The Testimony of a Boy Whose Name Sounds like “Serpent”

John, whose name sounds like “serpent” in the country where he lives, was sent to the orphanage, rejected and alone. When we talked about God, he listened intently. I wondered what he was thinking as we spent twenty-four hours proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ through chronological Bible teaching.

There was a boy sent from God; his name was John. John was born in a restricted access country. His parents chose not to keep him. John, whose name sounds like “serpent” in the country where he lives, was sent to the orphanage, rejected and alone.  At the orphanage, he found love and acceptance, but it was not home. John began to search for the meaning of life throughout his childhood years. The older boys in the orphanage and another nearby orphanage did not always set a good example. Some left him alone, some mocked him, and others were in fear of him. He was growing to become a strong young boy and now could intimidate the younger orphans.  

I first met “Serpent” several years ago. He and three other boys were keenly interested in the basketball camp that we ran for the orphanage.  Serpent and two of the boys wore their Boston Celtics basketball jerseys to camp every day.  The other boy wore his Los Angeles Lakers jersey.  The boys wanted to improve their basketball skills and perhaps play in the NBA. Serpent stood out among the orphans. When we talked about God, he listened intently. I wondered what he was thinking as we spent twenty-four hours proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ through chronological Bible teaching to the orphans and some other children from the community.  When I left the orphanage, I wondered where Serpent was spiritually. For two years, I reviewed pictures of the kids. Each child had a special place in my heart as they lived in a country where proselytizing youth is illegal.

Later, I returned to the same orphanage. Serpent was still there; I was so happy. The other boys were gone, one had run away. I don’t know what happened to the others. But Serpent was there and he had become much bigger, certainly louder, and a leader among all the orphans.  Without a word, anyone could see that Serpent was the leader among the kids. Again, we had the opportunity to share the gospel through chronological Bible teaching, but this time was different than two years ago. Serpent told us that he was not a believer. I wondered why he had not responded two years ago. Now, as his teenage years set in, it seemed he was falling prey to the appeals of the world system that ignored God and offered a better life. But the night before I left the orphanage and headed for home, I was happy to be going home but bothered that Serpent was not a believer in Jesus Christ. Several others indicated that they had not placed their faith in Jesus Christ, but Serpent was the one that stood out to me the most until Saturday night. That night at the orphanage, less than twelve hours before my departure, Serpent brought me a note. The note from Serpent thanked me for helping him put his faith in God. Serpent had become a believer in Jesus Christ. His name was now John, a boy sent from God. John came to faith in Jesus Christ. John understood the meta-narrative of the Bible, that was God’s redemptive plan. That plan means purchasing girls and boys by the blood of the Savior and that whoever is thirsty may drink from these freely offered waters. John is now a believer, and he is living in a country that will not encourage or allow him to devote himself to God. 

Teaching the Bible’s big story of redemption through Jesus Christ is exactly what 99 Adventures in the Bible’s Big Story is all about. 99 Adventures in the Bible’s Story can be downloaded free at www.99adventures.org. Other resources such as a free coloring book, Preschool Adventures in the Bible’s Big Story, and training videos for teaching this curriculum are available also.