Friday, May 20, 2011

The struggle

The last week has been pretty exciting.

Emails from around the world have been pouring in with heartfelt expressions of thanks and support. My whole team has been humbled by these; I only hope people realise how much these mean to us.

I'm on the road, and have been catching up with supporters in Western Australia, including Shenton College, some Rotary Clubs, and a couple of radio interviews.

Being 'on the road' is important to our work. Blue Dragon has no office or staff outside of Vietnam, so for us to raise the funds that we need to do our work, I need to get out and meet up with our supporters at least ince a year.

But as I travel about, each day reminds me that my heart really is back in Vietnam with the kids.

Of course, I like to write about the success stories on my blog - the stories of kids who make it, who change, who get out of terrible situations and thrive. These are the stories that get me going in the morning.

But very often, it's the stories of the kids who are really struggling to get by that occupy most of my time and attention. Being far from Vietnam, I rely entirely on my staff to keep me informed, and there's no greater joy than getting their emails with updates.

We've had 2 kids leave our Shelter this week, which is awfully hard on us. Both are kids who have lived for long periods on the streets, but have been with us now for 18 months and 4 years respectively. They've mostly been doing pretty well, but in the last weeks they just couldn't hold it together, and left for the streets.

Within days, they came back to ask for forgiveness.

Our hearts are bursting to say yes, to take them back, but we need the kids to know that their relationship with us really matters; that they can't just come and go. (For both of them, this is not the first time this has happened). And so, with the summer holidays beginning, we've told each of the boys to return to their villages where they have only distant relatives, and come back to us in a month.

This will be a tough month for them, but we want to see them do it. We want to see them struggle for a better life; take control of themselves and make a change.

We only hope that this strategy will work. And so, while I am in Australia, the 2 boys are in their villages. I guess each of us has to struggle with being away from where we want to be, and believe that our time away will be worthwhile.


Anonymous said...

Michael, This is a really powerful story - an inspiring take on the struggle that life presents us - the two boys, yours, mine - when we can make meaning and see those struggles from another perspective. I hope to read what happens in a month.
Great news of the CNN coverage - great recognition for you and Blue dragon Staff and kids.Lesley T

Thiên Hoàng said...

I don't know say

Anonymous said...

I am a Vietnamese student currently studying in the US who just wants to say "Thank you" for what you and your organization are doing. I can only hope to be able to make such a contribution one day to my country. I loved the last line of this post.

Nguyen Tan Thanh said...

Thank you and wish the best things to you. The last line is very meaningful.

Ezy-bid said...

really helpful, this is very inspirational. Thank you for your superb post.