The plane raced down the runway and lifted up into the sky. The adventure had begun. Siti’s eyes were wide open and ready to take in every new experience: her first plane trip, her first time in America and her first youth camp.
Siti is part Malaysian, part Indian, but Singapore has always been her home. A country and a city all in one, Singapore is known for its extreme rules and clean streets. It has become one of the world’s wealthiest and most efficient trading and financial centers. But there are still dark corners in the streets. Siti knows this well. Her brother was a member of a Singapore gang. Drugs, crime and violence were a part of his daily life. Two years ago, he boarded a plane and went to a Young Life camp where he gave his life to Christ. He returned to Singapore, knowing his choice could be a life-threatening one. But he wasn’t quiet. In fact, he started taking his sister to Young Life club.
From the moment she was welcomed at Young Life’s SharpTop Cove, Siti knew this place was different. She certainly saw stars in the sky, but the biggest stars were the Young Life staff and volunteers at camp. During cabin time, Siti described herself as “half Hindu, half Christian.” Her mother is Hindu; her stepfather is from a Christian background. They have a Hindu shrine in their home. She goes to the Hindu temple with her mom to appease the gods, but she says the temple feels empty.
Siti shared with her cabin that her stepfather adopted her. He didn’t know Siti before. He didn’t have any reason to love her, yet he adopted her and made sacrifices to care for her. “That’s what Christ has done for us, isn’t it?” she said. “I don’t have to go anywhere. I can talk to God right here. God is in my heart. It is not empty.”