Thursday, July 2, 2009

An Unbearable Day Of Heat in Cambodia

What a day! The heat and humidity never let up, and intensifies by midday. Rahab's house has a tin roof which just conducts the heat more. Its like we're in a sauna for six hours. My skin looks great except for the itchy heat rash I have on my chest.

Today at Rahab's house a doctor came and set up a free clinic for the community. By 2pm the place was packed with kids and adults waiting for the doctor. It created more chaos and heat. Some of the girls from Agape who've been rescued came today and did a craft with the kids. Its a miracle to see what God is doing to restore these girls from their horrendous ordeals.

A counselor who's been working at Rahab's house for the past six months with the children has been telling us some of their stories. Today she pointed out a young girl and her sister who began coming about two months ago. The day they came, this counselor (her name is withheld to protect her) was telling a story of a racoon who had the most terrible thing happen to him. This was the first time the children heard that what was happening to them was wrong. These two girls began to cry. Later they told one of the translators that they were sold every night. The one girl lifted up her skirt to show the long claw marks from the night before that a man had done to her.

Some of the children are drugged with meth to keep them awake all night so they can work, which is why they're so sleepy during the day.

Today one of the little boys, Borin, went home after the morning session where his aunt beat him severely. He came back to Rahab's house and was too afraid to go home again. So he had lunch with us. The parents believe good discipline is beating their children. They are the most neglected, starving for love and affection human beings Í've ever met. They hang on to us constantly soaking up our love and affection, something they don't receive from their parents. The children take care of the babies, carrying them around all day. They don't wear diapers and so we're always hoping we're not the ones to get peed on that day!

The Cambodians sell their children to the brothels, but the Vietnamese sell their children out of their homes. The counselor told us that this past December a nurse came to do gynecological checks on the girls in a vietnamese community near where she lives. The nurse found 37 girls who'd been raped brutally evidenced by the vaginal scars they had. Their mothers pack their daughter's vaginal area with salt after sex to stop the bleeding so that when they go to school (if indeed they do go to school) the next day they won't bleed. They also then sew up their daughters vaginal area (without any anaethesia) and and sell them as virgins again, over and over.
I know its hard to imagine that parents could treat their children like this. Its hard for me to imagine as well, or process emotionally what these children live through on a daily basis. The only way for me to cope is to write about it, and try to steal my emotions from feeling it, or my mind from imaging it. And my only hope is that God knows, and He promises to avenge the wicked, rescue the oppressed, and comfort the afflicted. If you could see these children's faces every day you'd know there's a God. Because only God could give them the strength to survive what they do and still freely love and receive love. It can only be God who allows their faces to shine with a ready smile the moment you look at them. And only God can help them even for a brief moment enjoy just being kids as we play games with them, and do crafts.

And only God would care enough to call people to give up all they have and come to Cambodia and other parts of the world and be His hands and feet offering comfort, love, hope and rescue. Only God would care that much.



  1. Jacqueine DicksonJuly 2, 2009 at 7:04 AM

    my heart aches for these beautiful children and my prayers are with you

  2. Amazing to be in the pit of hell and feel the hope of the Lord, I feel so encouraged and so convicted that we can - through the power of the Lord - make a difference. Prayer is so powerful but being the hands and feet of Jesus - what an incredible honor for all of you. Praying for miracles and strength and a cool breeze! Much Love!c

  3. i am praying for you Barb. every day. and i'm praying for God's presence and power in you and surrouding you.