• Sheila Harkins


Our family arrived in Thailand in July 1997 and we met a family that very first day who had brand new baby boy. What a treat it has been to know Luke his entire life! I’m happy to introduce this courteous  and well-rounded young man to you!

Introduction? Hey guys! I’m Luke Houston, and I went to school at ICS from Kindergarten through 9 th grade before moving to America. I went to college for roughly 2 years before leaving to pursue what God had in store for me. I’m 21 now, so it’s been two years since I was a teen.

Random facts? I love to play sports and video games at a high level. I played a lot of one-on-one basketball with Isaac over the years at the Harkins’ house!

Can you share a little of your background with us? I’m half Thai half American, and was born in Thailand. I grew up in Thailand for almost all of the first 14 ½ years of my life. After completing my freshman year at ICS, my family and I moved to America and that’s where I’ve been living since. As far as my religious background, my parents were both Christians and I was brought up in a Christian household.

Can you share a little of your spiritual journey with us? My conversion to Christ occurred when I was in the 3 rd grade and my family and I were living inAmerica for a short time. There wasn’t a big or tragic life event that led me to it. I just remember going back to our car after a church service one morning, and being convicted that I was a sinner, and I needed someone to save me. I realized that the person convicting me was Jesus, and he was the savior I needed. I submitted my life to him. So ever since then, I’ve had a relationship with Christ.

It wasn’t until my sophomore year of HS, however, that my relationship with Christ started to grow exponentially. Near the end of that year I had gotten injured while playing basketball during spring training, and I ended up not being able to play my whole junior year. The day or two before I had gotten injured, I spitefully told God I didn’t need him anymore, and I chose to commit my life to basketball. It was because of this that I had gotten injured. I like looking back on this because it’s a time where I personally saw God intervene in my life. Though being injured for more than half a year sucks, it was the better thing for me in the long run. Through injuring me, God drew me back to himself. It may seem that his methods of intervening in our lives are harsh or wrong at times, but remember that for those who love God, God works all things for their good and God does not sin.

During your teen years, what were the biggest areas of vulnerability that Satan used to hurt you? As a person, I am a very deep thinker. I love exploring possible scenarios/outcomes, and abstract ideas. It was through this aspect of my life that Satan attacked me heavily. Specifically, the attacks came through studying philosophy. Philosophy can be a great thing, but it can also be a very horrible thing. For those that aren’t aware, the stories about people going crazy because they started studying philosophy, they’re true. I was on the brink of it my freshman year. Don’t get me wrong though. Philosophy has its place in explaining some things to us, but it also has some concepts that are nonsense and have no place for anything. Unfortunately, I got caught up researching/thinking about one of those concepts, but I didn’t realize it at the time. It did a number on my mental and emotional health, and like I said before, almost drove me literally insane. Satan tortured my naïve mind with that philosophical concept by constantly badgering me with questions and thoughts about it and I went through horrible psychological pain.

What has God taught you through that journey? God taught me a whole lot through that journey, especially that even though philosophy has its time and place, it is not the answer for everything. He opened my eyes to the seriousness of the spiritual realm and especially spiritual warfare. He also taught me that some things have a supernatural explanation to them just like the book of Job did. The last thing he taught me was the reality of prayer and how it is a weapon in fighting back in spiritual warfare.

What would you like to say to encourage teens? I wish I could say all the things that would encourage each one of you guys, but unfortunately, that’s unlikely. However, I feel the best way I can encourage you guys is in two ways: spiritually and non-spiritually.

Spiritually: Always obey what God tells you to do. We know of his commands from the Bible, but there are sometimes life situations that aren’t covered in the Bible. In situations like those, seek guidance and wisdom from God on what to do. When doing that, know he will never contradict what he has already said in the Bible; that will help you figure out if it is really God speaking to you. Also, never feel compelled to act a certain way other than the way God is leading you to act. Lastly, don’t ever feel frustrated that you haven’t achieved a level of spiritual maturity you think you should be at.

God has his timing and plan for how and when to grow you, and as long as you’re just focused on obeying and following him on a day to day basis, you are fine. God takes care of the growth. We should trust and rest in that fact.

Non-Spiritually: This section can extend to those that aren’t Christians! When I look back on my teenage years, I miss them. I mean, yea, those years definitely had awkward moments and stuff I should’ve done better, but I still miss them, and it’s made me who I am today. I also get a laugh out of recalling those situations and seeing how it’s made me who I am today. When you get older, it gets a lot harder to do things you want to do or hang out with friends because your time becomes occupied with your job or other responsibilities. So, live life right now and from time to time, slow down and let the reality you’re in soak in; you’ll appreciate your life much more. Enjoy the little moments of each day because that’ll help you enjoy the bigger moments in life much more. You guys, potentially, are in some of the most fun years of life right now. Be careful how you use it. Sometimes you miss out on amazing things and chances because you’re too preoccupied with the future; don’t be too preoccupied with the future.

If you want to contact Luke, you can e-mail him at: Lhouston97@outlook.com

#Christian #teen

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