How would it be to sleep all alone in a pigpen? How would it be to be only four years old and not know what happened to the rest of your family and all your neighbors in your village? How would it be to only eat what scraps were left after the pigs had eaten?
Hopefully none of us know how this would be. Hopefully none of us have experienced it.
I know a girl experienced it.
Her name is Naw Moo Kapaw. Her name means Bright Fragrance. Many years ago I met Naw Moo Kapaw when she
had just arrived at an orphanage Partners supported. Her story touched me deeply. The caretaker of the orphanage, Rose, shared her story with me. “We don’t know where her family is or what happened to them,” she said. “Naw Moo Kapaw was found by some of our soldiers and they brought her here. She is not able to talk much. I think it is the shock of losing everything.”
On our visits to the children’s home, Naw Moo Kapaw used to sit on my wife’s lap and cuddle with her while playing with a blue stuffed animal. In time she started to speak and blossomed into the home comedian. She would often observe something funny, say it under her breath, and the 67 children living with her would follow with laughter.
Two years ago a man showed up at the children’s home where Naw Moo Kapaw lived. He told the story of how his village had been attacked by the Burma Army and he had to run
for his life, carrying his children, food and supplies with him as he ran. While running he realized he had too much to carry and as he sprinted by his pig pen, impulsively pushed his oldest daughter inside, telling her to hide, keep quiet, and he would come back for her as soon as he could.
When he returned, his oldest daughter was gone. He was heartbroken. Thinking she may still be alive, he wandered from village to village looking for her, asking if anyone had seen his daughter, but no one had news of her. Finally he began to travel along the border asking after her in the refugee camps until one day, he showed up at Rose Mu’s home.
When he asked if any child matched the story he told, Naw Moo Kapaw was called, came to the porch where her father stood inquiring, and looked into his eyes. At once they recognized each other and embraced, tears streaming down their faces.
I just heard how her father found her last week. Now, they are back in Burma. Still poor and destitute, and still
displaced from their home, but together!
It blessed me to hear this story. So often stories in Burma don’t have happy endings, but this one does. It makes me proud that we were able to care for Naw Moo Kapaw all these years while her dad was looking for her. I am so glad that their family is now able to celebrate Christmas together.
All over Burma are children who have needs like Naw Moo Kapaw had. Many are orphaned. Thousands are not able to go to school. Hundreds of thousands are always hungry. Millions need to know that they are loved and not forgotten.
Look at our gift catalog to get an idea of the kinds gifts you can place into the hands of a loved one this Christmas– of things you can do to show God’s love to the children of Burma.
Love can be said in many ways, and in many different languages. But even though the words we use for love are different, the meaning is still the same. Your gift is one way to show the children of Burma, children like Bright Fragrance, that love is alive.
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27