Out of the Filth

by - 3:28:00 PM

So, there's this flower that grows in Vietnam (I'm sure it grows other places, too, but I saw it in Vietnam). As we passed it, my uncle informed us that the flower is considered holy, for lack of a better word. It is revered as this due to the fact that it grows from the muck and filth (places most plants could not survive) and becomes beautiful.

While in Vietnam we had the opportunity to visit orphanages. The third we visited, the one in Ho Chi Minh City, provided experiences and lessons I will never be able to forget.

This stop proved to be one of the cleanest orphanages we had been to. Now, mind you, there were still multiple babes in a bed, and it was not the best living conditions-but, the staff was trying their best, and the spirit felt there was incredible.

It was only when we left that we discovered the story behind the owner. She had been an orphan herself, found when she was only an infant. After being taken in by two different couples (which, neither situation worked out) she lived on the street-buying and selling real-estate at an insanely young age. Still a child herself, she found an orphan girl living on the street and took her in. Eventually, she had over a hundred children in her care-through her own funding with the money she had earned.

My Grandma visited this same orphanage about two years ago, and that's how she found it-with just over a hundred children, (some handicapped-who will remain in her care for life), and no capacity to take more. The owner was devastated to find that she had to begin to refuse children-as it was out of her control. One such child, who had a handicap, was regretfully told there was no room. When the mother of the child heard her daughter would not be accepted, she waited until the middle of the night and threw her precious daughter over the fence.

Now, when we were fortunate to visit this blessed place, there are now over 370 children in the care of this remarkable lady; each one of them calls her "Mom." She now has separate wings for infants, babies, toddlers, etc. The help is done by volunteers, most of whom once lived under the care of "Mom."
Recently diagnosed with Leukemia, with about one year left to live, the final wish of this woman is to see 2 more buildings completed in her orphanage.

Born and raised in the lowest of low, the muck and the filth-if you will, this woman has made herself, her life, and countless other lives beautiful.
This beautiful baby is one that can be found in her care. I can't imagine it's more than a month old. I fell in love the moment I laid eyes on this gorgeous child; letting go was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. All I could do was pray; pray that this child, born in the lowest of circumstances can make it's life beautiful.

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  1. I love it . . . what a perceptive, sweet post.

  2. Thank you for telling this story, seriouly. Write it up and send it to the Ensign. Or at the very least those of us who teach Sunday School to 13 year olds that need some modern day success stories.