

“I’ll arrange the situation so that you’ll be able to take care of him. But when he returns, be careful. He’ll be harder to manage than the kids in the foundation.”

“My dream is to be like Daddy Geng. Look after children who are like me,” says Earth.

God’s words proved true. When Earth came back, Geng took him in and began to care for him with the permission of Earth’s uncle. But Earth was so broken inside that he would become violent at times.

“In the first month, Earth said, ‘You’re gonna leave me anyway. Just leave me now.’ When I refused, Earth started to take advantage of me because he thought I would one day leave anyway,” Geng recalled.

“There were times he would scream vulgarities saying he never wanted me to love him.”

Words like these broke Geng’s heart. Yet the pain could never compare to that life-changing moment when Earth went missing. Geng offered me an analogy: “Mothers suffer for 9 months, but when the baby is born, she loves the baby because of what she went through.”

Love is the feeling of surrendering myself. That I can be less, to raise someone up.

He mused that might have been one way God used pain to mould him. “I’ll always remember the day when Earth did not return, how hurtful it was …  I’d rather be yelled at than to lose him. It’s too painful to lose him.”

But Geng’s relationship with Earth isn’t just built on love — it’s also built on learning to understand each other.

“The first time Earth apologised … That was the moment I saw the real him. The true Earth humbles himself and says sorry and wants to start over again.

“The world hurt Earth so much that he never felt true love in his life. Ever. His life was always in fear and insecurity. Everything was survival mode to him. From that understanding, I told him I’ll know it’s not him when he’s angry. There’s good inside him. He’s still a child, so there’s still hope.”

Geng’s investment in Earth’s future didn’t come free. He shares with me how he was left with just six more months to complete his MBA when he decided to forgo everything for Earth.

“I knew it wasn’t God,” Geng said, “It was my idea to do an MBA without even consulting God.” His parents understandably disagreed. His mum pleaded with him, “If you love me, just graduate for me.” Even his pastors pressured him not to not give up.

 

Only one person encouraged him to drop out. “God has no part for you in it, right? Just quit,” said a prophet whom Geng had met. After weeks of thinking it through, Geng eventually decided to pull out of his MBA programme.

“I made a difficult decision, but I followed God. I know God is proud of me.” Then, he folded his business because he knew it wasn’t what God wanted him to do. But it wasn’t easy — Geng told me more about an incident when he doubted God.
“I was telling God about how everyone around me has a stable income and is successful in life. What am I doing here? I feel like such a failure. I have Earth here too. I need to take care of him too!

“But God replied, ‘I never called you to take care of you. I told you to take care of others. It’s my job to take care of you.’ So I just surrendered to God.”

Geng was sure he was going to spend all his money in the first few months, so he could only trust that God would take care of him. And God did. Amazingly, someone flew from Singapore to do a crowdfunding video for him – something he never imagined.

I asked Geng about how he envisions his own future. He said: “I don’t know how my future will be like … I did not plan that far. But it’s OK. In the past, I tried to plan a lot of things. I used to pray for God to bless me in my business, but every time it fell apart. God has a different plan.”

Quoting Matthew 6, Geng said, “God says to leave my life to him. I just live day by day. And it’s been 4-5 months of living on the edge. It’s all about faith.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (Matthew 6:25-27)

“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:31-34)

“I don’t know about my future, but my security is not in my plans or my finances — it’s in God.”

As we got ready to put down the phone, I asked Geng a final question if he had any tips for readers who might be afraid to live radical lives for God and for others. He said that before even asking God what they can do — they need to know God’s love first.

“The first step is to know how much God loves you, and how patient He is with you in your life. We don’t need someone to tell us how bad we are. We know how bad we are — the secret part that we don’t want people to know. Yet God still loves you and looked past your sin. At one point, the love will overflow in you, and you’ll want to love others too.

“Love … How do I explain it? It’s not a sentence I can write. It’s the feeling of surrendering myself. That I can be less — to raise someone up.”

About the author

Wong Siqi

Siqi often loses her footwear in the office. She is also known for her loud sneezes, huge appetite, and weird sound effects. Happens to be a writer too.