To make a migrant school lunch:
- Put one scoop of rice into a bowl
- Take a bite-sized piece of meat
- Cut the piece of meat in half
- Put half into the bowl with the rice
- Hand to a hungry child
- Repeat 466 times
Monday evening, we arrived in Mae Sot – a city on the Thailand/Myanmar (Burma) border. Our time here has been jam-packed with learning about the trials of the people in the area and the ministries to reach out to them.
Behind the Mae Sot Foursquare Church is a school for migrant children. At first glance, you wouldn’t recognize it as a school. It’s a group of open-air structures with thatched roofs that house 467 students. The children are here because they aren’t Thai citizens, and thus, not allowed to go to government schools. Even if they were allowed, their parents wouldn’t be able to afford to send them there. They’re from families that have crossed the border from Burma to escape fighting or to earn a better living than what they could get there. The crazy thing is that this “better living” often amounts to $1.50-$3.00 per day!
So, this school has welcomed the children with open arms, and shares with them the love of God in addition to their academic classes. For lunch, the children get a bowl of rice, sometimes with a small bite of meat. Although enrollment is up 50% this year, the budget for food is the same as before. As we spoke with the pastor of the church, Pastor John, he identified the consistent food cost as the biggest need of the school. Not a new building, not more teachers, not any of the myriad of things that American schools are begging for….. just food for the children.
A mere $500 feeds all 467 children lunch for a month.