Diary of Mission Trip 2012 – Part 8: They Are Innocent and Pure Children
I felt excited waking up today because I will finally meet the children that I have heard and read so much about. These children are the reason why I have left the comfort of my daily routine to embark on this mission with Father Martino. It was a bit frustrating hearing from Father Martino that we will not be doing anything; he will be taking us on a journey to observe and learn not only that of OBV’s children but other unfortunate path of life.
In retrospect, there was nothing “grand” I could do especially for OBV’s children because the truth is, I can’t. I can’t restore the children innocent. I can’t take away their pain. I can’t bring them justice. But Father Martino is wrong on this one; there is something I can do, something my heart desire to do from the minute I signed up to be part of the mission. I can be there for the children, hug them, love them, and even spoil them like children ought to be.
The OBV family along with 12 volunteers from the US we will be taking our children to the hotel top floor for breakfast and then Suoi Tien theme park afterward. I think I got a reality check when I saw the youngest child; she was only seven years old. Do you have any children that are that age, or a niece or a sister? For me, when Father Martino talks about these young children’s age, it was just a number to me and I never registered how young they are until I see them. You would fall in love with these children if you have a chance to see them. They are absolutely beautiful, adorable, and so well mannered. When we were at breakfast, they were all shy because I think it’s the first time they get to pick their own food and order what they want in a fancy environment. It must be the food or the fact that they are children because they opened up quite a bit afterward. The room is no longer filled with shy faces but now glimmers with excited and curious ones. I bet everyone, the children and the volunteer, ask each other so many questions that we probably forgot half of it.
As for me, it has been a while since I have to be strong and force myself to hold my composure because when I saw the children my knees felt weak and there was a constant aches I feel in my heart that make me want to break out and cry. What sick mind has afflicted these young unfortunate souls? Why? They are innocent and pure CHILDREN! What have you done to these beautiful souls? What have you done?
Every year, Father Martino leads a mission trip entitles “Lend a Hand” – This year the trip begins on Jan 3 and will ends on January 15! There are 13 young professionals from US and Canada – pay their own way and taking their two weeks vacations to be on the trip – including three members of One Body Village’s Board of Directors. Nga Vu, MD; Young Hoang, PhD; and Pham Tiffany, MSW! Father Martino continuously repeat the purpose of the mission: “When you are on the mission with me – you don’t do a lot!! I want you to open yourselves, watch, listen, see and learn! The DOINGS begin when you return to the US!” so you can talk about it and do with passion to be the VOICE and the HAND of these children being sold/forced into sex slavery!
Here are some of their reflections.
Định kỳ hằng năm, Cha Nguyễn Bá Thông dẫn đầu chuyến hành trình với sứ mạng “Chung một bàn tay” – Hành trình năm nay bắt đầu ngày 03 và kết thúc vào ngày 15 tháng 01. Cùng đồng hành là 13 bạn trẻ nhiệt huyết đến từ Mỹ và Canada – đã tự túc chi phí và hy sinh thời gian 2 tuần nghỉ lễ để tham gia – cùng 3 thành viên trong Hội đồng quản trị Tổ chức Một Thân Hình: Bác sĩ Nga Vu, Tiến sĩ tâm lý Duong Hoang và Thạc sĩ xã hội học Pham Tiffany. Cha Thông luôn lặp đi lặp lại một điều: “Khi tham gia hành trình sứ mạng cùng Cha – các con đừng làm gì nhiều! Cha muốn chính các con hãy nhìn – nghe – chứng kiến – và học hỏi! Việc “LÀM” hãy bắt đầu khi các con trở về đất nước! Khi đó, hãy nói và làm với cả tâm huyết để trở thành TIẾNG NÓI và BÀN TAY cho các trẻ em bị bán/bị bắt ép làm nô lệ tình dục!”
Đây là cảm nhận của các bạn gửi về sau mỗi hành trình.
Một Thân Hình
Diary of mission trip 2012 – Part 1
Diary of mission trip 2012 – Part 2
Diary of mission trip 2012 – Part 3
Diary of mission trip 2012 – Part 4
Diary of mission trip 2012 – Part 5
Diary of mission trip 2012 – Part 7