Anita was a beautiful woman, alone in her young age, she was left like a wave of the sea, tossed to and fro by people who cared little for her. It was a miracle of grace that many of you, dear friends in Malaysia and Indonesia would impose yourself into her life, to rescue her from something that she could never escape. She was one lost soul among many, with no hope of ever being rescued. In mercy each of you wanted to do for her what she could not do for herself. You heard her cry and helped her. Yes, it’s sad news that Anita and her baby Hope is gone but it is that everyone will not experience her victory.

I am writing this, an obituary to Anita and her baby, Hope. It is a testimony. In many ways Anita lived a tragic life. She was born in poverty, in a small Kampong in Kalimantan, Indonesia and not able to go to school. When she was 9 years, she came to work across the border, in Serian, Sarawak Malaysia but was physically abused by her employers. Couldn’t withstand the constant physical abuse in her small fragile body she ran away but was caught up by the employment agents where she endured more beating till she had bad back injuries that caused her much pains in later years.

Looking for love, in May 2012 at 23 years old she married her husband. He died 1 year later, which did not make Anita’s life any better. All she ever wanted was to be loved and protected by someone, but the man she chose to give her what she desired is gone. Anita began to live a life of a single mother and was forcibly chased out of the house, she and her baby by the late husband first wife. She was stabbed on her back with a sharp object which caused more injuries to her bad back. Anita with her 15 months old baby girl, Hope, was homeless, sleeping in the street of Sarawak until the baby girl was admitted to Sarawak General Hospital with severe and life threatening illness. Anita went back to work helping out in a coffee shop until she has to stop to attend to baby Hope full time due to her weakening body.

They went back to their kampong in Kalimantan Indonesia but have to travel monthly for hospital appointment in Sarawak GH. This is a costly and very uncomfortable 6 hours journey that begins at 5am. In that early hour Anita would carry her baby to get on a motorcycle taxi (Odjek) to get to the border post when the gates open at 6am. From there it’s another 4 – 5 hours journey in a small mini bus like those who had experience it before in the early days of Kuala Lumpur. But in these mini bus, Anita and her baby will encounter those who smoke inside the bus and causing much discomfort to baby Hope who will be crying not just of discomfort but because of the pain her very weak body was experiencing. Anita was carrying her baby with her bad back but she was determined to get the best medical care for her baby despite of the tough challenges. For the next 2 years her baby girl has been hospitalized a few more times until she died at a very young age 3 years on 30 January 2016.

Anita seemed to never get what she hope for. How many of us have received the life we dreamed or hoped to receive? Anita at 9 years old left home and family, hoping to find a better life, only to be confronted with disappointments. She was battered and bruised because of people, life, and circumstances that are beyond her control. She was a hurting soul and lives a life in quiet desperation. What she did receive from each of you who knows her or heard of her, was far better than what she ever imagined. A new life begins. She learns to laugh. Pain is swallowed up in victory. Disappointment is confounded.

Dear friends, if I could bring Anita and talk to you now and for you to embrace/hugs her with your loves, she would want you to know, thank you for being there for her and her baby girl, Hope. To many who have sent messages, thank you for your kind words and encouragement. You are amazing. It has been a joy to serve you in this caring work and it has been even more joy to be served by you during such time. I was told me a long time ago I would not get everything I wanted in life, but what I would get would far surpass all of my disappointments. This is the main lesson I have learned. “It’s worth it all.” What each of you did in caring and loving Anita and baby Hope blow my mind. It makes you and I, human. Thank you

Each of us are picked by The Almighty God to love, serve and care. My prayer is for this message to go forth in the hope that many hurting people will come to know a “friend”. And as in my very good and dear friend (Mona) words, “May this be a reminder to all of us that our work is not done and that there is more Anita and baby Hope who needs all the help we can give”. Lastly, thanks the many friends and strangers in Malaysia and Indonesia in this journey together. Many I have not met. There are no strangers in this world, only friends we have yet to meet.

Dear Anita,
It was hard, wasn’t it? You received some of life’s harshest blows. But because of the divine mercy of Almighty God, you were picked by Him and yours and baby Hope lives have touched many people in different ways. Rest well. Hug baby Hope and let her know that we love her.
Your friend,
Isaac Tan

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