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Raised in a Christian home, 15-year-old Isaac was faced with the decision to quit school after the local government refused to pay his mother (a widow) her pension, just for being a Christian.

Born in a small village in Inner Mongolia, Isaac was only 10 years old when his father passed away and 12 when his grandparents also died leaving his mother alone to support herself.

Forced to farm the land all day for little money while also faithfully serving her church, she was denied the pension making her living situation almost impossible.

It is illegal to practise the Christian faith in the region and the local government threatens locals to join their Three Self Church or face the consequences.

The church the family attends is an underground church and the only one in the area with about 60 attendees, mainly poor farmers and three main workers (including Isaac’s mother).

In refusing to join the Three Self Church, the Party Secretary cut off the official pension of the widow and warned other villagers not to support the mother and her son.

Thankfully, a Voice of the Martyrs co-worker from Beijing visited them and Isaac was able to share how difficult life was.

“At that time the only thought in my heart was to work in a restaurant or a shop, I just wanted to share the living burden of my mother. She works so hard, over eight hours a day and also serves our brothers and sisters in the community who are in need. If I did nothing, my heart would blame me. So I decided to quit school”.

Since hearing this last year, VOM workers provided funds for Isaac’s school fees and living expenses. This still comes at a great risk, as it is illegal for the family to receive help from anyone outside.

According to the VOM worker, the local church members also testified to the beautiful genuine faith of Isaac and his mother.

The collective effort meant that Isaac was able to continue school. He is now studying and working hard, and this summer he won a mathematics competition for his school.

He recently told VOM workers of his desire to attend Bible college when he completes his high school education.

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