It’s 2:13 p.m. in the afternoon in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
My body thinks it’s still there. My mind goes there every day. The picture I can’t get out of my head is the children busing themselves home from school….in their boats. Some paddling only a few hundred yards away, some paddling a few miles.
I remember seeing the smiling face of the little boy that at the home visit, we discovered he had a club foot (cleft foot). He wants to become a nurse…our nurses attended his infected toe.
He smiled on.
These children know no other kind of life than the life of the river.
They live on it. They sleep on thin grass mats in their homes on the river. And their body waste goes into it. As the children were leaving, I saw a little one take her bowl that is used to dish water from the boat to keep it from sinking, she scooped water from the river and drank it. I shudder.
There are some children who yet need a sponsor.
What does sponsorship do?
Sponsorship through Mission of Mercy provides them a hot meal, clean water (Mission of Mercy has purchased water filters for the homes in the floating village). Sponsorship ensures that each sponsored child gets proper medical and dental care. They are taught not only to read, write and skills they will need later on, they learn about the love of Jesus Christ and that He gave His life for each one of them…that they are as important to Him as a child living in a palace.
My eyes have been opened to more of the world than before…I am accountable to those I meet—and to what I know.
When talking and sharing with some last week, it was shared with me the need for teachers. Teachers of the English language. In their villages and schools. I instantly thought of those young adults—unmarried—ready to start their lives outside of the homes of their parents—yet not knowing exactly what God has called them to….what about teaching?
Something that struck me especially hard when visiting the Dream Center, is the lack of proper cooking facility they have. Each student is required to cook their own meals—from start to finish. They learn by helping each other. Those older who know how, teach those younger who cannot. They learn.
It was said that they need to know how to care for themselves beyond the walls of the school. They need to be independent. They don’t need coddling–they need LOVING.
Life is tough…everywhere. Not just here…and not just there.
I thought of America…and what we have turned out kids into. Dependent—”I can’t do anything for myself” bunch of young people who think the world owes them a living. When I typed that I instantly thought of those who, reading this would take offense to this post. Maybe your kids aren’t like that at all….but then, maybe they are.
Could your 12 year old prepare his or her own meal from start to finish—(more than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich), clean up after themselves—and know automatically to finish their homework before play?
Uhm…there are no X-Boxes, no Gameboy’s, no IPad, IPod’s etc. The kids at The Dream Center are there to learn. Life skills. How to survive—to make a living at something. To be an entrepreneur. To dream beyond the floating village where they came from…
They have been teaching them to “dream big”. When we stop dreaming….we stop doing…and when we stop doing…we stop living.
I play a small part in the dreams of a young girl in the Dominican Republic. Several women who participated in this trip to Cambodia, now play a part in the dreams of Cambodian children—and they have hope. Would you like to do that? Would you like to ensure that a child has a chance to keep dreaming—beyond the watery walls of their homes?
Contact Mission of Mercy on their website. Be a part of a life 12 hours away. Their little faces keep me up at night…its more than jetlag. It’s the need to pray more.
I had a thought as we were hugging necks and wiping tears for the last time at the Dream Center when we were leaving—Heaven will reveal all that we have accomplished while on this trip. Things we never even witnessed will be revealed. The sewing of curtains by ladies in the West Florida District did more than just take up time and space in our lives…it enhanced the lives of over 40 kids and youth. It showed them that there is beauty in the surrounding world and they could take part in it.
I believe that every day, when they look at their brightly colored walls, they will remember us. They will remember what our white skin looked like, and out diverse voices sounded like. Four of us had a REAL Southern drawl. Imagine that.
As Vanessa, Becky, Rene, and I stood in the room of these girls on the last day, they asked us to sing to them. We sang again, “Holy Spirit Rain Down”. He did.
The girls lifted their hands, with eyes closed, tears coursing, and prayers going up to heaven…the Holy Spirit indeed rained down His mighty presence.
Thank You Jesus for the opportunity to share life for a week with such incredible people, as those we met in Cambodia.
By the way, many of the teens pictured come from the floating village….they have a sponsor….they have a hope and dream of a future beyond the muddy waters of the Ton Le Sap.
© Angie Knight-The Knightly News 2012. All rights reserved.