With Open Arms

A simple invitation I sent out to different organizations offering my services as a volunteer. To my surprise, Aids Baby Centre (ABC) accepted my invitation. On May 8, I arrived at Chiangmai from Vancouver, BC, Canada. I received a warm welcome from Ricky, Lay Hwa, and ABC Staff. The ABC children, all seven of them received me as well with open arms.

Care Corner NewsletterKnowing not a single word of Thai, I wonder how I will communicate with the staff and children. It will be a challenge for all of us without Ricky, Lay Hwa and Jeremy to serve as my interpreter. One thing I learnt pretty fast was “Gin Khaaw” meaning “let’s eat!”

To fully communicate with each other, we went beyond words. Using our own language sometimes is impossible to communicate with each other unless both of us have the intention of understanding. One thing they have is this incredible sense of humor. No matter how absurd we sound to each other, we have the capacity to share laughter.

One afternoon, Yao, Sanden and I were having conversational English. I asked them what ABC provides to the children. Sanden replied room, board and lodging. Yao added food, clothing and medication. And I asked what else? They thought silently and Yao exclaimed, “Love!” And that’s what ABC exactly gives them.

At ABC, I saw joy, courage, compassion, faith, charity, and love. I thought I will be helping them, in turn; it was Ricky, Lay Hwa, the staff and children of ABC who taught me the basic humanity. Nothing as long as I live will be ever more important. It’s a humbling experience.

May God bless them.

Care Corner Thailand News Letter dated June 2, 1998.

23 thoughts on “With Open Arms

  1. You truly are an angel on earth. To take the leap of faith (literally) and volunteer at a completely foreign place. It is with great love that you were safe and was able to share your love. What an amazing and I agree with you – life changing experience you had.

  2. Exactly what is more needed in Van, more open arms and welcoming the right way, I mean that’s what Vancouver is supposed to have the reputation for right?

    I see you removed the like button 🙂

    • There are pockets of welcoming area in here such as The Opern Door. And I find it friendly except Downtown.

      The like button reminds me of Facebook. I read so many sites that comments are welcome but no like buttons..

      Comments are more important in my opinion. Thanks, Andy.

      • o.. m.. g.. what the h***!!? regardless of how the employee felt about the homeless that was completely unnecessary and not warranted! Tim Horton’s is supposed to signify Canadian pride too

      • In some ways, you are right. It’s an obligation of the employer to “Mind Your Manners” and provide training since they are on the business industry. Or any kinds of employers. Unless it’s the culture in that particular franchise. This just makes me angry!

      • It makes anyone and everyone angry, I wonder though, was it partially leadership or lack of? where was the supervisor? and why did employees not intervene? if it was a group? then oh man you can be sure there’ll be a public outcry.

      • Ha! I can’t wait for what the media will say about this. I will join the public in defense of the marginalized society. Thank you, Andy.

        Hey, better spend some family time with your daughter. Going out to take the kids on a field trip. Wowwhieeee…. 🙂

      • I wish I could spend time with my kiddo, she’s with her mom on the weekdays so I’m at work, blah! where are you all going? 🙂

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