May 2002
Maryknoll Lay Missioners Tawny Thanh and Hiep Vu

Maryknoll Lay Missioners Tawny Thanh and Hiep Vu live in Chiang Dao, a city in northern Thailand located near the Burmese border. Here they are offering their skills, friendship and compassion through several ministries.

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The couple teaches in a Catholic school, provides teacher-training courses in computers, and assists the Burmese refugees and ethic tribes that have migrated from southern China and Burma.

They also spend a lot of their time at an orphanage that is the home to many children with HIV/AIDS. And while the children take delight in the joy of a friendly smile and a comforting hug, it is still a place of unbelievable sadness.

" ‘Maybe I’ll die soon,’ " Vic said in a very weak voice to me today, after having been bent over by the severity of his coughing. He is in pain for the last few months fighting with AIDS. He looks small for a nine-year-old. Death for Vic and other kids in this orphanage is so near. A few months ago, he was so healthy, playing happily like all kids should be. After catching a cold, he can never go back to his normal state of health again. Vic is now skin and bones, his shoulders hunch and our ‘walking stick’ begins to talk about dying.

Here in the orphanage," writes Hiep, " we watch the workers care for the kids who have no chance of surviving. Day by day, night by night, they shed tears when one of them gives up life and then they go on caring for others ..."

And Hiep and Tawny can share love and joy with these children, hugs and smiles because our Maryknoll benefactors also care. Your support and prayers keep our lay missioners where they are needed in 14 countries around the world. Thank you for letting them serve Christ by serving the poor.

If you would like to contribute to this effort please make your checks payable to MMAF and send to:
MMAF Promotions
P.O. Box 307
Maryknoll, NY 10545-0307