So the other week on Facebook I alluded to being a small part in a very wonderful thing. Now that I've taken some time to mull over it I think I can share a bit of my thoughts and feelings.
Sometimes, I get really down on the world. I think people are just selfish, unfeeling and cold. That no one cares much about anyone outside of their immediate small circle. I feel like I see it daily in the news, on Facebook and all around me. It breaks my heart. The other day I was reminded that I was wrong. Thank goodness.
To be honest (which if I can't be honest on my blog where the heck can I be) I have been incredibly depressed these last few months we've been in China. I'm lonely, (love ya Chad, but I'm an extrovert) I've been sick almost constantly and I just want to leave. I have been thinking about how the $760 plane change ticket might be worth it. A year is a long time to spend in a random Chinese town. Anyway, right at the depths of the depression someone named Ben posted in the Expats Facebook group for our city that they had a very weird request, but these two guys were in the area and they were looking for two girls to pose as their girlfriends because they were going to visit a friend from Vietnam (named M) who had been trafficked to a place nearby.
I thought, "how could I not help?" I had to be a part of that. As you know, I am very concerned with women's issues in the world. I think trafficking is one of the saddest things that happens in our world. You can read more of her story here but the short story is that she lived near the Vietnam-China boarder which is where Ben first met her. He got to know her and communicate with her in simple English a couple years ago. He later found out she was taken from her village and eventually "married" a Chinese man. His goal was to meet up with her and help her. However, because her "husband" is jealous he wanted girls to go with him so the husband didn't think Ben was a past lover or anything.
So I ended up going with Ben and his cameraman Moreno to meet up with M. It was, sadly, a very short meeting, but she was amazing. You know when you meet someone and they just light up your soul? M was that type of person. Even though she's been through so much she was so happy and smiling bright. Her face will forever be burned into my brain when I think of the word hope.
She has a child with her "husband" here in China and she has decided that even though it may mean leaving her she is ready to go back to Vietnam. It's obvious that it was Ben and Moreno's love that helped her make that difficult decision.
To just be a witness to these two men and see how much they cared about M. It was indescribable. They did so many things just to make sure she knew people cared and have helped her in so many ways. Their joy in finding her and being able to see her. It was amazing.
I still can't correctly put into words the feelings of the day, and I don't know if I ever will be able to, but to see the joy on everyone's faces during their reunion- that was amazing. I think people underestimate the power of love. Ben's love for M, and his distaste for the horrid situation we put others in helped make the world a little bit better. It was obvious that Ben's love for M kept her strong and helped support her through all of this.
It's powerful, the feeling that someone, somewhere cares about you and worries about you and thinks about you. I think it can help someone find strength even in the darkness.
To even be a small part (the smallest part in the world really) of this story fills me with joy. I look forward to the day when M is back in Vietnam with her family, starting her life over again with that radiant smile on her face.
Cheers to people in the world that care.
P.S. my depression has subsided a bit, and I think it's directly related to M and her spirit.
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