Life is a long story.
These are the words written by ‘Tung’, one of the boys of Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation in Vietnam. He’s a boy who has been abandoned by his family; repeatedly lied to by his parents; sexually abused by dozens of men, both Vietnamese and international; and fed with meth to dull his pain and keep him subservient.
But he’s also a boy who has decided, against all likelihood of success, to not let his life be defined by these afflictions. Over the course of the past 9 months, Tung has broken free of the paedophile rings in Hanoi that enslaved him in psychological chains. He has begun studying in alternative education programs. More recently, he has even started playing games and taking part in sports and enjoying music – all things that any other 15 year old boy would consider normal, but which for Tung are miracles beyond belief.
When I read Tung’s simple Facebook statement – Life is a long story – I knew it was time to get back into writing. For 10 years I wrote my blog about Vietnamese street kids and the stories and issues of the extraordinary young people I met through my work at Blue Dragon. Now it is time to start over, this time around sharing more of the stories that inspire, educate, and enlighten me: stories of young people overcoming unbelievable odds and finding goodness in the darkest places.
Life is a long story, filled with unpredictable mixes of sorrow and joy. It’s a story that goes on well beyond our own imaginations and mortalities.