Friday, February 18, 2011

Update on Baby Neang Rua - a gift from God!

Today is one of those days when I have to just stop and give thanks to the Lord in the midst of a busy morning. Why? This morning I got an email from our friends at Place of Rescue overseen by Marie Ens, one of my heroes and favourite people!

Her staff had sent me a picture of a little friend called Neang Rua (which means life)…Rua is just under 2 years old but I remember in July 2009, when I first saw her small feeble body, I cried. Her mother, a prostitute was told by the hospital that there was nothing they could do for this baby who had spina bifida and advised her to take her home and let her die. But God had other plans, special plans and a special purpose for this fragile, broken baby. Thanks to Pich, a wonderful staff member of Daughters Cambodia, one of our partners, this little baby was brought to the Daughters centre. I so clearly remember 3 of my team members and I surrounding her and laying hands over her small frame as we cried out that God would do a miracle and spare her life. He has done more than that. He has given her new life as she was placed in the hands of Place of Rescue and since then she has been cared by a house mum who looks over several orphaned babies.Thank you to the wonderful staff at Rescue who truly are Jesus's hands, voice and feet to these precious ones. Pouring out His love upon these little ones.

I have had the privilege of seeing Neang Rua last year and hope to do so again when I am there this summer---it is a privilege indeed---to see the broken be restored, to see the forgotten become the chosen and to see that the Lord lift up the weak and demonstrate that His grace is sufficient for them. The staff at Place of Rescue mentioned that children born with spina bifida usually are paralyzed from the waist down, but Neang Rua is able to sit up on her own. She is eating well and she is a happy girl. That is a glimpse of the miracle that the Lord is doing in this little one’s life. A miracle that I sense and suspect will continue as she grows older. She is a living testimony that there is no life so broken or so‘disabled’ that God cannot resurrect and transform.  When I saw her last summer, she was smiling. In fact, I was told that she smiles often. It is evident that the joy of the Lord is her strength, that He has put His joy in her so deeply.

 Each day when I open my bible, I look at her photo  --- she is a reminder to me, that every life matters to God, no one , no baby is a ‘throw away’---He does not forget the weak, the defenseless and the vulnerable because He has shaped and formed them and has made them in His image. I can’t wait to see how Neang Rua will grow up. I often pray that she will be a prophethess for the Lord, one who will not only display His splendor but who will demonstrate to the world that God’s power is manifested in the weak! Thank You Lord for Neang Rua, for blessing us with her life! She truly is a special gift from You!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Teaching Jewelery Making

Ratanak Team Member: Sarah A

After the rest of the Ratanak missions team left, I stayed in Phnom Penh to teach jewelry making for a week at Ratanak's Transitions Life Skills Program, Daughters Cambodia. 

I've taught the girls 2 necklace styles in the past 3 days, teaching the first one twice so that they really get it down pat. The girls are already excellent jewelry makers, so it's easy to train them. And I have had an interpreter for the 1st and the 3rd days, so that really makes things run smoothly. There is one girl in particular, who really learns things quickly and pays so much attention to detail, so I'm confident that so long as she knows how to do it, when I leave, they can still carry it on without my direction. She's so cute - she calls me "teacher..." just adorable.

Being here, God has been increasing my heart for these girls, and I feel like His love is being reciprocated to me through them. We just have such a great time together. They are all so beautiful, and so gentle.  And they really care for one another and I don't sense any sort of dissension or bickering between them - just a sisterly comraderie. They are so nice to be around.

Every day I have lunch in the Sugar & Spice cafe which is located on the second level above the Daughter's store. The food is just fantastic. And I often go back for a brownie after 4:30 when the baked goods are half price! They serve them heated, and melted chocolate comes oozing out of them. So good. I've also had the opportunity to take advantage of the Women's Only Spa by indulging in a few massages and a pedicure in the name of 'ministry.' There is no better way to give to a good cause!!! hahaha!!! :) For $3 you can get a manicure or pedicure, and $4 gets you a shoulder and neck or foot and leg massage. I was thinking yesterday morning, when I was having a shoulder and neck massage by one of the girls who I have a huge heart for.  What a blessing it was to receive that from her. And what a blessing for her to do something for me, something that I could not do for myself, and that I'm sure she WANTED to do because she delights in her work, and now knowing me, she loves to bless me with it. And how dignifying that is for her.

In her past life she experienced much abuse but now she has a new life. Her job at Daughters has given her dignity and confidence in her work, and she's working in a place where she is surrounded by love. It's so safe. Yes, I must say that SAFE is definately a word that describes the feeling at Daughters. But not 'safe' in terms of thinking that you're not in danger - though of course that is true - but emotionally safe, at ease, not on guard.  It's a culture that God creates in that place through His Spirit and His people. And it's so lovely.

The name of the Lord is a strong tower. The righteous run to it and are safe. 
Proverbs 18:10