Monday, August 25, 2008

Update on Cambodia Trip 2008

It has been a few weeks since we have returned from our trip to Cambodia and on behalf of the team thank you for all your prayer support and the many ways you have encouraged us. When I reflect upon our experiences and think of all the prayers that were offered up on our behalf the words from 1 Thessalonians 5:24 come to mind: The One who calls you is faithful and he will do it. Our team indeed experienced God’s faithfulness and His provision for every need and request that was asked of Him ---whether it was peace for a nation during an election campaign, to unity within the team and between our Cambodian partners, to resolving ministry challenges in Svay Pak, to helping us to connect with the kids, to keeping us healthy and sustaining us as we endured the heat, to providing electricity for the VBS when we needed it the most, to protecting us from any unseen dangers ---God was gracious and good to us---all the time!

A Typical scene outside Rahab House
These past few weeks as I have been thinking about our time in Cambodia, the theme that has been emerging is seeing beauty in brokenness. Before entering into the Svay Pak community—I could only see the darkness, the brokenness, and the depravity of this community. It was and is very easy to judge those who reside here and all that it represents. After all, Svay Pak is renown for the sex trafficking of underage girls. Its external appearances provide an eerie reflection of the hidden darkness that under girds this community. The streets are lined with filth, garbage is a common sight where ever you turn, the buildings are in disrepair and the smells are intoxicating as you walk through the alley ways. Yet the words of Mother Theresa remind me that if we judge people, we have no time to love them. It is in these very places, God longs to pour His holy love and to bring forth luminous light so that even the dark is illuminated into a community that is often viewed with scorn and disgust. In many ways, the outreach ministry that AIM4Asia begun at Rahab house last October reflects the first strands of beauty that God has been weaving in this place. The two week VBS that our team did as we partnered with AIM workers Joseph and Ratanak, CEF workers and the girls from the Newsong centre, enabled us to see a different side of Svay Pak---the beauty of His precious little ones and the potential that lies in them, amidst the brokenness in this community. Each day when our van would enter into the main street and head towards Rahab house, we would be escorted by a small but boisterous entourage of kids smiling, waving and chasing along side our van. When we arrived at our destination and stepped out into the morning heat, we were like local celebrities, as the kids gathered around to touch us, call us by name or hug us. For all the challenges these young lives have known –whether it be verbal, physical or sexual abuse, feeling marginalized, forsaken and mistreated, their actions towards us were welcoming as they sought to express their joy, love and excitement to us.

Sharing a Meal at the VBS

The boys leading worship

What started our as a VBS for 55 kids grew to 165 kids by the end of our two weeks-- so many faces, so many smiles, so many longing to be acknowledged, so many to feed, so many desiring to be held or touched, so many names to remember. Where does one begin without feeling overwhelmed? When Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. (Matthew 9:36) To be like Jesus in this environment meant to sow His seeds of love and compassion and to see the one child in the midst of the multitude as we interacted with them through the bible lessons, the songs, the games, the crafts and the lunches we provided. Other times it was walking hand in hand with our little tour guides leading the way, singing in Khmer ‘Thank you, thank you Jesus’ as we meandered our way through the alley ways to the surrounding wooden shacks in the neighbourhood that represent home for so many. The kids would stop and proudly introduce us to their families or advise us who to give the food packets to. In the visible reality, it is hard to see what kind of impact these small gestures have on a community that is suspicious of outsiders and yet the words of Mother Teresa has serve to encourage me: Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired. It is the intensity of love we put into our gestures that makes them something beautiful for God. Intense love does not measure, it just gives.

