Thursday, November 1, 2012

Another Visit to the RAP Home

Today we had a second group of young women visiting the RAP home from one of our other partners. We were expecting 6 young women, but 5 came as 1 of them had to return to her province unexpectedly for a family visit. Nonetheless, it was once again a wonderful opportunity to welcome these precious ones into the RAP home and to see their reactions.

Similar to the first group last week, they were all very apprehensive and shy as they entered the home. Nonetheless the tour began ---first it was to the computer room and study room area.

Nary, our RAP Operations Manager showing the computer room as our two staff (in red) stand at the back
Next stop was visiting the staff offices and the counselling room. The reaction is always the same when the girls see the counselling room---their faces light up with big smiles as the array of colors, stuffed animals and glittery items all create an atmosphere of joy and comfort.

Our three home advisors joking around as Nary chats with the young women about the books
They all commented how beautiful the home was and how big it was and were looking forward to running around as well as relaxing in it. Some of the young women have already indicated what bedrooms they want to be in but this will be up to our Psychosocial team as they review their cases and individual achievement plans to determine who will be together in what rooms. One young woman asked if they would now be called children of Ratanak instead of our other two partner organizations but we said to them that actually we we wanted to simply call them Children of God! It is so important that these young women are not labelled by the organizations they are connected with but rather, we desire that they discover their true identity in Christ.

After the initial tour, we sat around the kitchen table to some fresh fruit and soya drinks and asked the young women if they had any questions. It is always interesting to watch the group dynamics and usually those who will be the leaders tend to be the ones who take the lead in asking questions. Slowly but surely, one young woman had a few questions and as the rest began to feel at ease, they slowly began to feel more comfortable which led to more questions. Our home advisors did a great job of also facilitating this discussion along with our Operations manager.  There were many light hearted moments but it was clear that coming to the RAP home would be an opportunity to experience more freedom and independence. At one point, as we were waiting for the other group (the caregivers of both organizations) to finish their meeting, we went and sat in the library area with our plates of fruit.  It didn't take the girls long to find some of their favorite books and magazines and they were quite happy to sit and just read just as if they were at home. Some of them asked if they could borrow the books today, but we encouraged them to wait until they had moved in and they could spend their free time reading to their hearts content. It is great to see already this kind of relaxed atmosphere. As one of our staff pointed out, the young women feel very safe here by the way they were sitting and chatting with us.

Our Psychosocial team with our partner organization 's care team

These early signs are encouraging to us as we wait for their imminent arrival but next up is a BBQ that we will be hosting this coming Saturday November 3rd for both groups of young women and their caregivers. It will be the first time they will all have an opportunity to meet their fellow housemates before the move in and we have several games planned so that they can begin to connect and get to know each other.

We continue to be thankful to the Lord for how He has gone ahead of us and prepared the way for these young women to feel at ease and at peace as they move into a new stage of their lives. May He who is the builder of everything (Heb 3:4), continue to build up and strengthen His foundations in the hearts of these young women as they encounter His love and compassion through our staff and the opportunities they will be given as they live at the RAP home.

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