But to be precise, I don’t really know which way you would say Cambodia is from where I am. I could get there in almost any direction because it’s pretty much on the other side of the world. I think the plane flies north over the pole.
After hours and hours of seeing nothing because it’s dark, I usually look out on what I am guessing are the mountains of Siberia. I remember thinking how cold, rugged and barren that area looks from up in the sky (and probably from down on the ground too – I’ve heard things about Siberia). We land in Seoul, stand in several lines, change planes and fly for another six hours to Phnom Penh.
Things really warm up there. Suddenly I’m back in a climate much like the one I left in Florida and surrounded by excited children. The hugs and smiles just don’t stop and their helping hands take all our bags and they lead us to the transport vehicles. All 40 plus children and house parents come to get us and come again to see us off ten days later. Kindness, gentleness, patience and love, love, love… from them to us.
This December I will be taking my third trip to Cambodia. Things change so fast over there. This year instead of being scattered all over the city of Phnom Penh in rented housing, the children have five new homes in progress on a central campus. There was not even one building on the property last year. The church and education center was the first to be built. The jungle has been cleared away, gardens have been planted. Thanks to Facebook I see pictures of foundations being poured, tile being laid, landscaping taking form. And yes, they take lots of pictures of their food too. I am eagerly anticipating this visit.
And of course, the children are growing up, The older ones are making plans for educating themselves in university and the trades. Last year a men’s dorm for university students was started and was amazingly successful. This year the women are also getting a dorm and some of the Asia Hope girls will be living there as they go to school. I will probably get a chance to talk with them several mornings before they head out and I’m looking forward to encouraging them and telling them how special they are.
They are truly Asia’s hope for the future. I am so blessed to have a window on the changes taking place there – and an opportunity to meet needs as they are expressed. Last year donations from many friends helped provide needed prophylactic medications for all 15 orphan homes for two years, plus some equipment for medical examinations. That was one FUN shopping trip! I am asking for donations again this year, if any readers are so inclined. I can guarantee that the funds are put to good use. God provides, but you are his vehicle.
Being there always inspires me, and I think it will inspire you as well. I’m just sayin’, stay in touch if you want to watch this year’s trip unfold in December.