Kingdom Kids Celebration at the end of the VBS

Christ’s intense love continues to be poured out as our partners at AIM4 Asia are in the midst of preparing to open a school for the kids at Rahab house within the next month. In the meantime, a weekly church service that begun over the past month has seen a steady flow of participation from the local residents and just last week 150 adults attended the service. Through all these ministry efforts in Svay Pak, we have heard that some families are no longer willing to send their daughters when a pimp comes to get them. This is a small ray of light that is shinning in the midst of the darkness. This is the invisible reality in which God is building His kingdom in the most unusual place and the gates of hell will not prevail. Only He can take a former brothel and transform it into a place of worship where His name is exalted! Only He can take a place that was once a place of death and destruction and transform it into a place of life and hope. Only He can chip away and breakdown the ancient walls and gates that have imprisoned this community, so that the King of Glory can enter in, in all His fullness.
After our time in Svay Pak, we had the opportunity to spend a day at Daughters Cambodia which ministers in Stung Meanchey---a slum that is a brothel area for local Cambodians. Daughters now supports 100 former prostitutes by providing them employment opportunities and a variety of services to empower them to make life style changes. Someone once said that people may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel. This statement could not be more true when I think of the children of these former prostitutes. We had the opportunity to play some games and teach them some crafts yet the greatest pleasure came in presenting each of them with a t-shirt that had the Canadian logo and a teddy bear made by the Evergreens from our church. I have never seen so much joy and delight in the faces of kids as I saw in these, when they squealed with excitement as they discovered they were each going to get these gifts. For children who have nothing and are treated as nothing, their laughter and joy reminds me that as humans we long to be valued, to know that someone cares, to feel loved, to feel special and to be treated with dignity and worth. It is through these opportunities as mundane and simple as they seem that God revealed His beauty to us in these broken communities.

Beauty in Restoration – a wounded healer!
But God’s beauty is also being restored and emerging in those whose lives have endured suffering beyond comprehension. I had the opportunity to reconnect with Srey Neth, my spiritual daughter who lived through months of hell being raped daily by 10 to 20 men and being beaten and tortured. As I listen to her talk about the horrors she endured, I felt so blessed and privileged that she would share her pain with me. She is still on a journey of restoration and while she is not yet a believer, her wounds are no longer a source of shame. They have become a source of healing and a source of hope for other young women who have gone through a similar ordeal as our Lord (who gives strength to the weak) is the one who ultimately is giving her the courage and the voice to speak up and tell her story. Indeed, we have a God who is mighty to deliver us from the darkest pits of our lives and make something beautiful out of our pain that we in turn can become wounded healers.

Returning Home---what next?
As we returned home, the real challenge is to keep moving forward and asking God to integrate into our lives what we have each learned and the practical ways He desires us to respond. It is a called to live intentionally and to wait on Him for the next steps. To wait open-endedly as Henry Nouwen once said is to be actively present to the moment, trusting that something will happen to us that is far beyond our imaginings. It is giving up control over our future and letting God define our life, trusting that He moulds us according to His love and not according to our fear. It is my prayer that each of us will look to the Lover of our souls as the One who ultimately will give us courage and faith to live out the dreams He has placed in our hearts and to walk fearlessly with Him as we seek first His kingdom. Thank you again for being a part of our journey.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Home is where your heart is?

It’s been just over 2 days since we arrived back ‘home’ but I’m reminded of a comment one of my missionary friends said to me many years ago. “We can leave a place physically but we have not left it emotionally.” I am here in Canada but my heart is not here. I am not ready to talk to anyone except those who have been on the trip. It is normal to feel this way---to want to re-live the ups and downs, the challenges, the joys, the laughter, the tears and heartaches, to reminisce about the kids we met and the stories that touched our hearts. All of this is part of that mountain top experience of a short term experience but we are also called to come down from the mountain. It is easy to stay there to relish in those divine moments. These are the classic symptoms of re-entry culture shock that I and a few of my teammates are encountering. It will take some time for the heart and soul to realign with the head. I am not surprised that I am feeling this way but it’s been a long time since I had this kind of emotional response. I just have to be still and allow the Lord to do what He needs to do --- to speak to my heart according to His timeline and not to rush the process. It takes strength to wait but it is in the waiting that I often discover new life and new inspirations. So now the hardest part of this journey begins. Waiting and resting in His faithfulness to encounter another divine moment of His choosing and timing that will ultimately lead to a deeper transformation within each of us.

Today as I return to work and walk down a familiar street in the financial district, I am once again faced with the realities of working in an environment that affords me the opportunities to go to Asia annually to encourage, refresh and bless others. I love what I do here but I face this ongoing tension of two passions---one that enables me to work in a dynamic marketplace and the other which pulls at me to be in Cambodia. At times like this, these passions seem so far apart and yet God has shown me that they can be integrated. I head to my desk on the trading floor, research reports strewn over the desk and chair. I turn on my computer and am greeted with 758 emails….methodically I delete about 100 of them in an hour. It’s easy to go through the motions but I know that too will pass. So for now, the words of Jim Elliot are my solace: “Wherever you are, be all there,” not living in the past and not fantasizing about the future. God wants you in the present because that’s where His grace will flow. God meant it for good also means you can look expectantly toward the future. Come Lord Jesus, let your grace flow down as we look to you with anticipation. Teach us to walk in your ways regardless of circumstance or mindset.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Bye Phnom Penh, Hello Toronto!

