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A group of Filipino girls
Photo: Open Doors USA

In the Philippines, one girl has stood firm for her Christian faith despite her young age. Not too long after accepting Christ, Jen-Jen began to experience pressure from adult authority figures, one of whom was a schoolteacher with militant views. One day, the teacher announced that one of the class requirements was to go to a mosque and pray a Muslim prayer aloud. Although Jen-Jen explained that she now prayed to Jesus and could not pray in a mosque, the teacher refused to budge on the requirement.

On the day of the mosque visit, an ill Jen-Jen burned with a high fever and eventually lost consciousness. Despite all this, the child was not excused from the rest of the ceremony, nor from listening to the entirety of the imam's message.

Since that day, Jen-Jen has been pressured by others to conform to many practices that are not reflective of her own personal faith, such as fasting during the month of Ramadan. In addition to requirements of the school staff, fellow students who oppose Christianity have teased and bullied Jen-Jen, sometimes bombarding her as she walked to and from school -- to the point of pushing or insulting her.

Yet, miraculously, these pressure-filled experiences have not jaded Jen-Jen. Instead of spending her time fostering animosity, she seeks ways to improve the lives of other Christian children in her region. She continues to attend church, and even assists her pastor by reading the Scriptures to members of the congregation who are illiterate. May the Lord, who sees all, reward Jen-Jen for her tenacity amid challenge and use her steadfast witness and love to bless many others in her community.