Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Picture Cards

Over these past two days our Psychosocial Supervisor Julie has been training our RAP (Ratanak Achievement Program) staff on different aspects of case management. As part of this the staff have been learning more about the RAP framework so that they may have a clear understanding about the program framework and how this framework should drive, support and influence the work we are doing with our clients. Interpersed in this training were different reflective exercises which included identifying our own personal values and biases. 

Today one of the reflective exercises involved using picture cards (photography cards). Several cards were laid out and the RAP staff were each asked to choose a card that they felt represented why they were working as a social worker/counselor/home advisor. With the staff's permission, we share with you the photos they chose and their reasons behind their choice.

This photo of a koala bear was chosen by our social worker Sereyrom. The koala bear is sleeping soundly and comfortably without a care in the world. He obviously is feeling quite safe, looks contented, relaxed and peaceful. For Sereyrom, her desire is to provide safety for the girls so that they will feel safe and contented like this koala bear. 

Soklin our counselor chose this picture with a person standing in the middle of the crowd. The people have gathered around this person willingly listening to what the speaker has to say. For Soklin, this picture represents someone giving guidance and direction. Her desire is to provide guidance and direction for the girls who are living at the RAP home so that they can find their path towards become a whole person.

For Sophea, one of our Home Advisors, the two birds on the tree branch represent freedom and independence. Her desire is to walk along side the girls in such a way that they will be encouraged and empowered to cultivate healthy habits and behaviors that nurture their ability to be self sufficient and independent young women.

Nary our Operations Manager chose this photo of a baby's hand holding on to one finger of an adult. For her this photo represents love. She wants to be that ''finger.' Often, our clients cannot express what they want to say, all they want is for someone to hold their hand and walk with them on their journey to healing. She wants to be such a person. To walk hand in hand with them. 

Sina our second Home Advisor chose this photo of a young girl behind a window with her back towards the window. For her, this photo represents fear and aloneness. She wants to help girls like this turn around, to look into the window with courage and confidence and to help them to see they have value and that their lives have meaning, that their journey is not a lonely journey bur rather, one that we walk with them through rain, snow or sunshine. 

These are just some of the comments that our staff shared today and as Julie our Psychosocial Supervisor said: The staff were so insightful and understood and participated so well. They were such a pleasure to be with. Teaching is always so much more fun when you have such great students.

We are thankful to the Lord and to all of you who have prayed with us for months that God would bring the people of His choosing with His heart to work at Ratanak. God has cultivated in each of our staff a desire to serve, bless, empower and equip the young women that will soon become part of our RAP home. As I reflect on their responses, I cannot help but think of the words that Henri Nouwen once said when he talked about compassion: “Compassion asks us to go where it hurts, to enter into the places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish. Compassion challenges us to cry out with those in misery, to mourn with those who are lonely, to weep with those in tears. Compassion requires us to be weak with the weak, vulnerable with the vulnerable, and powerless with the powerless. Compassion means full immersion in the condition of being human.”  In these days of training, we are seeing the Lord deepen His heart of compassion in each of our staff. They are not afraid to enter into the pain and suffering of these young women, they are not afraid to share their burdens, they are not afraid to be His hands, voice and feet to these precious ones for in doing so, they reflect the very heart of Christ who chose to enter into this world with all its suffering, to carry our burdens, to offer us freedom from bondage and sin so that we can experience new life in Him.

Will you continue to pray that His love and His compassion will continue to reign down over each of us as we seek to serve the tender lambs He brings into our midst. 

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