June 23, 2018 began like any other for most people around the world, but it turned into one of the most challenging ordeals for a group of young boys and an unforgettable story of our times. 

 That evening, after a game of football, a team of 12 Thai local teenage boys called the Wild Boars and their young coach, headed to spend an hour at their favourite Tham Luang Nang Non or the Great Cave of the Sleeping Lady.  Little did they know, that what was supposed to be just an hour-long trek would turn into a survival and rescue mission that lasted weeks. The boys were trapped within the cave system, as it had filled up with water from the ongoing rains.

 Over the next few weeks, their families would wait endlessly, their friends would gather around the entrance to sing and pray for them and the entire world media would descend on the site with camera crews, minute-by-minute updates, analysis and predictions that would send their TRPs through the roof and their viewers into a panicked frenzy.

 Everyone prayed, waited with bated breath and then waited some more.

 But far from all this chaos, deep within the belly of the Sleeping Woman, were the Wild Boars. They had somehow moved deeper into an enclosure where they were miraculously able to stay alive and dry, with just enough light from their torches, just enough air coming through the porous rocks and just enough water dripping through the mountain crevices. Above all, they had each other and their coach who guided them to remain calm. While the world outside just a few hundred meters away was drowned in the chaos of their rescue, these trapped boys meditated their way to survival.


Unknown to the Wild Boars, an army of volunteers from around the world were at work to rescue them; hundreds of expert divers, medical personnel and rescue workers coordinated their efforts while countless locals helped in uncountable ways.


Then on July 1st, after nearly 2 weeks, the divers managed to reach the boys and began the process of bringing them out, swimming and trekking back and forth for each one, often carrying them on their backs. Finally, on 10th July, they were able to get the last one out.


It takes a village to raise a child. It often takes many villages to rescue one that’s lost. It couldn’t have been truer in the case of the Tham Luang rescue.

The Wild Boars were carted off to safety and the Sleeping Lady was left to recover her space in peace.


While this story was one for the history books, it has many life lessons. We’ve all been there, in “trapped–in-a-cave” kind of situations, where there seems to be no way out and trying to escape only gets us deeper and more entangled than ever. A place from where rescue seems impossible, barely able to breathe or see the light or quench our parchedness.  


And yet, it is at this exact juncture when the feelings of despair and hopelessness start to kick, that hope is also born, a reassurance that rescue is on the way, no matter what.


When we look back at these times, there’s always evidence to show that God had provided us with just enough for those trapped times. Just enough light, just enough water and just enough air to carry us through till He brings us out and reveals to us the army of people He mobilized just to rescue us. 


Fatima Payman, an Australian senator recounted the struggles of her father from leaving them behind in war-torn Afghanistan, to finding his way to Australia, working multiple jobs to earn their sponsorship, and passing away before seeing her elected in a foreign land. Despite decades of unimaginable hardships, she recalled him often saying, “Hope is an amazing thing”.


Hope can only stem from a place of complete brokenness and indeed, hope is an amazing thing.


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