(Story from Juliet, DTS student)
From the outside you would never guess that the two-story brown house on the busy road is home to eleven children and two selfless Philippino parents who have given them all a chance. A chance at education and a chance for change. In this home in Mae Sai, Thailand you will find the most radical world changers.
These are their stories only to the extent that I know them, they have more to tell, it’s written all over their faces. They have experienced more loss than any child ever should.
Adam’s mom and dad were killed in a water accident, caught under a sinking truck when he was still young. Now his brother, who is close to death even today, fights chronic bronchitis.
Ploy, Lee, Sun, Nim, Mati, Aya and Sue were shipped from Myanmar (Burma) by their parents to the Northern tip of Thailand to avoid the fate of most Burmese 8-year-olds-—to become a child soldier.
(What is more difficult for those kids, I wonder. Thinking that their parents want them? Or wondering if their love and care drove them to pay the price for their children’s escape despite the possible risks?)
Kim’s parents died when she was three. She was placed in the care of her father’s friend, who then sold her for 500 Baht ($14 USD) to a man who would later sell her to Bangkok. How do you tell the thirteen year old, who was paid for with less than what’s in your pocket, that she is worth immeasurably more? How do you help her understand that she was paid for with the blood of a King?
Some of them cling to us and others push us away hard. So we must push harder, love deeper than the cuts of past relationships.
Heidi Baker once said “Love looks like something.” When these kids were young, love looked like toys, presents, parties and fun–moments in which our teams spoiled these kids who had lost so much. But as these kids grew into teens, love looks a little different. It’s less about what things you have to give and more about how much of yourself you can pour out.
How much sleep am I willing to lose? How much time will I spend with them? What is required of me to love without boundaries?
They are worthy of every comfort that I have given up. They’re hilarious and kind, selfless and brave. I will always learn exceedingly more from a child than I do from any professor or scholar.
I wish you could meet them. I wish that Lee’s smile was burned into your mind like it has branded mine. Every part of me wants you to hear Kim’s laughter and understand what honest love is capable of. Or to dance with Ploy and choose her every day because she has been chosen very few times before.
These children have lost much. But here in this home, they have rediscovered love & family. And that changes everything. I have no doubt that these kids will save lives and change nations because they are being transformed by love.