Some months feel like a roller coaster ride with ups and downs, twists and turns, and even the unexpected, just when you feel like things are beginning to make sense. When we felt God calling us to Cambodia we felt sure of our decision to follow Him, even if it meant we didn’t know exactly what our role would be here. We did know there were sixty kids that had stolen our hearts and whatever we could do to help them be healthy and successful now and in the future, we would be willing to do. It’s been easy to evaluate the tangible things like hand washing, water pots, and English classes (which are going great and our kids seem to be learning a lot, at least that’s what our visitors have told us). One of the most difficult aspects of our work here is not only figuring out what they need here and now, but also what they need for their future.
Many of the children come from difficult pasts and carry ‘baggage’ with them when they come to HCO. For most of them, coming to HCO was the first time that they were exposed to the gospel and shown the hope that there is in Christ. We love that our kids have a church that loves them, attend a Christian school (up through grade 6), have house moms that love them, and have many people that pray for them daily. Even still, we have kids that because of their past, easily fall into the lie that their situation is hopeless... Channy is one of those kids. She’s seen things and experienced situations we can’t even imagine. When she was twelve, God allowed Pastor Sokhom to rescue Channy from those circumstances and gave her a safe place to call home at HCO. Over the last five years, she’s had the opportunity to go to school, be cared for, fed, and learn about a God that loves her regardless of anything in her past. Even still, she doubts herself and struggles with the feeling of hopelessness in her situation. About a month ago Channy reached her ‘breaking point’ and decided she wanted to leave HCO and go with a friend who convinced she could find her work in Phnom Penh. We’ll probably never know the exact circumstances that led to Channy leaving that day and if it was just a culmination of lies from Satan that caused her to reach her breaking point. Regardless, God pulled the right people together that afternoon to go after Channy and bring her to HCO once again… before she had the opportunity to make her way out of the village and into the city.
The next several hours involved many talks with Channy (a combination of Khmer, English, charades, and Pictionary), attempted phone calls, and lots and lots of prayer. We had Channy come back to the house with us so she would be able to meet with Pastor Sokhom face to face and hopefully avoid another ‘run away’ situation. By that night we were checking out trade schools and training programs available and had replies to our email inquiries waiting in our ‘inboxes’ the following morning. Even in the chaos that seemed to surround Channy’s situation, it was evident that God was (and still is) guiding us to care for Channy. Again, we admit we don’t have it all together and most days we question whether or not someone else could do a better job… we’re sure there are people out there that would. But, for whatever reason God has allowed us the opportunity to be here at this time, and we’re very grateful for that.
This is where you come in. Once again, we’re asking for your prayers. The plan is for Channy to interview at the school within the week. If this goes well, she will be accepted into the training program and will begin in September. We will then have the challenge of finding a suitable housing option in Phnom Penh… for now, this appears to be the most difficult obstacle to overcome. We know God is in control. God has shown Himself faithful countless times in this year alone, and we know that this time is no different. He loves Channy more than we are capable of, and can care for her better than we are capable of. We have no doubt that He will provide not only for her, but also for the other sixty children as they graduate or age out of HCO.
We appreciate your prayers more than we could ever express! Thank you all for being so faithful for praying and supporting us. If you have committed to supporting us financially, please remember to send that in to Brazos Pointe.
Young sroline nek! (Bonus points to our first non-Khmer friend to translate this and post the translation on our Village Feet page. The winner will receive one Facebook poke!)
Tamara and Lauren
*This just in… this post was written before Channy had her interview today. She had a great day at Bloom, and we’ve never seen her so excited about anything. Today, she was pretty shy, and they want to be sure she has the confidence necessary for the job. Tomorrow, she will be going back for an additional interview. Please keep her in your prayers. We know Channy comes from a very difficult past, but we also know she can do this. Thanks for the prayers, we’ll keep you all updated on our Village Feet page on facebook.