Thursday, April 1, 2010

Beauty For Ashes

"To comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness..." Isaiah 61:3

Svay Pak is quite a place - both sad and lovely at the same time. Today we completed the mural at Rahab's House. Little (and not-so-little) children all lined the entryway to look on as did ­some adults. At a couple of points, the area we were painting became crowded and noisy with little people all around us either wanting a chance to contribute to the mural or just crouching beside us to watch. One little girl was particularly talented and I handed her my small brush. She set to work immediately. I would mix, she would apply. It was really great. Even the teen girls painted in details at the end! It was incredible to see the entire room come together in one day! It was literally transformed - a tangible testament to what we are praying (and believing) for spiritually in Svay Pak.

At the end of the day, I went to the back area of Rahab¹s House where some of the teen girls were hanging out to wash my paint covered hands. One girl was peeling a mango and they were all sharing it. Right away she offered me a large slice and pointed to a dish of something to put on the mango piece. It was surprisingly salty and spicy. After that, she went into the “pink room” (a room which was formerly used to rape virgin girls) and came out with a whole mango to give to me. I was so touched by this. They have so little and yet they would give and share with us so freely. I hugged her and they all laughed. They were happy about this/or thought it was funny...not sure which!

Afterward, the same young girl was in the front entry as we were leaving. I said good-bye, but didn¹t really want to leave. As I waved, she came right up to me, looked intently at me with a bright smile and said, “God bless you.” I thank God for these beautiful interactions. To see these changed lives, these young people encouraging me in their love for Lord, and see how God has given them beauty for ashes is such an incredible honour! I could have stayed so much longer.

Yesterday, we had an update on little "E". She is doing much better and even managed a smile. The doctors were able to help her more specifically. Our prayers were answered. Beth bought her some clothes. She is so tiny that Beth had to buy her size five. For a while, she will stay at one of the places Ratanak supports for these victims to be ministered to and receive counseling. Although, what has happened to her will change her forever, so will the time she spends away from Svay Pak safely recovering and learning there is hope in Jesus.


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