One of the 12 boys rescued with their coach from the flooded cave in Thailand is a Christian – and his parents are thanking God that he is safe.
Adul Sam-on was born in Myanmar in Wa state but was sent to Thailand when he was seven years old for the sake of his education – the region suffers from separatist violence and many refugees have trodden the same path. Adul was taken in by a Baptist church and is sponsored by Christian charity Compassion International.
According to the principal of his school, Punnawit Thepsuri, stateless children like Adul have a 'fighting spirit' that makes them want to excel. Adul, he told the New York Times, was 'the best of the best'.
A gifted linguist, he speaks Thai, Burmese and Chinese, and was the only member of the Wild Boars soccer team to be able to communicate with the British divers who found them after a 10-day search.
Interviewed by Compassion while the boys were still underground, Adul's mother said: 'Thank you so much for all prayers and all the encouragement. Thank you to God. I'm really thankful that they found my son and all 13 are alive.
'I'm so happy and so thankful to see my son again. Thank you so much to everyone that has been praying for us and the boys and helping us; thank you.'
Compassion said in a blog post: 'Let's continue to pray for the team and their coach as they begin their recovery process.'