I am posting it here because we believe that God used Tina’s life to start the ministry of the Baan Rainbow. This post is written by my sister Nori when she spent summer with us. This is her reflection of what she learned from the other children and us about Tina. She is now 12 years old. Tina is our first “adopted” child and the she is the main reason that makes us believe that part of God’s calling to us here in Mae Sai is to care for the orphans and abandoned children . This is her story.
Theinyanat lost her mother from tuberculosis when she was five. Six months after that her father died of AIDS. Kuya recalled how thin was Tina’s father and how he talked about her, that if ever he would die, he begged Kuya Joey and Narlin to take care of her girl.
Since Theinyanat’s father knew of his impending death, he desired to cross the river and go back to Tachilek. Kuya Joey and some other church members tried to do their best to help him. So, they waited for the water level to become very low and they carried him on their back alternately until they can bring him home, but since the police security was very tight, it became totally impossible. He died before making it there, and when that happened the believers panicked. They called the paramedics and when they declared him dead, the Thai police respected the body and allowed the believers to give him a decent burial.
At his death, someone took Theinyanat from the Child Care Center. Narlin was so mad when that happened because children without parents are easy prey for human trafficking. Anybody can pretend to be family relative and take advantage of the situation. Narlin learned that Theinyanat was sold for 500 Baht already and just waiting for the right moment to be taken to Bangkok.
Narlin and Kuya Joey did everything to find Theinyanat again. Narlin went as far as barking at people just to know where Theinyanat is kept. With the family’s very limited resources, she proudly asked the person who was claiming Theinyanat as her niece, “can you feed her 3 to 5 times a day, can you send her to school, can you provide her clothes, a good home and a family? if your answer is no, then let me have her, because I can have that and I can do that for her… ” With that, the other person succumbed and gave in Tina.
The family gave Theinyanat the name Tina or Tina Pie. Narlin calls her “my own”. Tina is very sensitive and the other children always bully her since she always receive special care. Narlin would say, “you all have families–some have both parents, others have lost either a mom or a dad… but Tina has no one… She is mine. She belongs to us. We are her only family.”
Please remember Tina-how the Lord will continue to assure her that she belongs and that she is loved. Remember her health-both physically and emotionally. Mention her needs — what can a little child in her situation need? Maybe, courage to face the unknown of tomorrows, strength to overcome, parental love for she knew what it meant when she needed it most but has been deprived too soon, hope for a better and brighter future, and most specially faith in God who is the only source of everything.
May God’s grace abound in you as you adopt Tina in your prayer life.