A small, square slab decorated with beautiful flowers around it, always grabbed my attention in my early years. It was hung above the entrance door of my home. I always admired the beautiful colors and often asked my grandmother what’s written on it. She used to tell me that it was written “Home Sweet Home”. I inquired why that was hung above the entrance door. She told me that God had blessed that home by giving her all of us and it’s sweet because we were all living happily. I very keenly learned to read so I could read that phrase myself. Home is the first spellings which I learned by heart. I loved my childhood as there was love everywhere. There were rules which I never felt offended because I know that was for my benefit. I felt so contented and relaxed whenever I was at home. It was in my mind that once I was inside my home, no external bad powers could hurt me. It was my fort.
This was in my home country where my family and I were spending our lives freely and happily. One day some bad guys intruded our home and destroyed everything. We had to flee our own home and later our country. It was very hard for me to understand all that so my parents told me that we were here only for the vacation. I started enjoying myself but after some time I started missing my house, family, school, friends, food and my toys but the most I missed was my parrot (Mithu) which we had bought a year earlier. I had created a great bond with him. Mithu loved to sit on my shoulder and head, and loved to preen my hair. I still wish, he would fly to me.
With time, I learned that there is no returning. It was a shock to know about everything. At that time I came close to God and seek help and guidance from Him in everything. This was a new phase of my life. At first, I didn’t like the way of living here. I couldn’t accept one room as a home. It seemed more like a guest room. But gradually I started enjoying this all. I loved the time we spend and do things together. Then I understand that home is the place where your family is, regardless of things and space. I was very thankful to God that I and my sister were safe in our small home with our parents.
One day everything changed. There was a knock at our door, early morning. We were still in bed. Then without waiting for us to open the door the immigration police broke into our room and started slapping and pushing my father. I was traumatized and started to cry. One officer approached me and started shaking my shoulder and was about to slap me but looking at my face asked my age. When I told him that I was thirteen, he left me. They pushed us out of our home, without letting us close the door behind us. They took us downstairs and pushed in the police van. Later that evening, by the Grace of our Almighty God, my family was released but this whole incident has shattered me down. It took me many days to overcome this. A couple of months have passed but still, I couldn’t relax in my room. Whenever anybody passes outside my room I become alert. Now there is no word like relaxation and safety in my life. I wonder if there is any place where we could live safely and peacefully. Sometimes I wish, my Lord Jesus Christ to come and take us to His home. Where we will be with Him forever.
Sharoon J. came to Thailand when he was seven-years-old. His mother always reads stories to him before going to bed at night. His favorite one was Hansel and Gretel. He loved the way the brother and sister helped each other solve a problem. With the passage of time, Sharoon’s mother encouraged him to write summary of the stories. He disliked it at first and tried to cheat from his sister, but she encouraged him to write on his own. Gradually, he learned to write a paragraph. After that he started writing his own diary which made him relaxed. He love animals and is always ready to learn new things about them. His favorite animals are dogs and parrots and he prays to God to settle his family soon so he could have them. He knows they would help him to heal fast from all these suffering.
Sharoon’s essay won first-place in the 10-13 year-old category in the 2020 Bangkok Refugee Young Writer’s Contest. This year’s theme centered around the word, HOME.