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The News Not Fit to Print?

A couple of times, I’ve come across a report on the boys rescued from the Thai cave that has focused on how the families have been coping while they waited for news. Each time, the report has emphasised the fervent prayer offered to a local goddess for the boys’ safe return, and a vow that if they came back safely, each boy would become a Buddhist monk. I know what you’re thinking: Buddhists don’t believe in deities, local or otherwise. But leaving that aside, you’d wonder whether they boys were happy with their new career being chosen for them. You can relax: becoming a monk is more like going on a school camp, and after a couple of weeks it’s back to life as normal.

Thai MumBut there’s a problem with the story. It turns out, one of the boys had been rescued once before: he is sponsored through the Christian charity Compassion by Canadians. The church that he is part of was of course praying, and alerted Compassion Canada, so they had their supporters praying too. The church also provided a headquarters for part of the relief effort, billeted and fed some of the rescue workers, and indeed even had one of their members among the first responders. I’m not so sure that every kid in the football team will be having a stint as a Buddhist monk!

The world won’t know that part of the story, and I’m sure it won’t make it into the Hollywood movie. But there are plenty of local Thai people who will know that the Christians fell over themselves to help, offering their time, their money, their food and their prayers. And perhaps, through their compassion, we’ll see more Thais rescued from the darkness yet...

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