See the picture of Mary praying? Her faith is huge. It’s fierce!
Mary lives in a village orphanage, with 40 other children, in a rural area of Burma. Every child there has a story. What does it take to really give hope? How do we empower a child? Make an impact for life?
Whenever I visit, I make a point of setting aside time to play – of spending time as children should – playing on the swings, skipping, riding around the soccer field on a bike…try that wearing a traditional Burmese longi!
Having fun, laughing. Far away from the horrors that brought them to this place of safety, and the fears that still visit them in their nightmares.
Mary had a beaming, infectious smile and soaked up every ounce of affection I gave her. I was heart-broken to learn that she had been assaulted like no young child should ever be violated. And yet she had a strength and demeanour beyond her years, from which it was evident that she was now in a home where there was an abundance of love and nurturing. Mary was learning how to trust and to share, and most of all, to forgive. I believe that this is the foundation that we need to provide these young girls who have suffered needlessly in whatever circumstance. To really come out of poverty, pain and loss we need to start by showing them love. This is the start of a healthy mind and spirit that will lead to a healthy life of learning and growing into a productive woman in her community.
Mary praying: she loves God so much and knows that there is hope because this is what she is taught by her caregivers. This is what she experiences every day. Her radiant face relays a thousand words! Mary is an outstanding young girl who has taught me much about my own life.