Earthpeace Monument | Pilgrim Stories - Elaine and Paul Lewis
A contemporary Yule marble sculpture symbolizing the dove nestling a bronze globe inscribed with Peace in 50 languages recognizing generations of lives lived in service to promote peace in the US and around the world
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Elaine and Paul Lewis

Thai Girl’s Horror Results in Safe House

The Lewis’s Call Her Daughter

Families lived in constant fear for their children. Some even dug tunnels from one house to another for safety.  Norco, girl of our story, had witnessed the rape and murder of her best friend.  The friend’s father had seen it, too and was unable to recover from it.

Elaine and Paul Lewis stared in shock when they looked in the door of the hospital room.  It was hard to recognize Norco, a little ten year old girl of the Lahu people, they’d met once before.  She was still on the gurney, covered with blood, some of it still oozing from her neck.  It had been slashed from side to side.  Her eyes were open, but she didn’t see them.  She was trying to make a sound, but none came.  They visited her every day and talked to her, encouraging her, praying for her.  She became stronger, able to write in her notebook they’d brought with a bright shiny pencil.  Her story, as they read it, made them weep inside.  She, her mother and two brothers had ventured far from their house to get some food.  They had to camp one night on the way back.  As they were eating, two men came to their campfire.  Strangers, but of their Lahu people.  So, Norco’s mother gave them some food and they left.  When Norco woke the next morning, she felt a weight across her stomach.  It was her dead brother.  His throat had been slashed.  She saw his blood, in horror, she looked further and saw her mother and other brother.  Both were dead.  Their throats had been cut, too.  “The men had come back”, wrote Norco.  Miraculously, someone found her and brought her to the hospital before she bled to death.  Norco grew stronger each day and was glad to sit up and even to walk.  But she  felt so lost and alone.  She did look forward to the Lewis’s visit, but now that she was better, what was going to happen to her?  She no longer had family.  She was afraid.  One day, the doctor smiled and said she was well enough to leave and that he had a surprise.  Paul and Elaine came in and opened their arms to Norco. The doctor had forged papers making them guardians and they had come to take her to their home.  She grew stronger and secure in their love.  She even helped Elaine build “New Life Center”- a safe home for girls to live in, to go to school and to learn a trade.  It still operates today having saved thousands of Lahu girls.  And Norco has been the daughter Paul and Elaine wanted.  Pilgrims have come to know Norco as she visits there often.  With a mechanical devise she is able to “speak” some.

Paul and Elaine came in and opened their arms to Norco

Paul gives Elaine the credit for building “New Life Center”.  With a PHD in Anthropology,

He has been great help to the Akha people.  He translated the bible (for first time) into both Lahu and Akha, as well as Religious and Educational literature.  In a video, one of his students of the Theological School he started, spoke for other students: “Before Paul Lewis came, we were ashamed to be Akha.  Now, we are proud to be Akha since he taught us that Jesus said all of us are important.  We didn’t even know we could vote.  Now we hold our heads high and are proud to be Akha!  Though an older Pilgrim, Paul consults via computer with both the Lahus and Akhas daily.

– by Constance Waddell

Elaine and Paul Lewis