Bringing our long week to a close, the fence only needs a bit more time to be finished. Culturally (and particularly in Cambodia) a fence is a symbol and sign that you protect what you have. And when it comes to protecting these children, no fence is too much work.
The day began with us joining the church in their Sunday service. Singing songs and hearing a short word from the pastor, we were invited to sing a worship song of our own with Karson and Yanna. This was followed by the first years’ second (and better) performance to “Shake It Off” for the kids!
When service was done it became time to finish the fence. We continued to assist with the chain link and the brick wall at the front of the bus until it was time to prepare for the rest of the day.
After a quick lunch break it was time to take the kids to the market. With each kid having a member of the group spending $25 on items of their choice, it made for a truly gratifying experience for everyone involved!
Most of the children quickly went around the stalls, selecting items they wanted and knowing how much to pay for them. Though we encouraged them to buy things they wanted as well as supplies they may need, much of what was bought was life necessities. Som Nang, for example, mostly bought clothes and school supplies, and was excited to try on his new leather belt!
After loading the kids on the bus and heading back to the church home, we had a chance to give encouraging words to the orphans, the pastor, and the church as well as pray over Pastor Tim’s back. Due to time being limited, not all of us were able to give words, but it was nevertheless an uplifting and hopeful time for all of us.
We became very close to these orphans, and have come to love them as brothers and sisters. Having now grown such a close unity and closeness in our relationships with the church, saying goodbye was the hardest part of the trip.
Nearly all the children received a polaroid photo to remember our time together as we hugged them all goodbye. In order to show our gratitude and assurance that we would see them again in heaven, we made sure to smile and be energetic when we said goodbye.
“For in You the fatherless find compassion.”
Come back tomorrow for more updates!