I started writing this comment before we left Phnom Penh on Saturday morning but there was so much going on that there was no time to finish it. Five of us arrived back home safely tonight except for our luggage as 7 of our 8 bags missed the flight connection. Nonetheless, there were some unexpected blessings as two of the team members got upgraded to business class. For future reference we are discovering that if you are the last to board the plane, ask for the upgrade and it might just be that you will get upgraded! ha,ha. My dear team mate Char got upgraded to business class coming and going!

Our last week in Cambodia was more of a down time as we spent a few days in Kep which is about 3 hours in the southern part of Cambodia. It was a nice time to just relax and enjoy God's creation. How 3 weeks have flown so quickly and now one of the hardest parts is returning and processing all the memories from all our experiences in Cambodia. As Char recently said 'she's not ready to board the plane for home as yet.' I think we all share that sentiment. For Brenda she will be staying back and spending time with some of our missionary friends in Cambodia as she considers serving here long term. For Hiroko away from her husband and two kids, it was a time where she experienced God's favor and blessing on both her and her family, for Jan there is much to reflect on in terms of her role in missions, for Genie--she remains open to returning here again and for me, there are many questions to think about, many needs to evaluate and many thoughts to review.

All in all as I look back on these past 3 weeks, I see God's faithfulness in the many ways He has answered our prayers and watched over us. Now, the challenge is to be intentional on how to live counter culturally here based on what we have all experienced and how to translate His revelations to each of us in ways that will continue to bear much fruit for Him. Short term mission trips are great teasers to give us a glimpse of life overseas but the true test of their impact is the re-entry back into our home country. I look forward to seeing the permanent transformation that God does in each of our lives as we seek to live for Him in light of of all the blessings He has bestowed upon us on this trip.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Daughters Cambodia

We came back from Kep a couple of days ago and yesterday we spent the whole day at Daughters Cambodia. Daughters is located in Stung Meanchey the slum area in Phnom Penh. As of July 2008, 70 girls have left the sex industry to join Daughters’ full time. Typically they are uneducated and come from poor and dysfunctional families who live off their earnings, and who have usually been instrumental in selling them in the first place.

Each morning Daughters provides a drop in center for kids whose mothers work in the local brothel areas. Many of these kids live in the brothels with their mothers and are subject to abuse and see things that no child should see nor experience. I can't even imagine what it must be like for them to live in such an environment. The kids range in age from 9 months to about 12 years old and yesterday we had about 17 kids at the centre. We spent time making puppets with them and then performed little skits with the puppets. We also managed to use a few of the games that we did at Rahab house which brought a lot of laughter and smiles to their little faces. For me one of the greatest highlights of the morning was handing out t-shirts with a Canada logo that we had bought from home and also giving a teddy bear made by the seniors from our church. I wish I could have taken a photo to show you all (unfortunately no photos are allowed) the pure joy that came upon these little faces as they discovered that they would be each getting their own t-shirt and teddy bear. Their faces lit up with excitement and squeals of laughter as they each came forward to receive their gifts. In North America it is so easy to take for granted the gifts we give to others but here, these small gifts carry so much more meaning to children who are not used to receiving anything but who often find themselves begging or being beaten. Their reactions serve to remind me that we all long to feel special, to be valued, to be loved and to be treasured. So often God uses little children like these to teach us some of the most important lessons of life.

In the afternoon session, I was asked to prepare a 30 minute talk about budgetting to the young women who are former prostitutes,I was quite excited when Ruth the director asked if I could do this but when she commented that these women have no concept of what it means to add, subtract, divide and multiply, I realize that this was going to be no easy task. Most of these women have received no education so their level of understanding and comprehending any concepts is quite limited. So how does someone like me who is totally left brain and who is used to dealing with stock investments prepare for such a presentation! You pray desperate prayers! Thankfully, God answered through one of teacher teammates Genie who came to my rescue as God inspired her to use a drama skit related to sowing and reaping. Overnight, He also gave me some impressions related to the parable of talents and so we created a skit about two sisters ---one who was a wise planner and the other who lived for today. We have learned from our two young friends at AIM4Asia, that in the Cambodian context, dramas and skits work well as the visuals have a way of conveying messages that words cannot especially if one has limited language skills.

