Jasmine Finds Hope

I will be returning to Cambodia in January, to work alongside my church mission team with children who have been rescued from human trafficking and slavery. (See posts during October/November 2014) I am writing stories for the children in the safe house, or at least trying to. It is no easy feat to put your heart into the mind of a small child who has undergone such horrific abuse and has absolutely nothing. My plan is to have the stories translated into Khmer and to read them, with an interpreter, during my days with the kids. On our first trip to Svay Pak, we asked the pastor at the safe house, “What can we do? What do you want us to do for these children?” He said, “Give them a reason to hope. Love them.” Here is my first story. Your comments and suggestions are welcome. The average age of a child in the safe house is about five to six.


There once was a little girl named Jasmine. She lived in a little house in Svay Pak with her mother and father, her grandma, and her baby brother. Jasmine was only eight years old but she had to work very hard. Sometimes, Jasmine would help her mother wash the clothes. Sometimes she would help her grandmother cook the rice. Sometimes, she would give her brother a bath. Jasmine couldn’t go to school because it was too far away and this made Jasmine very sad.

One day, Jasmine was down by the river watching her father who was going fishing in a big boat. She watched the boat go chug, chug, chug down the river. Jasmine sat down on the grass and stared at the river. It was a hot day and she was tired.


And that’s when it happened! A giant, rainbow-colored fish jumped out of the water and sat down in front of Jasmine! He was very big! Bigger than Jasmine!

“What are you doing?” he asked, a big smile on his face.  “I am looking for a reason.” Jasmine said, in a sad voice. “A reason for what?” the fish asked.  “A reason to hope.” she said, staring up at the sky.

The giant fish jumped into the river and swam in one direction, and then the other! He flipped in the air and there was a HUGE splash as he fell back into the water. His beautiful, rainbow colors sparkled in the sunlight! The fish yelled at her from the middle of the river!


“God has given you the gift of hope. With hope you can begin each day brand new and you can find ways to make a better life.”

And with that, the big fish gave Jasmine a giant smile, and jumped back into the river. She watched as he swam down the river, until he was out of sight.

The next day, Jasmine finished her chores and sat in a chair in front of her house, watching the people go by. She wondered about that magical fish and if she would ever see him again.

Just then, she saw her mother walking up the path, towards their house. She waved and her mother waved back. She had a very big smile on her face. “Why are you so happy, mother?” Jasmine asked. Her mother said, “I have very exciting news! They are building a school right down the street! I think that you will be able to go to school now.”

Jasmine jumped up from her chair and spun around in a circle, clapping her hands! Her dream was coming true! She could go to school! She understood now what the big fish had told her — how important it was to have hope! And she remembered that she was worth it!


Note: The Khmer name for Jasmine is Malis (pronounced Marlees). This is a popular name for Cambodian girls.


About susansplace

Widowed in 2012, I am a mother and grandmother. Born in San Francisco, I now live in the town I grew up in: Mill Valley, California. I love nature photography. Just an amateur but that's OK! My goal: world peace. Got any ideas?
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Jasmine Finds Hope

  1. Anita Jameson says:

    That was beautiful!

    Sent from my iPad


  2. Pat Kirkbride says:

    It was beautiful. Perfect!

  3. Bevy says:

    What a beautiful story…. If I was a kid, living in that situation,I would feel VERY uplifted and would have a BIG smile on my face in that moment !!

  4. Charlotte says:

    You are very blessed to have such a talent, Sue! This is what God meant for you to do – to give hope to these kids through your gifts! Rock on!

  5. This story is beautiful! Simple, fantasy, would capture their attention, and has a good message. I love what you are doing. May God’s blessings rest on you as you minister to these girls. You are Jesus with skin on! (I am a friend of Laura).
    I will post your blog on my Facebook page so that my friends may also pray for this. And will post you on my own blog.
    Mimi Matthews

    • susansplace says:

      Thank you so much for your encouraging words. Prayers are very welcome! Our mission team is working with A.I.M. – Agape International Ministries, who are on the ground in Phenom Penh. They are in the process of building a school in Svay Pak for that community; one which we call the darkest corner in the world. They need all of our prayers.

  6. bodyworkspt says:

    This is such a beautiful story, written by a beautiful heart. Love you.

  7. S A Lapinski says:

    Hi Sue!

    Wow… is there anything you can’t do? This is a lovely story. Will your other stories continue with Jasmine as the main character?

    Hugs, Shirley

  8. susansplace says:

    Hi Shirley, Thank you! Jasmine and her brother Ratanak are my main characters so far. Not sure where this will lead me!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s