Monday, July 6, 2009

Week Two In Cambodia

Its Monday evening of our second week in Cambodia. The weekend was action packed. On Saturday we had the privilege of putting a fourth of July party on for the girls at Agape House. Its a secure, safe home where girls who are rescued from the sex slave trade live. Very few people are allowed on to the campus, and no one knows the location or purpose of the home. The safety of the girls is the highest priority.

When we walked onto the campus we could feel the love, hope and joy. It overflowed from the girls, the staff, and the founders, Don and Bridgitte. One of the girls on our team is a party planner and put on the most amazing party for these girls. We had decorations, a craft, and games. We brought traditional american music and sang some fun songs for them. We ordered some hamburgers and french fries for them, and had a cake made. The cake was so large they couldn't get it through the door! This is the first cake some of these have ever had. We found out that this was the best party these girls had ever experienced. They all had cameras and wanted to take our pictures. We felt like celebrities.

On Sunday, we attended church in a little village where Moses was preaching. Moses is an amazing man. Born in Cambodia, he came to the states before the Khmer Rouge massacred their people in 1975, and got his bachelors, masters and a doctorate degree. He returned to Cambodia a few years ago and founded AIM 4 Asia, a church planting organization. He has about 15 disciples who live with him and he trains daily to be pastors. In the past 4 years he's planted over 800 churches all over Cambodia. His disciples become the pastors. We got to speak at his church, sharing verses, and songs and a short message.

Sunday afternoon, we visited the killing fields where the Khmer Rouge slaughtered 2-3 million of their own people. A smaller number than the Jews in the Holocaust, but considering that there were only 7 million Cambodians at the time, it amounted to 40% of the population. Only 30 years ago, the torture, and killing that went on is beyond what I've ever seen or could imagine. We then visited the prison where thousands were tortured for no reason. They even put barbed wire on the upper floors of the prison to keep prisoners from committing suicide by jumping to their deaths. We saw pictures of terrible atrocities that no human should ever experience. After seeing that it makes it easier to understand how they could now treat their own children. Because although tourists come from all over to have sex with the girls, it is the Cambodian men who account for the greatest percentage.

Sunday evening we went to dinner with Moses, his wife, and his 15 disciples, men and women. They are godly men and women reaching Cambodia for Christ. Today, Moses and his disciples drove 3 hours and baptized 200 people and handed out rice to 400 families. Like his namesake from the bible, God is using Moses to lead the people of Cambodia to the promised land of eternal life.

Today we returned to Svay Pak. The children were waiting for us and so excited to see us. We're getting so attached to them as we become familiar with their names and faces. One little girl today ran up and jumped into my arms. She was new, I hadn't seen her before. One of my favorite little girls, her name is Peoa, has worn the same dirty top every day since we've been here. I don't think her clothes or her body has been cleaned in a long while. Her little arms and legs are so tiny. I don't think she gets fed much either. Although her little teeth are rotting, she's got the sweetest smile, and engaging laugh.

The two men on our team are constantly being asked on the street if they want 'girl's'. They've had some interesting conversations with those asking about how wrong it is to have sex with little girls. They've seen a few of these men convicted because of their converstions. We found out that men are hired to sit in the lobby of the hotels and drive customers to find girls, especially in Svay Pak...our little girls. We wondered why so many guys sat around doing nothing in the we know.

The days are long, hot and tiring. But its a good tired. By 9pm we're ready for bed. But we fall asleep knowing that God is at work here in Cambodia, and we've had the privilege to join Him even for a short time in what He's doing here. I'm already dreading having to leave these children on Friday.

Until tomorrow....


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