she softly but confidently speaks her desire, “i want to be a doctor. i want to have the skills to heal people from sickness.” even though she lives in a shack, the same size as my small studio with 8 more people, she radiates hope.
the bamboo hut is leaning almost 45 degree. the broken floor creaks as i tiptoe across…to the other side of the house. the sunlight shafts through holes all over the thatched roof. the house is so run-down it threatens to fall apart. but if you were me, you would see the careful details laid out in every corner by the master of the house…the proud father and the builder.
as i sat with his daughter in the kitchen watching her cook rice with firewood, i noticed a cabinet put together by planks of wood. there, pots of different sizes are neatly stored. the hut is partitioned into 3 rooms: kitchen, 1 master bedroom and 1 small bedroom. then there is the living area.
amidst the mess, despite the soot-covered pots, bed without sheet, unidentified clothes blanketing the floor, this humble abode possesses pride and dignity of the people who live in it.
as poor as they are, with 120 baht for 8 people, 2 dogs and 1 cat a day, they manage to find joy and peace. even though the parents and 2 older brothers are a bit mentally challenged, there is respect for everyone. they work in rhythm. as mother and daughter sit down together to stitch leaves for roof-thatching, they whisper back and forth the words of instruction. when daughter walks to the well to fetch water, father quietly follows and carries the filled bucket back to the house. father is also a bladesmith, besides being a constructor and a provider of the family. 2 big brothers offers their help to buddhist temple trading with food for family.
unity to survive. such quiet spirit born out of poverty.
and i thought…this is what i do…bringing brokeness and hope to my audience, whoever and wherever they are, so that they may be moved to do something beyond themselves the way i am.
when i wonder why i still work at compassion, i will remember this family whose hope and perseverance make me want to do the impossible…do whatever i can in my power to better their lives…to lead them to know God.