Thankfully the skit seem to speak to the young womens hearts as the responses and questions we got from them afterwards were quite interesting. One young woman mentioned that God had given her a dream that was similar to the skit that we did to help her to understand what it means to save money. Another girl commented that the skit taught her the importance of thinking about her future and not just for today. We are grateful for this little feedback as we trust that God will continue to use the images from this skit to impact the lives of these young women so that they will discover that God has a plan and purpose for their lives that is beyond just being a survivor from the day to day challenges of living under such difficult conditions to one that involves a hope and a future. Our time ended with us handing out more Canadian t-shirts, a teddy bear and a food packet for each girl.

I am grateful for this brief glimpse of what the Lord is doing through this organization. As I looked at the faces of the many young women who have chosen to leave a life of prostitution, I am reminded afresh that it is for these whom Jesus came to make something beautiful out of their broken lives. No matter what each has done, where they have been, He has come to cleanse them and make them whole again, white as snow. I look forward to seeing how He will bestow a crown of beauty for the ashes in each of them as their future enfolds.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Place of Rescue

There are some places in Cambodia that never change as God’s presence and peace reigns continuously in those locations. Place of Rescue an AIDS orphanage is one such place. In 2003 when I went on my first visit to Place of Rescue, construction of 10 new orphan homes were just being completed. With each passing year when I return, I continually am amazed at how the Lord continues to enlarge His vision that He gave Marie Ens, a retired 75 year old widow who oversees Rescue. This year a school is being built on the grounds and another 10 new homes are being added.

Mat Yei (Grandmother) Marie Ens with Srey Nich

The Volleyball and basketball court

10 New orphan homes

The new school building

Genie and her kids
Sopheak and Srey Nih

In attending Place of Rescue’s monthly birthday party, it feels like an oasis in the midst of a desert. This is the one place where God’s light shines so brightly amidst the darkness. It is a place of hope for the grannies who survived the Pol Pot era, the factory girls who are pregnant and who have a choice to give birth to their babies rather than abort them; to the kids whose parents are dying of AIDS and those whose parents have abandoned them---each of these represent different stratas of society and yet God has a plan and purpose for their lives to redeem them, restore their dignity and repay the years the locust have eaten from them. He has not forgotten them.
Coming here after our two weeks in in Svay Pak, I am struck by the stark difference between the kids at Svay Pak and the kids at Rescue. It is like night and day. The kids at Rescue reflect a calmness in their spirit and despite the fact that they are orphans, they radiate God’s peace and love. They are not rowdy but are polite. Watching the older teens lead worship and hearing all the kids pray blessings on those whose birthdays were this month I can’t help but think how God must be so delighted with these young hearts who are worshipping Him in Spirit and in truth. As the evening progressed the teenagers began to dance to Christian worship music. Indeed they were dancing for Jesus and having so much fun in such a pure way. It was share joy just watching them. Some of our team participated in the festivities as the orphans taught them some khmer dancing.

It is a breadth of fresh air being here. The Spirit roams freely unlike the oppressive spirit that seems to hover over Svay Pak. Yet God does not discriminate. He is at work in Svay Pak through the ministries at Rahab house and so one day I look forward to hearing and seeing Him transform broken and vulnerable lives in that community into people who will follow hard after Him. People who will worship Him with the same freedom and joy as those we see at Place of Rescue.
On Sunday we travel south to Kep for a 3 day mini rest stop. I don't think we'll be having any internet access so for now its time to just chill and allow the Lord to minister to each of us from the experiences He has given to us.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Svay Pak - The Last Day

