Stories from the Field – Silver Lining Orphanage
by Joshua Yeung
International worker with Silver Lining
“A Ge, dad is missing.” These were the words 5-year-old Rachel told her 7-year-old Paul three years ago; their drug-addicted father had abandoned them.
Unfortunately stories like these are ones echoed by many of our children in our Myanmar orphanage. Opium abuse is a common theme in Myanmar and many of our orphans are exposed to it at a young age. These two siblings watched as their father came home moody and in a different state of mind on many occasions. They have few memories with him but still long for the day when he will return to them.
With no financial support from their family, Paul and Rachel’s mother decided to work at a construction site. She did this in order to provide food and clothes for her children but it wasn’t enough. Recently the two sibling’s mother had a major surgery, which required a certain amount of time for rest and recovery to take place. Instead she rushed back to work and contracted a very serious disease caused by exhaustion and passed away shortly after.
Already abandoned by their father, their mother was the last family member left in the world the siblings cared for. Paul and Rachel were orphans. The siblings remember days where they wouldn’t have enough to eat in their now empty home.
A pastor heard about Paul and Rachel’s story and invited them to live at the church where they stayed until coming to the Silver Lining Family Village eight months ago! One day after school Rachel started complaining about stomach pain. When our staff took her to the hospital the doctors discovered that she had a hole in her stomach. They told us this condition is common in individuals who have previously dealt with starvation and malnutrition. Thankfully hospital staff were able to conduct a successful surgery to fix the hole the very same day!
Now Rachel is fully healthy, going to school, playing with friends, and no longer has to worry about going hungry. These siblings can be children once more and their smiles prove just how strong they are.