My name is Tiffany and this is my first time traveling to Cambodia. Before leaving Atlanta, I was excited to come to Phnom Penh to serve the children that live at New Life Orphanage. Although this is my first time in Cambodia, it is not my first mission trip. I have been serving since I was 11 years old all over the States and overseas. I was not sure what to expect when I arrived here in Phenom Penh, and I was pleasantly surprised by the overwhelming amount of love received from children that didn’t even know me. As we pulled into the orphanage driveway, kids were waving and chasing our bus. Many of the people in my group have already been to Phnom Penh 2 or 3 times. When getting off the bus, I expected the veterans to be greeted by the kids with warm welcomes and “I love you’s”. What I didn’t expect was to be pulled by the hand of an older child with a smile across her face. Within the first few hours I was getting to know a very special girl named Kim Chhai who I would later call “Sister”. Instantly we connected. Maybe its the tomboy thing, or the ability to create friendships bracelets in a matter of minutes. Whatever the case, with in two days I had adopted and renamed Kim “sister”. On Tuesday when we arrived back at the orphanage from the beach I was greeted with “sister” from Kim unlike the broken “stiffany”. This after noon I was given a card from Kim with beautiful penmanship labeled “Sister”. I also broke down before opening it. To see the love these children have for people they barely know is amazing. It just proves that God’s love can break all barriers.
As we worked with our small groups each morning, I am able to listen to my four teen aged girls pray to God is their native tongue. It is the most amazing experience. Their love and understanding of God’s grace, strength, love and kindness is eye-opening. I think about my life and what I was thinking about at age 14. It sure wasn’t God. God can penetrate through any circumstance, and that is proven as I spend everyday with these children. There is nothing more powerful than seeing a glowing face speak about Jesus.
I wish I could document in writing each of the activities that we have done with the kids thus far, but there are too many to type and I am exhausted. Tomorrow will be another fun-filled day as we deliver rice with messages to local families, teach more English, and take the kids bowling. Tomorrow will be bittersweet as well since it is our last evening in Phnom Penh with the children before heading to Siem Reap.