“Papa, can my hand be as it once was?”
Chin Chin’s question stung Sonny Luai’s heart every time he heard it. “I do not know how to respond to her,” Sonny admitted as he tried to help me feel his anguish. My eyes told me enough, however, as I glanced uncomfortably at Chin Chin’s right arm that was missing a hand, and the scars that disfigured her beautiful face.
Chin Chin is the daughter of Sonny’s brother, but Sonny cares for her now as his own. She became an orphan when her parents divorced. Tragically, neither wanted a disfigured daughter whose appearance perpetually reminded them of a horrifying day they wanted to forget.
As a two-month-old infant, Chin Chin’s mother often carried her in a cloth sling as she went about her daily chores, as do most Burmese mothers. One evening, however, as Chin Chin’s mother was cooking over a small fire, she suffered a seizure and fell unconscious into the flames—with her baby.
In broken English, Sonny reluctantly recalled to me the rest of the story: “As long as her mother was in the fire unconsciously, Chin Chin also was in the fire, crying without knowing that she was being burned. In that time, there was no one around them to help. When her mother came back to her consciousness, she picked Chin Chin up from fire. She had been burnt so severely that she was like dead baby. We did not think that she would be survived. We prayed for her death. I wanted her to be died instead of surviving with that deadly pain and suffering.”
Since they lived in a remote village near the border with India, there were no hospitals or clinics where Chin Chin and her mother could receive medical attention. Although Chin Chin’s injuries were severe, Sonny told me that her grandmother did what she could, laying the baby “on banana leaf and cure her patiently for a long time. Miraculously she was healed though she has gone through that terrible and deadly suffering.” Because of her miraculous survival, Sonny often says, “God has a special plan for her for His glory.”
When I met Chin Chin last November during my visit to Myanmar, I could tell there was something special about her. Her bright smile and the twinkle in her eyes revealed a beautiful spirit beneath all her scars. As I watched her sing worship songs to the Lord, her pure little heart melted mine. Sonny told me that Chin Chin excels in school and loves to read and memorize her Bible.
We’re hoping to help Chin Chin and the other precious children at Beulah Orphanage with a new home to replace the little shack where they now live. For more details, see The Bigger Picture below.