Nima had to leave school at 16 because his family couldn’t afford the fees for high school. He helped around the family farm for a few years, while looking in vain for other employment.
During this time he met Tsemo, who had also dropped out of school. They fell in love and soon Tsemo became pregnant, so their families promptly arranged a wedding. Nima had heard about the opportunities for making good money in eastern China. So, once Tsemo had given birth to a baby girl, he set out east to a city three days’ train journey from their Central Tibetan homeland, and soon found a job in a factory there. Nima’s ‘success’ convinced Tsemo to join him the following year. Their little daughter was left with Nima’s parents.
Today, Nima and Tsemo still work in the factory in eastern China. They now have two children, 8 and 5 years old, being raised by the aging grandparents. Nima and Tsemo try to visit at New Year, but it’s a grueling journey and they can’t stay for very long. Year-by-year the parent-child bond becomes weaker. But at least they’re saving up money so that their kids will be able to get a decent education and have opportunities that Nima and Tsemo never had.
Skylands has many “left-behind children” being raised by grandparents or other family members while the children’s parents find work in East Asia’s burgeoning cities. In many cases, couples like Nima and Tsemo feel like they have no other choice if they wish to provide a good life for their children. Still, research has shown that family separation can have substantial adverse effects on the cognitive development and psychological well being of the children. Much wisdom and prayer is needed to help Skylands families.
Will you pray for Tibetan Buddhist Peoples?
- The health and well being of “left-behind children,” despite the pain of separation that they face.
- More and more parents who migrate elsewhere for work to find ways of taking their children with them.
- “Left-behind children” to come to know the love of Christ Jesus and adoption into God’s family.