Rescued On The Border
Last year Lana was showing some visitors our border area and giving her usual speech, "This is no man's land, you can buy a child of any age, any drug, anything! It's the uncharacterized region on the border between Thailand and Burma and therefore neither country has jurisdiction.
At that moment, a man raised a pair of large metal tongs to strike a two year old girl over the head! Lana intervened and shouted, "NOOO!"
Everyone in the market stopped and turned towards her. We proceeded to ask where the mother was, and found out that she was a drug addict.
Lana was able to have the little girl and her five year old brother walk away with her. She wanted to find out their story. As they were walking, a lady, who was quite obviously under the influence of drugs, came up to them. She was the children’s mother. She motioned for Lana to take the boy.
We couldn’t tell if the mom was offering to give us a pack of cigarettes to take the boy, or if she wanted us to give her cigarettes for him; either way, the life of this five year old boy, with all of his teeth rotted away, was reduced to a pack of cigarettes.
Lana turned to his little sister, complete with dirty, but precious bare feet, and she asked the mom, “What about her?” The mom said, “No! She makes a lot of money begging for us, you can’t have her.”
With her sweet appearance, it was clear why they were using this little girl to beg. The small bag tied over her shoulder contained the money she had already made that day, 1,000 kyats (the equivalent of $1).
This mom was on drugs and couldn't sit still, and at one point she became paranoid and thought she was being set up with the police. She threw the crack pipe she had taped to her chest on the ground, and lit a cigarette. As she blew smoke in Lana’s face from her second cigarette, she claimed she had no idea that she was pregnant, even though her bulging stomach told us otherwise.
These children are now safe and secure at our House of Hope. Now they will be able to go to school and just be the cute kids they were designed to be!
They have no idea that on that day their mother valued their lives to a pack of cigarettes, and we'd like to keep it that way!