My sister Nori, wrote this story when she was here last year. AiPang's uncle came early that year and brought him to Myanmar. We don't like the idea of the children going home to their relatives during school break. It is just not right. They had literally abandoned the children and gave them up to us. But they still want them to work for them. We gave them an ultimatum, if any of the relatives would take any children from us, they should take care of them and they should not return them to us anymore. We asked AiPang if he wanted to return to Myanmar. With big hesitation, he said "yes." We cried our tears and let him go, expecting that we will not see him again. Here is a story of how we were able to take him back.
Wanting to see a proof of child labor? Look at Ai Pang's muscles. His biceps and triceps are so visible when ever he moves his arms. When new visitors or missionaries come, that is how we introduce him. Ai Pang show your muscles, and he will just make some little stretching here and there... His abs are in layers.
Ai Pang is ten years old. He can tell stories -- especially how his mother died in the field while working. He can share how for three days, his father could not stop crying over the dead body of his loving wife. According to the story, Ai Pang's mom complained of stomach pains and headache. She also had fever... possibilities? appendicitis, ectopic pregnancy, infection, (?????) but no one knows since she never had the chance to see a doctor. Although Ai Pang's father pleaded her to stay home, the mother continued to work in the field and when she failed to come home at an appointed time, they went to the farm to see her dead. How can Ai Pang live the rest of his life with such a story to tell and re-tell about his loving mother who wanted to help her husband provide a good life for their family.
Ai Pang is also a hard worker and he too worked in the field during school breaks. Last year, he went home to help in the farm and when Narlin and her team held an English camp on the other side, she saw Ai Pang-- thin, very dark, and would not even look straight at her. I saw Narlin's misty eyes... "Ai Pang, come back home with Nanay, now!" She immediately talk with Sayarma Angela and said, "I will bring Ai Pang back home... i do not like the way he looks. This is the reason why I do not want to let him to go back to his family. They make him work hard. I want to take care of him and see the sparkle in his eyes again... i do not see it now. He looked sick." All of them work hard in the family. All the children work with their parents in order to survive. Sayarma Angela made some arrangements and promised Narlin, she will bring back Ai Pang to Mae Sai as soon as possible.
Ai Pang loves sports. His muscles are well coordinated and strong. He likes climbing, tumbling, jumping, and other physical activities. He likes soccer and basketball. He can be trusted in doing his assigned household chores, arts and crafts, and also in massaging Nanay Narlin when she is having cramps or muscle pains. He also is responsible for feeding the guinea pigs and in cutting the grass. if we can only bring a child home, i want Ai Pang -- Ycoi will have someone to help him become physically active and not just sit in front of the computer ... but Ai Pang will have to stay.
Talking about intelligence, Ai Pang easily catches instructions and can remember things well. He can reason out well and can express himself in so many ways. When he is happy, his eyes twinkle and his dimples make him more handsome and cheerful. Ai Pang is a bundle of possibilities. I remember a song in the album "God's Project" that goes like "Only God can count the apple in a single seed, only he knows just how many there will be. All the possibilities are the treasures that He sees when He looks inside of me..." I am sure when God looks in Ai Pang's heart, he sees all those possibilities in this little boy. God has planted the seed... but some people will be sent by Him to water, to nurture, to care for, and to see the full fruition of the work He had started in Ai Pang.
Can you be one of those who will help see Ai Pang's possibilities come to reality. Adopt him in your prayer life. Reach out to him and pamper him with your loving prayers.
May God continue to see your own potentialities so that you can see what is in others...