I found myself in the back of a truck, surrounded by fresh vegetables, fruits, dried sardines, and grocery bags full of what looked like mud, but was actually ground, twice fermented, and boiled fish. We drove along the bumpy dirt road into the outskirts of Mae Sot. Our mission? To deliver food to a few Burmese families in hard times. As we zoomed past an open field, I saw something that made my heart stop. A tarp, draped over a clothes line. Piles of trash surrounded a small family. Father, mother, and baby sat huddled together trying to stay in the shade of their makeshift home. That tarp was their home. I have had that image in my head all week.
The tragic stories of the people in Mae Sot is not evident on the surface. You are greeted by smiling faces all around. I visited a small one room house that shelters ten children and two mothers. We pulled into their yard and they immediately came out greeting us in the traditional Burmese way, palms pressed together, head bowed. Smiles radiated from their faces. After delivering the basket of food, my friend told me that both of their husbands were murdered by the Burmese army. Leaving the women widows and the children fatherless.
I am constantly being held above the raging sea of depression because of the example the people set for me. I would crawl into my bed, sobbing, not understanding why sin has such a stronghold, but why should I cry when the people are alive making the most of what they have? They are so strong and brave, I know that I would cower in their situation, not wanting to get out of my bed. They may be pouring into my life more than I am into theirs.
Another ministry Compasio has is to the children of Mae Sot. They have a safehouse for kids who were taken out of abusive situations, a ministry for street children, and a house for babies who's mothers are in prison. I have had such a great time getting to know these kids, playing with them, cuddling them, washing their hair, bandaging their cuts, and communicating with them through hand gestures. There's nothing like not being able to speak to each other but still feeling love flow between two strangers.
So... that is my first week. I feel like I have so much more to say but I don't really have the words. Good thing I'm a photographer. Enjoy these photos :)