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Drugs and odd jobs – The colourful life of a reform school boy

‘Kye’ is an indigenous boy from the west coast of Taiwan. Kye loves singing and writing songs. However, the Reform School is not a place to practice this hobby.

Kye has 10 younger siblings and his dad has other children as well. Both parents have done time in jail. He’s actually only seen his dad twice. His parents divorced because of domestic violence.

Kye was sent to boarding school in Kaohsiung when he started 4th grade. Even during holidays, he didn’t return home. Schoolmates teased him for not having parents.

A colourful and interesting life

Aged 12, Kye began taking drugs. At 14 he began to travel around the island, living independently and picking up odd jobs. When I asked him how would he describe his life, Kye replied, ‘colourful & interesting’.

When I ask him what he would like to do in the future, the answer changes from week to week… redecorating, manual labor… last time we chatted he said he wanted to go to a different city searching for his former girlfriend to win her back.

Kye is coming to the end of his time at the Reform School. Because of his dire family situation, his caseworker can grant him accommodation and possibly an allowance for a few months. After that, he’s on his own. And yet, I feel Kye has been on his own for a very long time.

Our times together

During our times together we always read some of the Bible and pray. Kye is from a Catholic background but is still unclear about the things of God. Kye’s not much of a reader but he’s accepted a Bible portion to read by himself. When it’s time for me to leave, we give each other a big hug which we both appreciate.

Kye confesses that the temptation outside is too much. He’s afraid that bad “friends” will influence him. Kye turned 17 last month.

While Kye’s life journey has been a particularly harrowing one, his story is not unique among the boys here. Pray these young men will cling to the truth of Jesus & find the breakthrough they need.

– Will, Taoyuan Reform School

(Northern Taiwan)

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