Today was a great day of “first times” and new relationships here in Cambodia.
We woke up early, and actually, I set my alarm for the wrong time, so I woke up a bit late and couldn’t even take a shower. We gathered quickly to pray before heading out the door to the van. Pastor S, the one who picked us up from the airport is the one driving us back and forth form the hotel to AIM this week.
We made it in good time as we surveyed the Cambodian land scape. Getting to see more of this beautiful country and people has been a blessing, but had also caused me to be a bit more sad, and also worried for the children of this generation.
Right away we got to meet Pastor C and Alf. Pastor C is very mild mannered an with a strong presence. He hasn’t really said a whole lot since we met him, but simply seems to be tending to business as usual. Alf on the other hand is a big white guy from Texas, just like me… minus the Texas part. Although you wouldn’t hardly know it just by talking to him, he couldn’t be labeled what most “other americans” would label as a Texan. He and his wife have been in Cambodia for a year and a half working with the women and children that have been trafficked. I think he also generally over sees the spiritual development of all the staff. He is a very passionate and empathetic supporter of the cause to end human trafficking and see Christ glorified throughout the earth.
We moved on to “Kids Klub.” The main program at Rahab’s House 2. The lovely girl in charge of Kids Klub is “S”. Is is this lovely girl of only 18. She is vibrant, loving, energetic, and passionate, and compassionate about the welfare and advancement of the children of Svey Park. In her own right she is leading and raising up the next generation of disciples, leaders, and caretakers of Cambodia. They are confident in their work and positions and those who are loving and caring for this next generation. Amazing! truly amazing.
We watched the kids participate in worship for three songs. Lively, energetic, physical, and full of Jesus. Most children responded to the worship in earnest, whether it was to joyfully join in or just to be set back a bit suspicious of what was taking place. Each and every one there, present, taking in the scene.
The 3RD WAVE team went up net to sing a few more songs, which seemed a little unfamiliar at first, but fun. They slowly warmed up little by little to us and the songs. Looking back at our perception of Cambodia, and what we thought it would be like, we were highly unprepared for what was possible that we didn’t capitalize on. I lead a few songs by guitar, which is fine and god honoring, but compared to the music that they were singing and dancing to before we got it, it was quite boring to be honest. But the wonderful thing about children is that if you are honest and loving in your attempt to bring them along they will often give you much more grace than you ever thought possible.
Paula was the first one to give their testimony. She did a great job, and as the first one was quite brave and true to her story. As usual, she was so honest, pure, inviting, and loving with her words and smile.
Then we did our first puppet show. The first story was about “Jesus feeding the 5000.” The kids seemed to enjoy it, and I think they already knew it, which meant that they had a hold on it already. I think it’s really important to be able to re-teach bible stories to kids. I know that it often takes adults multiple times though sometimes to truly understand scripture, so it seems like repetition would be good for kids too.
After we finished the story we went on to lead the kids in games. I have to be honest, they did not take too well to it. It was a combination of things really, the language barrier, the space, and it being our first time participating in the Kids Klub.
We finished up our first session by blessing the kids as they wet on to class to learn. I have to say, even just having a glimpse of their lives from the outside and inside, I was really excited to see them be able to go to class with teachers that adore them and are preparing them for a better life. And even if they are one of the ones who doesn’t get the better life, these teachers and volunteers truly show them Gods love in a troy tangible way. We can feel the barrels of love being poured down on every one of them!