Well, I didn't quite last a full 24 hours without talking though as Sisarat who oversees the counselling at the Newsong centre came over. She had text me wanting to know if she could bring over some honey and lemons for me. I actually had bought the honey yesterday and Bunthan had given me some lime so I was covered. Nonetheless, it was very sweet and thoughtful of her and just another example in which God has been showering His love upon me through His people here. Sisarat and I had other business to attend to as she is helping me plan a party that I am hosting on behalf of The Ratanak Foundation for the girls at Newsong this Saturday. I'm suppose to play the guitar and sing and my friend Cathy De La Cruz, an OMF missionary is joining me to help with the games. We have ordered a 'roast pig'---yes a pig for the meal---I told you I love meat and so do the girls at Newsong. I'll definitly get a picture of this for you all. It should be a lot of fun but being the planner, I am making some contingency plans---writing my words out in case I still don't have my voice back to speak! Shortly after Sisarat left, Sotheary our Ratanak staff person came by. I had enlisted her help to get some crosses and necklaces in preparation for next week's baptisms of Pastor Chantha's students. More on that next week as we are closing The Sanctuary and are all heading down to the beach to baptize Pastor Chantha's 26 students in the ocean. So you see, we need our voices and its not surprising that both Pastor Chantha and I are feeling a bit attacked.
All this to say, while I can't talk, God has been faithful in providing people who can help me organize and gather things for different events that we are doing here. Some may call it 'delegation' but I see it as God's provision. :-) He knows what we need when we need it and who can get the job done. I am so thankful for the Khmer staff who are so helpful and so willing to serve whatever the need. They know where to get all the good deals and to make our dollars stretch here!
So while I haven't fully been silent for 24 hours, I was thinking about what it means to have no voice as I live through this current experience. The voiceless are totally dependent on others obviously to be a voice for them. Their world requires a deeper activation of their 4 remaining senses of touch, sight, hear and smell. They are mocked and laughed at, as I have encountered recently although the teasing has been done in jest---yet I can't imagine those like Lim who I blogged about who live in a world where they cannot express what is going on in their heart and who are forced to live in a world that mocks them and turns a deaf ear to their groans and their cries for help. It is easy for them to be overlooked, after all, if you have no voice, people can't hear you and so you are easily ignored. Your views, your opinions, your thoughts, your feelings are not heard nor do they matter. It's easy to feel more marginalized. It is easy to feel frustrated. It is easy to fall in to resignation. How much more so for girls who are held as sex slaves, whose voices are silenced in what must seem to them as an endless hell, an endless hopelessness, an endless resignation. My small experience with laryngitis is nothing compared to the daily hell they are forced to live in, where shame, guilt and fear rule their day. Where their daily screams for help and their cries for deliverance go unheard. But thank God, we have a God who hears us and knows our thoughts even before one word is uttered from our lips. This has been my prayer these past few days as I have been voiceless. 'Lord you know my thoughts, my prayers even before I pray them out to you.' Thank God, He sees and hears the cries of the oppressed and that His arm is not to short to save. 1 John 3:2o says 'God is greater than our hearts and He knows everything.' Thank God that He knows their hearts, their feelings and can speak to them in ways that will cause hope to rise up. Thank God that He has not forgotten them, even if the world has forsaken them. Thank God, He does not remain silent as His word in Isaiah 62:1 says 'because I love Zion, because my heart yearns for Jerusalem, I cannot remain silent. I will not stop praying for her until her righteousness shines like the dawn and her salvation blazes like a burning torch. Thank God that He continues to intercede for them and for us 24/7 even if we are silenced, He will not remain silent!