We have had SUCH a great time these past two days. Yesterday (Saturday) the team had the opportunity to pay respect to those who lost their lives during a very dark period in Cambodian history. We visited the killing fields and S-21, which is a school that was taken over by the Khmer Rouge and turned into a concentration camp. Needless to say, that was quite an emotional experience. But amazing still to witness it all in light of God’s grace and all of the wonderful things that have come as a result of those 5 horrific years of genocide.
Our day took a lighter turn when we headed to the “Russian” market to do a little shopping. We relaxed for a bit before heading to dinner and then planning our Sunday.
Today we went to church bright and early at 7 am. A few of the kids, the ones who aren’t sick or getting over a sickness, met us there and we sat w/ them in balcony. Three of the kids (Hieng, Kim, and Picching) sang in the children’s choir. Little Kim spotted Dominick in the balcony, and the smile on her face lit up the room. She kept glancing up at him during the entire song. After the Hieng, Kim and Picching sang, they joined us in the balcony just in time for communion. What an amazing experience, getting to take communion w/ those kids. Alex graciously gave up his seat so Hieng could sit next to Mike and me. He was so fascinated by our sermon notes and got excited every time he saw a word he recognized.
After pictures at the church and breakfast back at the hotel, we headed straight to the orphanage. The campus was a lot quieter than usual, as most of the kids are getting over a cold and stomach bug that was passed around last week. The highlight of my day was when someone came and got me and told me Samnang (big) was inside and wanted to see me. I hadn’t seen him yet since he’s still sick and had been in bed when we arrived. A little back story on Samnang: about a month and a half ago, Samnang ran away from the orphanage. I’ve always thought there were internal emotional battles going on inside Samnang’s heart, but the language barrier and pre-teen boyhood have prevented me from knowing what exactly is troubling him. Long story short, he was found after a day and half of being gone, and needless to say, relieved doesn’t begin to describe how we felt. (If you want the long story, Alex does a great job of chronicling it here: http://riskandthenarrowlittleroad.wordpress.com/2010/10/22/we-found-him/)
Anyway, as soon as I walked into the room and made eye contact w/ Samnang, he burst into tears and came running at me w/ his arms stretched out. Of course, I too burst into tears and just grabbed him as best I could. We didn’t let go for a good couple of minutes, and then quickly went outside to find Mike. Words can’t describe our love for this particular kid. Of course we love all the kids deeply, but there is a special connection b/t us and a few of them, Samnang being one.
Thanks for reading, and thank you so much for supporting our team on this journey. More updates and lots more pictures to come!