CAMPAIGN AGAINST  CHILD SEX EXPLOITATION AND TRAFFICKING

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Reflection of Mission Trip

Every year, Father Martino Nguyễn Bá Thông leads mission trips to Vietnam, Cambodia, and other Southeast Asia countries (such as Laos, Singapore or Malaysia...) entitled "Lend A Hand." Father Thông reminds all the participants that the purpose of the mission "is not DOING but LEARNING. When you are on the mission you don't do a lot! I want you to open your heart, mind, ears, and eyes to feel, live, listen, see and learn. The DOING begins when you return home to your own country. You can talk about OBV mission and works with passion, so you can be the VOICE and the HAND of the many children being sold and forced into sex exploitation and trafficking!"
 
Below are some of their reflections.

The group stood at the hill on the way to Sapa

 

This is the third day that I am on this frigidly cold, gray, gloomy land which is lack of life and to be honest, I am starting to hate it. It is making me tired, sleepy, and the burning inside my body is causing me the inability to focus on anything. For instance a moment ago, my eyes are like this two locked door that haven't been oiled in days, refusing to open.  However, today is an exciting day with the fact that I don't want to accept because I do not want to get emotional drifting with my thoughts, I clutched on to my laptop.

 

 

Before this trip, Hanoi was the farthest North destination that I’ve been to. Many people said: “A trip to Lao Cai – Sa pa this season? Are you crazy? Want to die?” I’d never known how frost of the North really was so I wanted to have experience there - a place where my father was born.

 

Six of us met at Tan Son Nhat airport as we had arranged before. Then we flew to Hanoi and waited for a friend from the USA who wanted to join us. Five of us are from the USA, some had come back to Vietnam over a month ago, some a few days ago and one just this morning. On board, I tried to take a nap to recover from a 3-hour sleep night.

Sunday, 20 January 2013 17:21

Mission trip 2013: A Reality

This is the first time John has been in Vietnam

All my life Viet Nam has always been a spectra or a dream to me. With all my close family members in the USA, there's little emotional attachment or incentive for me to travel back. This dream of returning, however, reluctantly became a reality for me this week. 

Saturday, 19 January 2013 00:42

Mission trip 2013: My heart breaks

 

A jail cell with 20 sets of arms reaching out yearning

 

I've heard things and seen things on TV but nothing will compare to seeing things live from my own eyes. Words cannot describe the feeling I felt when I saw a jail cell with 20 sets of arms reaching out yearning for a hand shake and/or someone to talk to...the only thing is that they're not criminals. I stand to watch and comprehend what was going on and slowly noticing I'm holding out my breath to a funky odor not sure where it was coming from.

Thursday, 17 January 2013 17:34

Mission trip 2013: All we need is LOVE

Father Martino and Angela with OBV children

The past week has been a whirlwind of emotions. As the mission is nearly coming to an end, I feel that I have already experienced a lifetime of lessons and wisdom. I go to bed every night with my heart racing and my mind pacing while reminiscing about events from the previous day. From meeting the OBV children to visiting with the homeless, mentally ill, and physically disabled orphans of Can Tho, I have realized they all share a commonality of sufferance. The suffer physically, mentally, and spiritually. Every face lacks colour and every pair of eyes lack sparkle. I see a sadness in the eyes of the OBV children through their playful exterior. They are young, SMALL, and look half their age. They are underdeveloped and malnourished.  Their subtle reactions and non-verbal cues reveal the betrayal they have experienced and still relive every day. In one moment, one of the children would laugh and play, while in a another second she would withdraw from the group with a waterfall of tears without notice. It remains unbelievable to me that there are thousands of children like them still being sexually, physically, and emotionally abused every day by men and women who are supposed to love them, support them, and guide them. 

John with OBV children

What should I say about my first trip to Viet Nam? I love the fact that I'm visiting the land of my ancestors. There's so much to see and learn.

On this trip with Fr Martino and One Body Village, I've learned a very important lesson. The world is as beautiful as it is ugly.

Wednesday, 09 January 2013 16:52

Father Nguyen Ba Thong: Is my love desolate?

Is my love desolate?

As usual, in January every year, Father Nguyen Ba Thong has a month for "resting in busy" in Vietnam. It is called "rest" as he can rest from his mission of serving God's in the U.S. It is called "busy" as he spends this little time coming and sharing with many people who need his "one voice, one hand" in Vietnam.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012 14:25

Mission trip Nov. 2012 - Part 3: Beautiful

Picture "Beautiful"

This is a reflection of I.V. – a volunteer for OBV, working in a hospital in Chicago. She attended an auction in OBV’s fundraiser night and won a special handicraft of an OBV girl – a cross stitch painting. This painting is hang in her front room making many people interested and curious about its origin. When hearing I.V.’s explanation, they are so touched. The painting is about a beautiful girl and become a motivation for I.V. to arrange her job only in one day to join mission trip in Vietnam, Cambodia with Father Martino in November, 2012.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012 19:05

Mission trip Nov. 2012 - Part 2: As our own

Father Martino and mission trip group with OBV children

This is a reflection post written by Vy Dinh. Vy Dinh is a volunteer usually helping OBV to organize many Awareness night. She joined the group during the mission trip in November 2012 and these are some of her thoughts about it.A bulletin board in the kitchen is decorated with a calendar and a long list of chores for the children living there. On Monday, X and Y takes care of cooking while Z takes care of the bathrooms. It appears that the duties rotate for each child so that no one gets stuck with the same chore each month and everyone picks up range of domestic skills.

Mission trip group in Nov. 2012

 

This is a reflection post written by the daughter of one of the OBV’s beneficiary named Vy. Vy joined the group during the mission trip in November 2012 and these are some of her thoughts about it.

 

This is my first trip to Cambodia. Being a careless person that I am, I rarely ever pay any attention to any charity work and I must confess that I only joined this trip for personal reasons. I began the trip forcefully and with my usual inattentive attitude. But throughout the trip, the things that I witnessed and experienced in this country caused me to look at things differently.

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