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Friday, April 9, 2010

IS IT ALL WORTH IT?

That is the question!

Andie has shared some anecdotes about our time here in Thailand; the highs and the lows.
To say it has been a successful transition is a difficult statement to make.
We are definitely becoming more familiar with our environment and our children are really starting to settle which, for us, has been a true blessing.
However, they often remind us that this is not fully their home. Tobi has especially shown us through the beautiful eyes of a four year old how difficult it has been for him. He regularly has simple requests that could’ve been easily granted if we lived back in Australia. From his trusted toasted cheese sandwich, to going over to see his cousins for a play.
He simplifies the complicated emotions that we have all felt. We each miss pieces of our life back home in Australia and especially the friends and family we left behind.

The first couple of months was all about survival and trying to get on top of the things we would need to ‘live’ … car, phones, where to shop etc.
But now our lives have shifted a gear and we are becoming more focused on the work we came to Thailand to do.
We are here to help care for children. ZOE Children's Home rescues orphans and children who may become victims of human trafficking and fights to protect the rights of these children.
ZOE also protects children taken right out of trafficked situations where they have been misused and mistreated.
It’s life-changing stuff and we’re loving it!
Before we came to Thailand, it was just a series of statistics that compelled us to act. But now when I sit with these wonderful kids, each of the statistics suddenly has a face. It’s a face that is covered with a big smile, and their smiles are part of my every day.
I have sat across from these smiles at meal times and shared some laughs over hot and spicy soup. Well, they laugh at me as the spices make my eyes water! They have watched me (with some curiosity) as I have sat with their house parents on the floor tasting strange looking green things accompanied by fried animal fat! They interrupt me as I sit at my desk by standing outside my office window playing a game of peek‐a‐boo, trying to not let me see them and breaking into laughter when I do.
Seeing them now, you could easily assume it’s always been this way, but each of their faces didn’t always have a smile. Some of these children were rescued before being trafficked; others have come directly from slavery.
All have faced incredible hardship.
Our Child Rescue Team at ZOE do a phenomenal job in ensuring that we thoroughly investigate every child’s case. We document the details and act with precision. The investigative work that Child Rescue does will help to purge our society of this evil crime.
Since our arrival in Thailand, ZOE Children's Homes have been very active in the rescue of children. I feel so proud to know that even in this short period of time more than ten new children have come into contact with ZOE and we have had the opportunity to input into their lives.
It’s never about the number of children we rescue though. It would be worth it, even for the one!
The new life these children at ZOE have is very different from where they were just weeks or months ago.
These kids have talents, just like you and I, that are waiting to be discovered. Some have amazing voices and love to sing, others are gifted at art, designing things or dancing.
Only now do they get the opportunities they deserve- to go to school, to learn and to be loved.
They get a chance to make a difference in the world and make tomorrow a better day than yesterday.
I feel truly blessed to have this opportunity to help them shape their future.
I can assure you that the work here is not always easy but we have a tremendous group of staff and house parents that ensure all the children are well cared for. The ZOE staff members are strong and committed and do an absolutely amazing job.
To know their names ... see their faces ... have contact with them regularly and see their smiles.
Our life here in Thailand may have required considerable adjustment…
But is it worth it?
Absolutely!    YES!

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