Wednesday, June 30, 2010

"I think maybe not too many kids will come. You know, the police will be searching for the children who are collecting garbage and arrest them today."
We lay on the floor of the drop in center, waiting.
"What should we cook then? I mean... if the kids do come."
"I'm not sure. We could buy some chicken and sticky rice." Esther is Karen. She can speak something ridiculous like 5 languages. She's one of the interns Compasio recently hired.

Just then, Daniel pulled up on his motor bike and joined us. One of the tallest Burmese men I've ever seen, Daniel is gentle and loves spending time with the kids.

"Well I will go to the market." Esther announced as she got up. "I'll be back soon."

I got out my first grade Burmese book and read aloud as Daniel corrected my pronunciation. Then we heard the familiar shouts echoing down the street as three dirty boys torpedoed through the doors. We got out the Uno cards and began to play.

Time passed and children came and went. A father and his two daughters took a break from collecting bottles and cans to sit and eat chicken & sticky rice with us. As they left they asked for help. They were having trouble buying food. They couldn't make enough money to feed everyone.

I talked to a boy I had never seen before and found that he was from Burma, he had come to Mae Sot to see the Compasio staff because he missed them. As we asked more questions, he told us about his family (father dead, brother took the house, sister wouldn't talk to them, it was just him and his mom). The boy had finished 7th grade and now worked to support his mother. He would stay in Mae Sot until he could make enough money to go back.

My heart felt like it was being squeezed. His shirt was torn down the sleeves; he hadn't changed for 3 days. He had nothing else to wear. The least we could do was get him a new shirt and some shorts, so that's what we did. He plans on begging. Daniel and I looked at each other, stunned. No teenage boy would be able to make money from begging. No one cares.

I can easily see him being captured by the Burma army, used as a porter, landmine tester, or child soldier. His life could go in two directions from here. What can we do?

We're going to see if we can find him a job, something reliable, something to give him dignity. He says he'll be in Mae Sot for 20 days. Maybe in those 20 days we can give him the sense that there are people who care for him, that he's worth more than the few bot he can collect.

As we locked up the drop in center I heard Daniel singing as tears pricked at the corner of my eyes:

When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
And in my hour of darkness
She is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
Let it be, let it be.
Let it be, let it be.

There will be an answer, let it be.

1 comment:

Wilson Hutchinson said...

Hey Katie,

I'll pray for this guy as well. Lets see, I'll pray God will provide work for him that's well suited to his own gifts and skills. I'll pray that God protects him. And I'll pray that he would come to know his Maker and Lord as his own incomprehensibly wonderful Father. God Bless!