This is Minh An. He lives with other severely disabled children at Tu Do Hospital in Saigon. Minh's story reflects the full spectrum of the human condition: the horror of war and its devastating aftermath on human lives, juxtaposed with love which transcends borders, cultures, generations and language.
Minh and the children and adults who suffer here in Vietnam are what our Journey of the Heart is all about.
A British woman, Brenda Smith introduced me to Minh An Thursday, a day of piercing heart ache and frustrating impotence for me. Minh, an Amerasian was abandoned at birth and suffers disabilities, in all likelihood caused by the traces of Agent Orange in the gene pool. Most evident is Minh An's skin condition, but he is also physically, visually and mentally challenged. Inside though beats the loving heart of a small boy who loves to laugh.
At the hospital neither Minh An nor the other children in his ward are offered therapy or special education. Brenda has been able, over the years, to encourage Minh's development to the point where we successfully manoeuvred a trip out of the hospital, down the road and to a "mall" for a "Happy Meal". Without words, but a lot of touch, these two brave soldiers, a grandmother and a small boy showed me that kindness and compassion are the stuff of miracles.