Aja's Story

This is one of a series of posts written by Jaime Garcia, a young missionary who we have partnered with for some work in Thailand.

Within the congested city center of Chiang Rai, Thailand, resided a young boy named Aja. Throughout his meaningless childhood, he worked as a service station boy. Many like him, were well acquainted with the oppression and dangers of being a pump boy. Corporate gas stations usurped hundreds of young, uneducated boys to become pump helpers. Aja’s bare necessities were barely met by the measly wage. A decade later, he found himself still slaving at the station. His desolate future began to etch painfully into his soul. The vanity of the whole affair created an acute sensation of meaninglessness. He despaired, and longed for something, anything at all, other than endlessly rushing petrol into drivers’ vehicles. His heart was sick, yet his mind was brimming with dreams.
Aja, his daughter, wife and mother outside their home they hope to replace
Around this time, Aja found a wife and they were blessed with two children. He felt as if he could only persist a little longer at the petrol station. Something had to change. During this time, God heard his cries, and showed compassion on this young family. Out of the thousands of Akha in Thailand, Aja’s family was one of the few selected by the Mae Faa Luang Royal Venture. He gladly left his gas pump and relocated to the new coffee farming village, high in the mountains. His children were granted their public education at the newly built school. In addition, the government made many provisions for him to become self-sufficient, mainly through producing high demand organic coffee. The government encouraged them to become fully 'paw piang,' or self-sufficient. Never the less, there was a problem.

Within several years of planting their five-thousand coffee plants, they were struck by a great predicament! The yield of their plants was minuscule, barely enough for them to eke out an existence. They needed something, some “Nitro”, so to speak, to ignite greater growth and a higher quantity of beans. About this time, they heard of the ministry of FARMS and sought their help. With their newly approved loan, they set out to buy a large supply of fertilizer. These added nutrients enabled their coffee plants to reach their full potential.

Now, he sells his bountiful crop to a government cooperative that contracts to buy all their organic coffee beans at a relatively stable and good price. The Lord continues to bless their harvests, and they are now saving up to build a modest new home on their property.

Jaime Garcia


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