Monday, 21 June 2010 16:40
I write to you in early June, following the “Burning of Bangkok” – demonstrations and protests that hobbled our fair city for two months, pouring lethal acid into the very soul of the land, an acid that spread into every Bangkok shantytown and far beyond.

Here in Klong Toey our children at Mercy Centre played “make-up games” in the streets as did the children behind the barricades, but children do that everywhere. We remain unscathed physically. Emotionally the wounds and scars run raw and deep, and we pray for peace, justice, and the meekness of wisdom.

 During the height of the troubles, there were public notices on T.V. and radio stations stating that our Mercy Centre was a safe haven for all children and needy adults. Also our older children joined with our slum neighbors, keeping night watch against arson and mayhem.

Life went on, trembling, fearful, and poorer than before. Our neighbors lost income during and after the protests that were lost forever. Moms and dads couldn’t work to feed their families, pay their debts, and keep their kids going to school.

Where does all this leave Mercy Centre?  The answer is:  We’re here among our neighbors with all our children -  forever, keeping the home fires burning. If it should ever come (as it has and will) that there is not enough rice in our common rice bowl, we adults will cut back and make sure the children have enough. As more children come to us, if we don’t have enough beds, we can put mats on the floor.  If shoes wear out, we can put new heels and soles on them, and when school uniforms wear thin, from wear and tear and too many washings, we’ll patch them. That’s what we’ve always done anyway and continue to this day. Hand-me-downs certainly fit just as well as new clothes, sometimes even better.

If we are careful, there is always just enough. But if any of you good folks reading this have anything left over, please do share it with our kids. I do know that all of you, as part of our family, are “always there for us” and we shall never ask, unless our need is dire, or the situation critical.

Finally. Above I spoke of the Meekness of Wisdom – please pray that those words become the Watch Word for our slums and all of Thailand.

Prayers   fr joe