Updated: Aug 30
Every child at Crossing Cambodia comes with a unique story. In fact, most of them I’ve known in one way or another since even before we started this ministry. Now as June is over and July begins we’ve managed to make it through a second school year! 8 of our 9 kids older students managed to pass their grades and at least 3 of our preschool students will be starting 1st grade next year. When I set out to start a ministry, I never imagined that this is where it would be after only a few years! But today I want to share with you the stories of 3 of our younger kids who will be moving up from preschool to 1st grade.
The first time I met him he was only 2 and had no clothes and always slept. At night he and his mother would walk up and down the riverside begging for money. I was close to his older brother and sister as well, however, about one year after meeting them their mother gave up the two older siblings to go live in an orphanage. She couldn’t afford to feed and clothe them, they slept on a sidewalk, she felt like she had no other choice, but she
couldn’t bring herself to part with Little Bob.
We give so much thanks to God that we can see him grow from a quiet and scared little toddler into a rambunctious rabble rouser who is ready to start going to school!
I asked what happened and soon the other children informed me that her parents had been arguing and knocked over the cooking stove and the hot embers had fallen on her legs. “Has she been to a doctor?” I asked. The reply was no. So we took all the kids to the church and while the assistant children’s minister watched the other kids, Sokly and I got on a motorbike and took Srey Pich to the hospital.
Over the next 10 days Sokly and I would go every morning to pick up Srey Pich from her home and take her to the doctor so that her legs would be cleaned and dressed. Most days when we picked her up we would find that her dressings were filthy and no one had given her the Tylenol for her pain. But we kept picking her up daily and taking her to the doctor.
After 10 days the burns had healed enough that they didn’t need to be constantly wrapped all the time and we did our best to encourage her family to clean her legs with soap and water. And after those 10 days she never cried or screamed again when she saw me.
When we first started picking up his older brother for school every day, Sobai would come out to the street with big wide eyes, just hoping that maybe we’d have a party so that he could come along as well. His older brothers both go to school and his mother works long hours as the cleaning staff for a local school. He is often on his own has little else to do besides look for trouble.
Finally when we started the preschool and we accepted him he was overwhelmed with joy that he finally was getting to go to school just like his big brothers! While many kids kick and scream and have to be dragged out of bed, Sobai is always ready and excited to leap into the truck and go. The first time we came to pick up the older kids on a Saturday for school he burst into tears when we told him that preschool was only Monday through Friday.
As we wrap up another school year we are overjoyed to be able to look back and see where God has brought us. To see how Little Bob, Srey Pich, and Sobai among others have grown and changed because of the effects of God’s love in their lives. We are amazed as our ministry has grown even beyond our wildest expectations! And we can praise God as we watch our students grow and mature and how every day that they are in school and come to our center is yet another day that we are able to continue sharing God’s love with them and making them know that they are valued and loved.
Thank you to so many people who have made this second school year possible through your prayers and contributions. We ask that you would please continue to pray with us and join with us in ministry as we now head into our 3rd school year and as we continue to be a part of these children’s lives. Turning the soil and making their hearts ready for the Word of God and His overpowering love!