Ei Zin spent her life being told she wasn't good enough. Her mother often towered over her as a child, telling her she was a “mistake”, a “worthless child” and a “burden”. To help her family escape medical debt caused by her mother’s heart condition, she worked as hard as she could to earn money for her family while also studying in school. However, she was not able to make enough money so her mother sold her virginity when she was 14. Ei Zin felt like she had no respect, no voice, and no boldness. Although she was at the top of her class, she left school. She felt too ashamed. Ei Zin’s mother kept telling her to bring money into the house because “a good daughter supports the family”.
So, Ei Zin tried to get a job in a factory. As a 15-year-old, she boldly walked into a large factory and was given a job. Things were looking up. But Ei Zin’s mother was never proud of her daughter. She never thanked or praised her, she never showed love or affection. Ei Zin tried to work as best as she could in order to keep her job, but then, as factories across the city began to close one by one, hers did too, and she lost her job.
Ei Zin tried to be bold. She searched for days for a job. She couldn’t bear to return home and tell her mother that she was unemployed. She went from factory to factory. She went to restaurants and tea houses, but no one would take her. She returned home, her head hanging low, and she plucked up the courage to tell her mother that she couldn't find anything. Upon hearing this, her mother stood up from her chair and shouted at Ei Zin. She told her that she was the most worthless child a mother could get. She told her that she would never amount to anything and forever be a burden. Ei Zin couldn't speak. She knew she had to get a job, no matter the cost. She had heard about a job at a Karaoke bar from her friends, so at 16 she started to work there.
When she arrived at the KTV, she was taken to the beauty room and dressed in provocative clothing that made her feel uncomfortable. She felt sick and couldn't look at herself in the mirror. The KTV owner and some of the girls scowled at her. Once she was dressed and had her make-up put on, the KTV owner looked at her lustfully, his eyes sparkling, she tried to look away and think about something else, but she couldn't. Then Ei Zin started to experience flashbacks of how her mother had sold her, she felt overwhelmed, confused and abandoned. She was enslaved by debt, trapped in a reality far from what she had hoped for to try and win her mother’s approval. She wanted so desperately to speak up for herself but instead she swallowed her dignity and made her heart numb to the future.
This continued for months until a customer made a deal with the KTV owner to buy Ei Zin. The man paid Ei Zin large amounts of money for her to be with him and his friends. She wanted to escape so badly but knew that her mother would be happy with this money. But Ei Zin’s mother wasn't content and she wanted more. So Ei Zin began to stand on the street corner with the other girls, selling her body at age 18. After months of losing her boldness and courage, being suppressed and silenced, she heard about a new drop-in center that had opened in the area. She heard they were offering vocational training. ‘Was it too good to be true?’ she thought. Ei Zin decided to go to the drop-in center, with an inkling of hope growing in her heart.
When Ei Zin walked into the drop-in center and joined the vocational training, she was filled with joy and hope for her future. And after going there for a few weeks, she asked if she could join the Eden program and we said yes!
But Ei Zin was torn between two lives. One where she got large amounts of money to please her mother but was abused daily, and one where she followed her passion to start her own business and learn new skills. She didn’t know what to do. Then she took a bold step forward and left her former life far behind her. She told her mother that she was going to learn new skills and follow her passions. Her mother was furious and shouted and scolded her. Ei Zin wanted so badly to make her mother happy, but she knew that it would cost her everything. Ei Zin knew that she had potential, value and purpose in life and she didn't want to waste it. So, she came to Eden.
Ei Zin showed an interest in sales and marketing, so the Eden sales team took her under their wing and started to train her. Through her incredible gift of craft, she started designing new marketing products and is now joining the Eden Jewelry sales team at their events! She now sells jewelry to Burmese movie stars and celebrities, is filled with boldness and no longer held back by shame and guilt.
It took such boldness and courage for Ei Zin to leave her old life behind. No matter how much money she made, no matter how much it made others happy, she had to do this for herself. She needed to show herself that she is bold and courageous. Although everyone around her showered her with discouragement, she refused to believe the lies, and she took a step of boldness to leave her old life behind and step into new beginnings; to show herself that she is not worthless, that she has value, that she is bold and courageous.
It takes boldness and courage to leave your former life. It often feels impossible to leave old patterns and fears behind. It is only through taking that bold step forward into new beginnings and through forgiving those from the past and forgiving ourselves that true transformation, liberty, and hope can be discovered. Ei Zin now speaks up for those who cannot speak for themselves.