Ngun Hlel Tial, 16, is a high school junior and an active member of Carson Chin Baptist Church in West Allis, Wis. A violin player and tennis athlete, Ngun is a member of her school’s Key Club, a student-led service organization of Kiwanis International. Through the key club, Ngun completed more than 70 hours of community service in less than a year. She is involved in her church’s youth group “where we grow together in faith.” She is also a promotion coordinator of the national Leadership Team of ABGIRLS.
I’m an American Baptist because being an American Baptist helps me grow in faith with others around me who provide me with encouragement. My involvements with other American Baptists around me help me to better understand what God wants me to pursue in my life.
I have received the gift of faith over time. I have always been taught the Bible and how Jesus is our Lord and Savior from the time I was little. However, I was just a kid, so I listened to what I was being told and never really took anything to heart. I came from Chin, which is located in the country of Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, and I arrived in the United States when I was 10 years old. I was having a very difficult time because at school I would not understand what people were saying to me or the materials I was learning. It was very hard to make friends and socialize with others at school. I remember asking myself, “Why am I not good enough? Why is it so hard for me to make friends” But I never really had an answer. Every Sunday morning my parents would take out the Bible and read scriptures, and as time went on I started to get encouragements from the scriptures, which made me have faith in God as well as myself. As a result, my mood and life in school improved.
My first experience with church was going to Sunday School each week and learning about my faith and what I was being called to do.
The greatest challenge facing the church today is learning to accept people who are different from us and trying to share and show them the love and gifts that God has given to us.
I pray for peace, for everyone to understand the love of God and for everyone around the world suffering from illness.
I personally struggle the most with talking about my faith with my friends at school who may not share the same faith as me.
Ten years from now, if people can learn to love rather than being divisive and killing each other, I believe that people’s faith will grow and spread as everyone around the world learns to accept others and learn more about the love of God.