International Ministries

Lost Boy Ayumi (Part 2)

September 14, 2010 Journal
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Dear Friends,

This is part 2 of "Ayumi's" story. (Part 1 sent on Sept. 6, 2010). It is not an easy story with a quick "Happily Ever After Ending."  This journey with Ayumi has been a difficult one and it is only the beginning. This is the journey we feel called to, not knowing what each day will bring, but knowing that in God there is always hope for a brighter and better day. We are called to love and persevere with hope even against all odds. I sincerely hope you will join us in prayer for this precious boy and contend with us for his future.

Hope

Ayumi thoroughly enjoyed the attention he was getting as the team tried to keep him occupied. Baking was one of the activities he really enjoyed. On Beng's birthday they made brownies with reduced sugar. Ayumi was concerned about the taste, so when Beng took a bite he quickly asked, "Beng, I put my heart into the brownies, are they good?" Beng answered, "Ayumi,your heart is very good." Ayumi grinned with satisfaction. Keeping him occupied was a challenge. Finally, a social worker came to meet with Ayumi. They got along well and we were hopeful.

The social worker made an appointment for Ayumi to see a doctor. Ayumi reacted strongly to the news, "I don't need to see a doctor," he said. "I'm not sick anymore." "What will the doctor do to me?" We tried to reassure him that it was nothing invasive. That night he broke down, cried, and admitted he has Thai parents who live in Bangkok. Ayumi was afraid the doctor would turn him over to the government home. The social worker called Ayumi's parents to come get him. They were not happy about the inconvenience. There were no hugs; no happy reunion. In fact they threatened to send him to the government home if he didn't behave. The social worker arranged with the parents to take Ayumi for an exam at a psychiatric hospital. She said she would follow up with the family afterward. Ayumi was finally getting help.
 

Hope Deferred

A few days later, our hearts sank again. Ayumi had run away from the hospital and his mother had sent him to the government shelter he had so feared. We were told we couldn't visit him for 6 months. In the government's custody, the social worker could no longer do anything to intervene. Government shelters are crowded and understaffed. Discipline is known to be harsh. A month later, Ayumi ran away again, this time with additional bruises. He showed up on our doorstep in a dress eager for hugs. Once again, a quick change of clothes and activities to occupy him, while we called the social worker. She asked us to keep him a couple nights while she tried to find a place for him. The following morning, Ayumi joined in the singing at worship, glancing behind him to see if he had the attention he wanted. After a bit, he grew somber and lay down. My heart ached with a deep sadness as I cried out to God on his behalf. I looked at his sweet face and noticed tears collecting in his eyes. My staff reached over and gently wiped them from his face. He reached up, grabbed our hands and held on tight.
 
Back at the office, Ayumi tried on women's clothes and played computer games while we tried to work and waited anxiously for some news.The social worker called and said she had nothing. I decided then we had no choice but to call his mother and tell her to come get her son. Ayumi's mom said she wasn't coming; it wasn't convenient. Ayumi announced he was going to Japan, took off down the street, and disappeared. After he left, Beng came with news that the social worker may have found a shelter. Ayumi had gone home, but there was hope, if he would stay put for the weekend.
 
 On Monday, the mother signed the necessary documents before heading to the new shelter. Our staff were surprised when a sign at the shelter greeted them, "God bless you." We were amazed. The housemother had already successfully helped one boy there who would be a friend and encouragement. Ayumi cried when they said goodbye. His mother said, "Never mind he always cries." She added, "Maybe God will help him." I wondered how many times this scene has repeated itself.
 
Immediately I rushed to spread the good news. We were thrilled with the outcome. As if to mock our optimism, however, the phone rang early the next morning. Ayumi had run away the first night. He felt abandoned and betrayed by his mother, who had lied to him promising she would stay there with him. For 24 hours there was no sign of Ayumi.The next day he returned to the shelter on his own. He wants to live at home with his mother, he told them. They gave him a meal, bus fare, and sent him home.
 

Contending for God's Promises

Weariness hit us hard that day. The roller coaster ride of hope with a quick dive to disappointment, followed by a turn towards hope again only to enter a dark tunnel, was seemingly out of control. We were strapped in for the ride and we were not enjoying it. One of my staff came in that afternoon with the negative report. "It's over. There's nothing more to do. They can't take him anymore. He doesn't want to be there.  That's it for him .. ." "Stop!" I said. "It looks bad, yes, but where is our faith? Is God faithful to his promises? Do we believe God sent this boy to us? Why would God send him to us if not to help him?" She listened and started again, "Yes, but . . .what if . . .they reject . . .what if . . " Again, I stopped her. "The circumstances contradict the promise but God is faithful to keep his promises." I encouraged my staff to turn our concerns to prayer. Right there we prayed together for God's will to be done in Ayumi's life. We prayed that God would protect this precious boy. We prayed for his parents.
 
As we finished praying, two staff came running upstairs. "Did you see the rainbow?" The rain had finished and there was a rainbow over our buildings. Beng and I smiled. The rainbow was a sign: God is faithful to his promises.

Ayumi went home and his mother agreed to let him dress like a girl, hoping he would stop running. She doesn't know what else to do. Ayumi is deeply wounded and he needs help. He has become bulimic so that he can stay slender and feminine. A few days ago he ran away again and is back with us as I write this. Phone calls to his parents, the social worker, and the shelter have all left us dry. It seems no one wants Ayumi; its just too hard. The situation looks bad.

In the midst of all the contradicting circumstances, I still believe that God sent Ayumi to us to rescue him from a life of abuse as a ladyboy in the bars of Bangkok. I choose to believe that God is working and will save Ayumi. Will we contend in faith for the obstacles to be removed and for God's will to be done? Will you? I hope that you will intercede on behalf of this precious boy. I can't promise it will be a fun ride. I can't promise immediate success. I can't promise there will be no disappointments. I can confidently declare God's promise:  "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)

Thank you for prayers and support that make it possible to love the women and children who have been rejected and neglected by so many. If you would like to make a donation to support this effort of love, please click here: Donation of Love

It is a difficult journey for many. We count our joys even when all we can do is hold our arms open wide to receive a lost one home again and again. Blessed are you who persevere with us believing and contending for God's promises.

Sincerely,

Annie Dieselberg
NightLight CEO
www.nightlightinternational.com