Boy Oh Boy, Lots O’ Boys
I have two stories to share with you about boys. Would you be willing to take 15 minutes out of your life to read these two stories, that merge together at the end? It’s a risk. It could be 15 minutes wasted in your life. It could be 15 minutes that were well spent. It could be 15 minutes that will impact your life for eternity. I guess you will have to get to the end to see which 15 minutes it turns out to be. If you’re still reading this, thanks for taking the risk.
This is Fan*. He is the 9 year old boy that I babysit. I met him because I teach his mother English. She was trafficked to Chiang Mai when she was 15. She is now 37. She has been working in Go-Go Bars (strip clubs), and bars (prostituting herself), for the past 22 years. She is one of the sweetest, and kindest women that I know. I love her so much.
I met her son when I started teaching her in January, but I saw him randomly. Honestly, I didn’t think much of it until one day I saw him in the bar area during school hours. That made me question why he was not in school. She nonchalantly said “He woke up late”. I saw him the next day, playing around in the Thai boxing area, where the bars are located, and I asked her “Did he wake up late again?” She nodded her head. Then I asked “Is there anyone to watch him at night?” She said no.
She works EVERY single night till about 3 a.m. She goes to work around 5p.m. Fan gets home from school around 4:00 p.m. That means he sees her for about an hour, then he’s left alone for the rest of the evening… EVERY night. He’s 9. Sometimes he would stay with her at the bars, but that is no place for children for sure. I felt God tell me “tell her you will watch him.” I knew it would add to the busyness of my schedule, but I didn’t think twice. So I told her. And I started babysitting him twice/three times a week. That’s all my schedule would allow me to.
He became like a son to me. Then last month, she said she was going to give him away to a home because she could not watch him, and she didn’t want him hanging around with troublesome kids. The bar owner that she works for, who is actually a genuinely sweet person, thought it would be best for Fan to go to a boarding school run by the government. I was speechless.
I knew of a Christian home, that I served at last year, that took children at risk for going into the sex trade, and I immediately contacted them. But due to the circumstances of the bar owner being involved, they could not jeopardize the safety of the other children at the home. And I completely understood… but it left Fan with only one option.. to go to the government home. I did all I could do practically, and now I had to trust that God would be with Fan in that home, and protect him. Every day I spent with Fan was bittersweet because I knew he would be leaving so soon. His mother loves him very much…but she had no other choice….or will she?
Here’s the second story:
These three boys belong to a lady who JUST left the bars this past Saturday and started working at our cafe. Through God working through our translator (who used to work in the bars, left, and is now a believer), she decided to leave the bars too. She has an abusive husband back home, and she took the children away from him and their grandparents, who would abuse the boys too. They are 12, 8, and 4.
Pi Sun, the mom, seems to have some aloofness toward her children. I truly believe she is so broken inside that she can’t even love her children anymore, but she loved them enough to not want them being abused any longer. She believed the 4 year old was mentally handicapped because he can’t speak yet, but after spending some time with them, I believe that he has just been very neglected, and does not have a learning disability.
Pi Sun has made a decision to leave the life of exploitation, and she needs sponsors to support her first year of Transformation, but she also does not want her children. Before we knew this detail about the situation we looked for a home to put them in to help her, 8 to be exact, and they all said no, since they are not true orphans. But once we found out that the reason why she wanted to give them away was to be rid of responsibility, we knew that giving them away was not the answer. We are believing that God will heal her broken heart, and will teach her how to love them one day. We also believe that God has put these boys in our lives to raise them in a godly, loving, truth filled environment.
But how can we raise them? We barely have enough staff and funds to run the ministry as is. But still Emmi and I believe God is telling us to keep the boys.
This was confirmed this morning, when Fan’s mom called me crying, saying she did not want to send her son away to the boarding school, but felt stuck because she has no one to take care of him.
This is where the stories merge together to create one outcome…4 boys.
4 precious boys with the potential to become strong Thai and Lao (the three boys are Lao) men of God that can reach their nations with the truth of Jesus Christ.
So this is our plan…it’s another crazy one…but we believe this is what God wants us to do:
Find a house in the city, rent it, and have a staff member, and teams when they come, work with these boys. We will get them into the same school, and have supervision and love for them when they get home from school. They will be raised in a godly, and safe environment.
We are searching for the house this week, school begins in two weeks. We are in need of the funds for renting the house, about $400 USD a month, and their school tuition, food, and living expenses, which would be $150 USD a month per boy.
We are also asking God for male staff to come, so that the boys can have a godly male role-model, preferably who speaks Thai. We do have a female staff member that will be a type of house mom, and I know a lot of my time will be spent at the house as well.
We don’t have the home yet, but we have the name Baan Khum Pai. It means home of refuge in Thai. This is one of the many next steps for Love Acts, and though technically we’re not ready… God always is… and He’s with us.
Sorry if these stories were a waste of your time. I hope they were at least ones that got you thinking, but if they truly struck a chord within you, you can be a part of this new endeavor by funding this leap of faith step.
You can just click HERE and send a donation online.Where it says “This donation is designated for”…just click the drop down menu, click other and type in “Lighthouse in Action (boys home)”. If you could send me an email at Bethsaida@lighthouseinaction.org, with your donation amount, that would also help us with this next step that needs to be taken within the next two weeks.
Thank you again for all your words of encouragement and support. It’s always so humbling to be a part of what God is doing here. Please know that through your prayers, and financial support you are truly impacting eternity. Thank you.