Today (Sunday) was a beautifully hot day. We were joined for half a day by a team from Washington that is helping to build a Teen Challenge center in Phenom Penh. We met at the church in the morning with the 12 pillars of the church, children who have been radically changed and want to share the love of Jesus. It reminds me of Jesus's 12 disciples who turned the world upside down. We all went out to different areas of the village with the leaders who called out to children in the area and shared about the 5th day of creation.
I travelled with Chomrun and Thoum. My group travelled the longest about a mile and a half or 2 miles from the school into the rice paddies. It was a beautiful walk with the kids. Thoum grabbed my hand and we walked together for most of the time. As we neared our spot she and Chomrun started calling to the children in the shacks around and they came running to hear about Jesus. They had some games and songs (2 of which I could recognize the tune, Father Abraham and If you are happy and you know it) and then Thoum brought the word. And invited them back to church that evening. It was so amazing to see these young and 12 and 13 year old speak boldly about Christ in a land that is about predominately Buddhist.
Later that night we went to church and lead them in 4 interactive songs and Sara (Cambodian) taught about the lame man getting healed by Peter and John at the gate. We spent the rest of the night getting to play games with them and give out so many hugs! Each of the ladies on the trip have a special young lady that looks up to them and calls them mother and I was praying for God to give me that special connection. Towards the end of the evening Thoum came up to me and told me that she loved me and that I am her mother and my heart melted and my prayers were answered. I know I will never be the same because of this trip, my life is changed seeing these powerhouses run after God with all of their heart. - Kristen Shepherd.