Three weeks ago I witnessed something that I have only heard of.
Big Mama is a ghost around here, she’s very real, you see her kids everyday, but vary rarely do you actually see HER.
One Wednesday a bunch of us went to Burma to see our friends in a few different villages. It was honestly an extraordinary day! I helped make bricks at the brick village, a woman showed me how to shower in the river in a longyi, she lotion-ed me up and even spoon fed me potatoes and rice. I have never felt so honored!
In the same village a woman was in the middle of labor and invited me and a few friends in. That day I watched a beautiful Burmese woman give birth to a baby in 95 degrees, no ac, no fan, no ice, and she made no noise! Again, I have never felt so honored!
The day was amazing. Though as we walked across the bridge from Burma back to Thailand I met the ghost, Big Mama.
I was just standing there in line, waiting for everyone to finish so we could go home when this little boy walked past me. He was an adorable little guy with a yellow shirt on and no shoes. In my head I remember saying to myself, “aww poor little guy, he doesn’t have any shoes; these streets are disgusting”. Then all of a sudden my translator and friend pointed her out to me, Big Mama. I was startled out of my thought of the boy and immediately grabbed my phone to take pictures of this woman to add to the wall in my room to pray. As I was doing this my friend yelled at me to come back to him. Apparently he wasn’t done talking to me. I went back to my friend and he began to tell me what actually just happened. He said, “She just bought him. That little boy. Big Mama just bought him right here.”
I was shocked. I didn’t know how to process the information. That little boy that I was just staring at and thinking about his shoeless feet was actually getting purchased by the pimp of the town.
“ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? NO, THAT CAN’T BE”
“How did I not know? How did I not notice?”
“YOU CAN’T JUST BUY A LITTLE BOY!!”
“Where did she go, I’ll buy him back!”
I thanked my friend for telling me what just happened, grabbed a different friend and left to search for Big Mama. Honestly, I wasn’t thinking very straight, but I was FEELING a great deal. How could an old woman but a child? a little boy? 2 years old!
Its taken me a lot of time to process that day. I’ve thought about my reactions, my emotions; were they appropriate? were they too much? not enough? should I have done something more? what would I have done if I found her?
I searched for about 20 minutes that day walking up and down the street and No-Man’s Land. I never saw the boy or Big Mama again.
When I got back to my house I fell apart. I couldn’t stop thinking.
This little 2 year old boy let go of his mom’s hand and took the hand of Big Mama
He will be sleeping in a brand new place, with brand new people
How scared is he right now? Is he terrified? Is he sad? Missing him mom and dad?
His life will never be the same
He belongs to Big Mama now – and all that entails
I’m telling you this story because I am broken by it, and I honestly think everybody should be. People are not supposed to be bought especially babies just 2 years old!. Children are to be cherished, taken care of, put first in life, loved, and fought for. I am not sitting here in judgment on anybody. Not Big Mama or the boy’s parents. I have never lived in day to day survival mode. I don’t live or understand their culture. I’m not angry, I’m simply just heart broken over this unacceptable reality that plagues the town I live in.
This unacceptable reality is exactly why I am in Thailand. THIS is why I am spending my time at No-Man’s Land. My goal is to be known, trusted and well liked with the people along the border and inside of NML. I want them to come to me before they go to Big Mama.
Outpour Movement doesn’t yet have a place to house children like this, but I know of some great ministries in town that do. So until we have a safe house I will be continuing to do everything I can to show love, build trust and a reputation.