On this particular day, he came across a little boy about 5 or 6 years of age. The boy was crying and dejected. His little brother, who was about 3 years old, was with him. Rev. Park stopped and spoke to the children. He could tell they were not used to being on the streets. The older boy shared that his mother had gone away and when she did not come back, their father went out to look for her. It had been about four days since he left and they had no place to live and no food to eat. A Lebanese man allowed them to sleep on his back porch for a night or two, and gave them some food, but after they wet their bedding, they were not allowed to return.
The older boy found a protected place behind a billboard where they could sleep. They were hungry. Other than what the Lebanese man had given them, they had been eating scraps and some uncooked rice that they had in their pockets when their father left. Rev. Park gave the boys some food and water.
Kathi’s parents would gladly have taken them in, but they knew that if their father returned, he would have no way of finding them. He told the boys that they should remain at that location and that he would check on them every day and provide them with food. Sometimes the older boy would go with him on his rounds in his truck, but the three-year-old always stayed behind the billboard. Every night the older boy rejoined his younger brother.
About three weeks after Rev. Park first encountered the children, the older boy excitedly greeted him with the announcement that he wanted to introduce him to his daddy who had returned. He was a very nice man and very grateful for the care his children had received. Sadly, his wife had been killed by the rebels.
The man had secured a room for himself and his two boys. He took Rev. Park to the room, which was completely bare; all he had was a key to the door. Kathi’s father provided him with two mattresses, a cooking pot, some rice, and a few miscellaneous supplies.
He stayed in touch with the father, and one day asked if he could put the older boy in school. The man quickly agreed. Rev. Park took him to St. Simon Baptist Church and enrolled him in their school. He paid the tuition and uniform fees, and provided four rolls of toilet paper and a chair, as required by the school. The boy’s father found work but was still able to care for his younger son.
About a year later, the man, who was from the Bassa tribe, decided to move his family to a village where his relatives lived. Rev. Park never saw them or heard from them again.
These two young boys survived until their own father could return and continue caring for them because of the care provided by Kathi’s father.
A belated Happy Father’s Day to all you dads!