We knew we would be blessed by them. That’s what everyone told us when we departed fourteen days ago. The big question was, how would we be a blessing to them? How could a team of eleven Americans bless 150 children in Cambodia in such a short amount of time? What could we possibly offer these sweet beings, not knowing their language, not fully understanding their culture, nor their circumstances. We learned quickly how this would work and it is a lesson that none of us will forget.
On the first day in Svay Pak, the pastor sat us all down. He spoke easily in Khmer as well as English, moving from one language to the other, as he spoke to the American team and to the counselors who work day-to-day with the kids, ensuring that we would go into this work “all on the same page.”
His eyes sparkling with wise tears, he said “These children have nothing. They have no hope. They have no love. They have nothing. All we ask is that you love on these kids. Love on them. Play with them. Give them hope.”
And it was then that I realized how we would bless these children. We offered them fresh faces to look at. Fresh songs to sing. New games to play. But more importantly, we offered them an unbroken chain. For each team that comes to work here, week after week, we add one more link to a chain of love, of hope, of a safe place, of humans they can trust. And perhaps, just maybe, they will spread that word among their own and their generation may grow up with just a glimmer of hope, a glimmer of loving kindness and a reason to make their world a better place.