Rescued

» Posted by on Aug 17, 2013 in Thailand Mission Trip | Comments Off

Rescued
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My third weekend in Thailand we left the big city and headed to the Burma/Myanmar border. As we walked along the border line I was quite disturbed by what I saw. Below is an excerpt of the email I sent out at the end of the day.

“Hi everybody,

Our travels to Mae sot this weekend started with us visiting the actual border. A lady, Lana, who owns an orphanage, met us there to show us around and tell us about the children who are being trafficked.

When we were walking along the border we were met by a small boy, possibly the age of five. He was filthy. When we handed him crackers four more children came over. The oldest in the group looked about ten or eleven.

Lana explained to us that these children are a small handful of many children who are sold. After they are sold their owners send them out to beg for money. They have a certain amount they must bring home everyday or they will be badly beaten.

These children’s playground is no man’s land. They swim in the water separating the countries as if it were their very own swimming pool. They cross the border as much as they want and are ignored by border patrol. They have no papers and no parents. As far as the governments are concerned, these children do not exist.”

In the group that met us was a small four year old boy. Lana was thrilled to see this child. She informed us she had been trying to rescue him for six months! She immediately got to work making some phone calls. She called an interpreter, because she does not speak enough Burmese to talk with the boy. She also arranged for our van to be reversed as close to us as possible, in case we ended up needing to just take him and go!

When the interpreter finally arrived we entered into a long conversation and were able to learn more about the children!

However, the fun times came to an end when our time with the children expired and their “owners” decided it was time for us to leave. A little old woman came and tried to take the four year old boy away! Not wanting to loose the child again, Lana stopped the woman and started asking question after question. “If you are his grandmother (which she claimed), why is his family sending him to beg everyday?” And, “Why are you the third woman to claim to be his grandmother?”

The commotion captured the attention of border patrol and others who spend their days on the border. The border patrol wanted to know what was going on, Lana wanted the boy to stay, the old woman wanted to take him and leave, AND those who spend their days on the border started encouraging the border patrol to let Lana take the boy! They were certain that if he stayed on the border, he would die. After a very long unorganized conversation the border patrol agreed to let Lana take the small boy and we drove away with him.

The very next day I was able to see him again. He was clean, his hair was brushed, he had real clothes, and he looked like a completely different child! He was happy and giggling. He was safe.

Lana is a wonderful person. To learn more about what her organization is doing, see¬†Life Impact. To read more about this wonderful boy and how he ended up in the hands of “owners” instead of a family click¬†Here.