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Saturday, 10 June 2017 21:26

Meet You Again - A New Member in our OBV Family

Entering the dormitory at the end of the day, watching shadows bounce off the walls, I couldn't see see anything at first, but I could hear her greeting -- a little girl that I had picked up last week. The clear voice came from a small figure with a joyful smile.

Surprise. Happiness.

Her life had been nothing.

One thing after another

Adding to her grief

A father who rejected her at birth.

A mother who re-married, then abandoned her

A grandma who only took care of her temporarily

2 years old, was our little angel

She lived with her uncle, who knew nothing about laughter

The blue moon shone upon the empty house, filling it up with blue feelings

Droplets rolled off her face. Sweat or tears?

Back to her grandma at the age of 3

Seventy nine year of suffering left the grandma with a bent back

Oh grandma

Just another burden on your already weak shoulders

Farewell grandma,

The little girl is far away now

Vague sounds of footsteps

She was a child from a remote area of Ninh Binh province, wandering down south to Saigon at the age of 13 to work for a salary of 100 USD/month. Her working and living space were the four walls to a small house with one bedroom and a kitchen. She wasn't given breakfast, instead she sat and sewed hats and did house chores, since her 'hostess' had just given birth to a baby. Her new neighbours were those from all corners of Vietnam. What they all had in common were poverty, illiterate, alcoholism and gambling.

She had just entered puberty, and her body was starting to shows signs. Her clear eyes never looked up, they were always ready to cry. From frustration? Or sorrow? She lived, but did not exist.

But she changed. She turned a full 180 degrees when I met her. Suddenly in front of me was a young girl full of joy and optimism, with the smile of an angel. "I could get used to this place," she said as she put her coat down, looking around OBV.

And just like that she changed again, back to her original self, a young girl with a big heart ready to love and be loved.

She started to tell me about her experiences at her new home, with her new sisters.

"For the first few days, I didn't believe that people in this home could be so nice. Maybe they were just nice in the beginning, but in the end would sell me? But after living here for a week, and talking to the other sisters....I trust everyone here. Our House Mother is a nun, but she has never forced anyone to follow the catholic faith and two thirds of the sister there are non-catholics. There are threes sisters there who now want to be catholic', she said.

The conversation was left unfinished, as our House Mother started to trim trees and clean up the garden. She quickly excused herself, put a hat on and starting helping House Mother. She climbed up tall trees to trim the highest leaves, talking and working, occasionally busting out in song. My heart swelled with love and joy, hoping that OBV would not just be a temporary shelter for her, but a place where she could start to live a normal life. A true home.

And now, her and I are friends.

Happiness is not always so far away. It exists when the heart beats in harmony with other hearts.

Love will lead the way to recover humanity.

NH - OBV Vietnam

Nov 23, 2016

Translated by Jacqueline Huynh and Mr. Phung.  The original version in Vietnamese entitled "Gặp Lại Em - Thành Viên Mới Gia Đình OBV"


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