Today the team visited the Newsong Centre---a long term rehabilitation centre for victims of sexual slavery. Ratanak has had the privilege of partnering with AIM (Agape International Missions) from the inception of this ministry.
Team Member: Sarah A.
Today was my absolute favorite day so far. We went to NewSong and played with the girls, watched them play volleyball (and some of us joined them!) and got to dance and talk and see them draw pictures for us. It was just the funnest time ever! It was so wonderful, after 2 years of praying for these girls, to finaly meet some of them face to face. One girl was really interested by my skin. She said that she liked that it was so white and she wanted to trade skin. I told her that hers was beautiful (sa-at in Khmer) änd that mine was only white or red, so hers was better for the sun :) At only about 10 years old (though its hard to tell because Cambodians often look really young) her English was fantastic, and she was even translating for the other girls! She sat to my right as we watched the volleyball game. I think she was the one to approach me and ask me my name, followed by her three friends who were sitting near by and moved in to join the conversation. It's amazing how free and loving these girls are once they warm up to you. The excitement of the volleyball game really helped.
Another little girl, who had only been there a few months, sat on my left for most of the time and snuggled up to me. She was so adorable. She went and got some paper and a pen and drew over two dozen little pictures for me, each time explaining in English what she was going to draw: cat, dog, umbrella, queen, cake... the list went on and on! I was so impressed by her lovely drawing and her English. As we walked through the centre, we were all impressed by the fantastic artwork lining the walls of the classrooms, and adorning the girls' beautiful rooms. Such attention to detail, each one of them was just a work of art. And a crowning treasure (though they are all little treasures!) was at the end of the day, one of the girls who looked so traumatized and upset actually responded when I bowed goodbye to her, and hugged me and smiled! It was so lovely to see little ones come out of their shells and warm up to love.
Speaking of love, the staff at NewSong were SO full of the love of Jesus. It radiated from their very pores. There was such a freedom, and a willingness to serve the Lord in their faces - they were such a striking contrast from so many faces that I've seen in Cambodia. Someone remarked in the car ride home that if all the Christians in Canada were so full of love as those Cambodians, the whole country would be saved! It was such a joy and a delight, and an HONOUR, to be able to set foot in NewSong today. And it was more than I could ask or even imagine to be able to play with the girls!
Thank you Jesus for such a wonderful, wonderful day!!!
This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!