Saying our final goodbyes!
Kimsin from CEF

Cakes from Daughters Cambodia

Our last day at Svay Pak began with 15 of us piled into our van filled with all the backpacks, the decorations and crafts. We had a late start as our van got stuck in traffic as two different convoys of people representing two of the political parties were parading down the street as the Cambodian national elections are on this Sunday. When we finally arrived at Svay Pak the kids were already waiting for us. We were greeted with a large bunch of kids screaming with excitement as they swarmed around the van. We felt like celebrities with kids calling out our names and wanting to touch us as we made a way towards the entrance of Rahab. The challenge was getting all our stuff from the van into the building. Thankfully Clay from AIM along with some of CEF staff cleared a path for us as we formed a small assembly line to get all the gifts into Rahab house. We were not quite sure how the logistics would work given the fact that each day brought more and more kids and unexpected surprises. Organizing all the activities requires flexibility as each day we would take stock of what worked and what didn’t. Today however, the program was going to be different as our CEF partners would do a puppet show and the ‘plan’ was to have all the kids decorate their ‘crowns’ for our Kingdom Kids party. We would then hand out cake made by one of Ratanak’s partners Daughters Cambodia. Following that, the kids would line up to receive a backpack which contained a teddy bear made by Char’s student, a t-shirt with our logo ‘Kingdom Kids’ and a verse from Psalm 45:11 translated in Khmer which said: The King is enthralled by your beauty, honour Him for He is your Lord.” We also included a note pad, pen and pencil.

We were running late frantically putting up all the decorations and arranging the room in such a way to avoid any chaos for our ‘plans.’ Outside we would hear the kids chattering and knocking at the doors. When the doors finally opened up the kids came piling in and we had them arranged in circles but like everything else, the circles got larger, kids were wanting to move to another circle some didn’t want to sit down. I suppose one would call this ‘organized chaos’! It is easy to feel overwhelmed in this kind of setting as the noise and chatter of the kids adds to the frenzy. At some point the crowns were being handed out to decorate, pandemonium ensued…little hands grabbing and reaching out, wanting to make sure they were not left out or forgotten. Some getting up and coming to the front. I think I used the words ‘ah tay’ (which means ‘no’), somtoh (sorry) and ‘chop chop’ (stop) way more than I had for the entire week! Nonetheless, in the midst of that chaotic fun, it was neat to just watch each of these youngsters with the crowns on their head. I can’t help but wonder how many of them are wearing the crown of thorns right now and will one day wear the crown of glory.

We did a headcount of the kids and realized that 150 food packets would not be enough. The numbers appear to be around 170 but that was easy to solve as it was easy to just ask the restaurant vendor to make more food packets and so we requested an increase to 180. The harder problem was how to decide who would get the 130 backpacks that we had. Another call for creative thinking of how to make our 5 loaves and 2 fish multiply --- help God! We took out some of the teddy bears from the teenage kid knapsacks and decided that the younger kids would get the bears. We had also bought extra note pads and pencils to give out as prizes and those became handy to give to the younger ones who didn’t receive a knapsack. Unlike previous times when we have handed out stuff, the kids didn’t complain or grumble. They accepted what we had to offer and seemed contented with the gifts they received. I am thankful to God for that in itself was a small miracle.

Saying goodbye to them was not easy as we gathered up in the front I found myself quite emotional and all I could utter out of my mouth in Khmer was that Jesus loved them and that we loved them too. At that point, my mind went blank as I was overcome by emotion. I am thankful to Char who God used at that very moment as she stepped up and spoke to them while Kimsin translated. She told them that we were here in Svay Pak because Jesus had sent us to show them His love. We had come in His name because we love Him and we hope that they will love Him as we do.

It is still too early to process all that transpired in Svay Pak but as I did my final walk around with the food packets that were left over from the Kingdom Kids party, some of the kids followed along still wearing their little crowns. They were the ones directing me on who to give the food to. Each time we do this we tell the person in Khmer that Jesus loves them. We trust that the Lord will take whatever seeds we have planted here and water them that they will ultimately know the One who wore the crown of thorns and who now wears the crown of glory. For now, our time here has ended but God’s presence remains there as AIM4Asia plans to start a school at the end of this month at Rahab House. While it is never easy to say goodbye, I am reminded of a quote I once heard from my favourite bible teacher Beth Moore---when we love in Jesus’ name it never fails. I trust that as we have sought to love these precious ones in His name that the aroma and fragrance of Christ has touched them in such a way that they will never be the same. And so we entrust them into His care and as I think of them, the song from Tommy Walker called ‘He knows my name’ is my prayer and my hope for them.

