8 Hours North

We made it to Siem Reap!

Two days ago we got to take the kids to the market. This is where our team pairs up with one or two children from the home and go to a huge outdoor market in the city with 25 dollars to spend on whatever they need. They suggested that we buy things like backpacks, shoes, hats, clothes, and toys. We also got to take the pastors and buy things for the home like tables, bicycles, and school supplies. Our 25 dollars went a long way in rural Cambodia. For example, 25 dollars bought one kid a soccer uniform, new shoes, a belt, several pairs of underwear, and three full outfits. You didn't need a translator to tell you how excited the kids were about their new things. There were hugs all around, and some kids who had been afraid to talk before were singing and dancing.

Then we all got in a large circle in the sanctuary and got to give prophetic words to the kids. Some of us had a scripture or word to share with the entire group, and some had something specific to share with one or two kids. Some of them had never been honored like that in their entire lives. And they will remember what we spoke into their lives forever. One highlight was how we got to give words to the pastor and his wife. We moved on and left yesterday, but their work is going to continue. It's easy to sweep in and love the kids in these huge moments, but it is hard to love them day in and day out when there is little support.

The day ended with a feast. The staff of the home wanted to honor us so they made a huge meal for everyone with two kinds of meat, and soda (which are a big deal in that part of the world). They wanted to show how grateful they were for everything we gave to them. What they may not know is how grateful we are for them! Their joy, their gratitude, and their love for one another is something we all want to take back to the states. There is simply something different about the people here, and we all want to be more like them when we grow up.

The very last thing we did was have a dance party. We brought out the speaker and played music from both of our countries. All of the kids danced with us, and you couldn't even tell that we had been working all week. We ended with a spirited rendition of "Footloose."

It was tough to say goodbye, but we know that these kids are in good hands. It's possible that we won't see the kids again during our time here on earth, but we rejoice in the fact that we WILL see them again when we meet our Father face to face. It is a perfect picture of heaven; All people and all cultures praising the same God. Our future is sure, and that is where our hope and joy comes from.

Yesterday after our final goodbyes we boarded a bus and rode for nine hours to Siem Reap. The first hour was quiet as we reminisced on our time at Jaw and looked over our pictures. After that there was some activity but it was mostly subdued as we all felt the weight of the previous six days of work. When we got to our hotel last night we  slept really well. 

Today we visited Sna Songkream! It was a new experience for some and a second and even third time visit for some. We started out with a meet and greet and then we got to take them to the lake. Unlike America, this is an experience they will rarely get to enjoy. It was a great day! Tomorrow we head to Battambang, where we will visit our last home, Ou Kcheay!