Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Good Day!

Karol Boschung - March 16th

Today was our second full day of work, and it was a good day. We got a good amount done - we did a lot of priming and almost finished the first coat of paint on some of the classrooms in the Sanctuary. The primer we were using was white, and so it was almost impossible to see what we had already completed (the walls we're painting are covered in white plaster!). However, once the yellow paint started to go on, it gave a much more concrete sense of progress. I spent much of my day on a ladder, which had to be awkwardly roped up the outside of the building, all the way up to the fifth floor, by the Cambodian workers whom we share the building with - it was quite the sight. Despite the language barrier, I feel that they are getting much more comfortable with us being in the building with them, and they are often friendly. Once thing that has struck all of us is that, in Cambodian culture, it must not be rude to stare; the workers have continued to pop in and out, often standing and watching us silently for minutes at a time. Sometimes they even stood directly opposite us on the other side of a window we were working on, which would be quite awkward back at home. Here, we're getting used to it!

Lunch, as expected, was provided in fabulous fashion by Pastor Chanta's wife at Rahab's house, a few doors down. It was delicious!

It was also great to see Brian McConaghy and his family today. They came by to Svay Pak to visit us and take a look at the Sanctuary. I got to do some catching up with Ian and Andrew, their boys, which was great!

However, the absolute highlight of the day was visiting the Svay Pak Kids Club, run twice a week out of Rahab's house. We walked in, and were very happy to see at least 30 little ones there. We watched for a while as Ratanak (the assistant/youth pastor) led them in joyful call-and-response and banter, and then we introduced ourselves. They repeated each of our names, and then greeted us in a joyful cacophony of a greeting song. Soksa bai! Jum reap soo-ah! Grant then told them about us as Ratanak translated, and when asked for a song of our own, we sang "Jesus Loves Me". Soon after, we left to continue our work. This whole joyful scene was made more real, and bittersweet, by the place where it was held. Being in Svay Pak, there was a very real danger that many of these kids (as young as 4 or 5!) would be trafficked that very night. And yet, here they were, greeting us so happily and being taught about Jesus. Just as amazing as the Kids Club itself were the girls who helped Ratanak lead it. They were from NewSong restoration/rehab centre, where children rescued from child prostitution are healed and rehabilitated. All of these girls had been trafficked before and raped thousands of times, very likely in Svay Pak, and yet here they were, smiling and singing and helping teach kids about their Lord. It was stunning, one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. Their courage, bravery and love of these girls is something I can't even begin to understand.

In the end, I am very thankful for the opportunity to serve the people of Svay Pak. We are blessed to be able to show them love, kindness, and respect; three things that they never get. This, I've realized, is a profound witness - this, much more than paint, is what it's about.

Anyways, I blabber and drag on, extending this post far past its expiration date. Please pray for:

-NewSong, that they would be able to keep doing the work that they are doing. That the Lord would continue to work powerfully through them.

-Us, that we would make this work and be an effective witness to Jesus' kingdom.

-The Sanctuary and Rahab's house, that God work continue to sustain them and work marvelously though them.

Praise the Lord.


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