I have a Maker
He formed my heart
Before even time began
My life was in his hands
He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
and He hears me when I call
I have a Father
He calls me His own
He’ll never leave me
No matter where I go

He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
and He hears me when I call
On Saturday we will be visiting another set of kids at Place of Rescue. This is such a far cry from Svay Pak and I look forward to seeing Theary my 'little daughter'. More to come as we prepare to leave the city to head to Kep for a 3 day rest.

We need power!

Friday July 25th

I find it hard to believe that today was the last day - even though I have worked at many camps and I knew that the time would fly by! This camp was like no other experience for me. On a daily basis we didn't know how many kids would come, or if there would be electricity to run the fans and lights. We didn't know which CEF workers would join us, or what the day would bring. What I did know was that God would be faithful to supply all our needs and I can honestly say that I did not worry about the details. Today was a perfect example of that. As I mentioned the power has been less than reliable. With no fans running , limited airflow and no lights it has been very arduous to keep the attention of the children through no fault of their own! I found it hard to sit still in the dim light and 35 + degree heat. On Wednesday night we prayed that God would give us power for the morning and sure enough, the power stayed on for the morning - only! I thought to myself why didn't I ask specifically for the whole day?!!

So we prayed last night for God to give us power for Friday until we had to leave! As a special treat on our Last Day Celebration CEF brought a puppet display with sound and lights (I think you know where this is going!). It was more important for us to have power on the last day as we wanted it to be a great party. Our plan was to decorate the room with balloons and streamers before the children arrived, and then we would make the craft - paper crowns- that went along with our theme of Kingdom Kids Day Camp. CEF would preform their puppet show and then we would serve cake, say our goodbyes, and give them a lunch and a backpack filled with a t-shirt, a teddy bear, a pen and pencil and a notebook! This day had so much packed into it, and it depended in part on the power! When we entered the building the moment of anticipation ended when Joseph and Ratanak attempted to switch on the power - NO ELECTRICITY!

I called a couple of people to pray and we cried out to God who has all power to come and give us some! We had to begin and could not wait any longer so the children excitedly entered the room. There were so many of them! I was stationed in a corner to make crowns with them and the circle kept growing and growing and growing! In the end I had 40 + children circled around me all wanting me to staple their crown to fit their head and wanting more stickers to put on it! All the leaders were overwhelmed with the sheer numbers and what we would do under the circumstances.
Not 10 minutes into their arrival and the lights came on and the fans started to whirl! The room erupted with praise but I think my praise to God was the loudest! Why was I so amazed that God came through? He has shown me His faithfulness time and time again. What a great God we serve!

I am amazed that the entire day went seamlessly. There were so many details to attend to, but in the end all that needed to be done occurred. The room looked festive, we had enough food, we had electricity (praise God!), we had enough presents for all the children, and they knew that we came in Jesus' Name.

There is one more thing I would like to share with you. It was a gift to me from God. There is one boy that captured my heart. He is a ragtag vivacious, outspoken, somewhat ADHD kid that serenaded us on our lunch sometimes to our displeasure! He would sit on top of a ledge as we tried to rest in the heat of the day and would belt out this Khmer song about a girl that left a boy!!!! Oh my! I won't soon forget his voice! This boy only came to camp in the afternoons and while I don't know what he does in the mornings, he usually showed up around noon. I started looking for him today because I wanted to give him the present but there was no sign of him. I even put one aside for him but in the end it was needed to give to another deserving young girl. As we were cleaning up Cathy found a backpack that had fallen aside so I grabbed it and said this must be for him!!!! Still, he did not come and we were almost ready to leave. There was some food left over so Lisa and I decided to walk around Svay Pak to distribute the food to people in need. As we walked down a side street Lisa called out and said, " here he is!!!" I screamed his name which was slightly inappropriate but I couldn't contain my enthusiasm and joy in seeing him! He seemed to know that I had something for him and he left what he was doing and followed me back to Rahab's House. We talked the whole way back and I couldn't understand his Vietnamese, and he couldn't understand my English but somehow our hearts were speaking. It was so amazing to give him this little token of our love and I am thankful to God for not letting him be left out. My prayer is that he will one day sit on the rooftops and sing praises to the most High God who he knows as His personal Saviour. I pray that he will be saved from the "normal" of Svay Pak and be transformed into the wonderful young man God has made him to be. I am not naive to think that this will be an easy thing given all that we have seen and experienced, but if my God will come down and turn on the lights I believe that He will come down and make a way for this one.