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Volunteers encounter Jesus in the faces of mountain children

By John Nguyen, Coordinator Heart in Hand

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, 6 August 2020 -- This year, too, in spite of the pandemic the Heart in Hand young adult volunteers are reaching out to the lonely mountain villages. After due formation, preparation and commissioning Mass at the end of July they were sent on their new way with new strength and energy to serve as volunteers for few weeks.

Heart in Hand would like to thank all benefactors, friends, relatives,... for always being with them and support the volunteer group. And in this year of the pandemic, they ask especially for the health of all concerned.

On the social platform the Heart in Hand Volunteers share their mutual enrichment in service to the mountain ethnic young people and children from the isolated mountain villages:

"I am a fellow Hmong, born and raised in the village on a high mountain. My life is attached to stones, grass and insects. My game is ′′ blanket ′′ insects, scratches of modeling soil, planting trees, playing with stones or jumping on terraced fields,...

We and you have traveled dozens of kilometers from town to your place for this summer experience. And to go up to my house, we are lucky to be driven up by you guys on the mountain ramp around about 80 cm, there is a 30 degree spin, there is a slope of 50 degrees, there's a place to go walking because it's slippery. Some of us have been ′′ blue ′′ from the first time we started.

On the first day of this summer camp, we brought some ink pencils sent by our benefactors and some A4 paper for the children to paint. Thinking that you have pencils and colors available. But in reality... though the picture I painted from the ink pen, the shapes I made from the delicate, sharp clay. We are so surprised that these masterpieces are made by your little hands.

I am polite and obedient. You come to our summer class with only sincere heart, eager spirit. I don't have books, nor pen, coloring. It's all about being ′′far from wholesale′′ to me. I said: 'When I finish school, teachers keep it so that the next class kids have stuff to study'. I really like to read books, although my mother's language is not Vietnamese, we need to talk very slowly and clearly every word that they may understand.

You learn to sing so fast and you sing so beautifully, we've been practicing with you a short song that expresses your love to God. And I've been clamming that song all day.

Although we are only 5-12 years old, we already know how to embroid some motifs on canvas or how to make bracelets, bags, or patterns on our traditional costumes. Especially the noses that I embroidered are all according to my imagination and experience without drawing or embroidery frame.

Although we have just been with you just more than one week but we feel that you love us. My family has a lemon tree, I picked some fruits for you; my family grows squash, my mom also asked me to bring it to you; my mom came to play with the sisters, my mom said that I have nothing but sticky rice, so I asked her to come back - I took a bag of sticky rice to bring it to you. There was a delicious strawberry I picked from the forest, I also brought it to you; I made bracelets, I gave you some straps to blend with you..."

And we are glad that this year our Volunteers were featured in the digital YMAGAZINE (Issue: July 2020)

Facebook page of Heart in Hand

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