Young Hearts in the Village - Thrive Prevention Outreach
Published on Friday, 25 July 2014
As the roosters crowed, we awoke within the village on our handmade mats, underneath rope tied mosquito nets and with excitement in our hearts. Our trek to this village in Central Thailand was in order to continue to build long lasting relationships and provide trafficking prevention but what we received, was so much more. Traveling in the bed of a truck to the local dam, we came across a group of teenagers propped on the side of the dirt road. We barely finished our invitation to them as they got on their motor bikes to follow suite behind us. The term community service began to become more of an intricate reality in the means of creating a bond and community with one another through each piece of broken glass we picked up, which may have very well been a beer bottle one of the teenagers obtained liquid from some days before. A spot known for kids to come and party was now filled with laughter and helping hands. We were not about to allow the opportunity to continue this hang out to end and conducted a way to find a truck large enough to fit about twenty children along with ourselves, in order to venture to our next adventure.
One hour later and a couple of the kids friends we picked up along the way, truck still moving and all, we arrived at a place where you could not help but become a kid yourself no matter your age. An incredible and never ending waterfall. Climbing rocks, sliding and jumping together into the pool hand made by nature, we were astounded by the giggles that were shared and the trust that began to be created. Away from the unfortunate pool of life that gives the misconception that one must sell themselves or others for profit and slithers thoughts into young minds asking them to be a child in an adult situation, we were able to let all troubles fall away from our minds and slip into pure bliss.
We brought the still excited but tired children back to the village where we then had dinner, family style on the floor. The night then continued as we watched enticing eyes invest in music, stories of the bible and self defense movements, asking to know more and participating without push. It was incredible to witness the first hesitation of a high five and now each one asking for hugs and grabbing our hands as each activity proceeded. To see the sincerity of the look in their eyes as they asked us to come back and teach them more. The hopefulness of a future like that of X, a 14 year old boy who was able to trade in his pots and pans for a drum set provided by the team last trip and now is able to send himself to school through his musical gifts. It is hard to find words to make you visualize the beauty of a honest earning through a rice farm and the welcoming of those who to the rest of the world, have nothing, yet are willing to give everything to make you feel like family. This was more than an outreach; this was an appointment with friends we did not yet know we had, whose growth will continue to strengthen.
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