Street children are a difficult group to work with. In the past 5 years that I’ve been involved with street kids I’ve seen a lot of people and organizations simply drop out because of how difficult it can be sometimes. When you first start working with them there is a strong barrier of distrust that must be overcome. In addition to that you are dealing with families who during every interaction are looking for ways to take advantage of you or get something for free. The children and their families can be extremely inconsistent in when they come and how they act towards you. And every time you try to help them someone else seems to get in the way or demand something of the children that prevents them from doing the right thing.
I wish I could say that it gets easier, but while some challenges you learn to overcome and some behaviors you can change or learn to ignore, others keep on pounding on you and new challenges are always coming up.
One of the biggest challenges of working with street children is growing close to them. We all want very much to care for these children and ease their burdens, but some of their burdens are immense and as we take them on it can be very draining and confusing. The closer you get to these children the greater the burden is when caring for them emotionally and spiritually.
Last year the mother of a couple of our students passed away unexpectedly. It was incredibly difficult and we ended up paying for the funeral. And then earlier this spring their father also passed away. Now we are working on plans for their long term care and their advocates are now perhaps the closest people to them as they are without major family role models. The oldest of the siblings temporarily dropped out of school and we are working on getting her the support necessary so that she can start again in August.
We ask that you would please pray for our students as they must mourn and come to terms with the loss of both parents at such a young age. Please ask the Lord to give strength to their advocates to care for them and support them in such a difficult time. Please pray that Crossing Cambodia will continue to be a place of stability in their lives and that we may be able to comfort them, care for them, and help them know that there is always a God who is with us in our most sorrowful times.