Praising God in a Buddhist Temple

Tonight I found myself clapping and singing praises to God in a Buddhist temple. I was accompanied by two beautiful God made children. Samnang is a four year old boy who is missing all his front teeth but that fact does not hold him back from smiling and belly laughing at just about everything I say and do. The second is his little sister who's name I can't pronounce let alone spell! She is an eight year old girl who looks about three. She is twenty pounds and has little to no movement in her arms and legs. She can wiggle her legs and she can use her hands enough to grab but does not have enough coordination to put food in her mouth. She cannot speak but she sure knows how to tell me her opinions through yells and giggles. She is one of the most happy kids I have ever seen (as long as you are giving her your undivided attention!!) Samnang and his sister live on the streets of Phnom Penh. Their mother drops them off on the side of the street because she has to work in order for them to survive. Lilly, their mother, walks around the city collecting trash in order to provide for herself and her kids. Through our Saturday night street ministry we met Lilly and her children. She wanted a place to keep her kids during the day, other than the side of the road, while she was at work . Children who are left on the streets and who are too little to defend themselves get physically abused by pedophiles that walk by. We provide a safe place for these kids to come and be well taken care of and shown the love of God.

After talking to Lilly and finding out she wanted us to take her children to Sparrow's Nest, I volunteered myself to pick up the kids in the morning. The first morning I was very scared. This child who doesn't know me is going to let me pick him up and walk ten blocks to some foreign building? Well that is exactly what happened. I walked over to where they are dropped off and the other street adults pushed Samnang towards me. With crotch-less pants and no shoes, Samnang and I walked all ten block to Sparrow's Nest. We sang songs and shared looks and laughs. At this time I didn't know who his sister was or what kind of state she was in. Leaders were heartbroken about having to leave the girl on the street. The brother normally watches her during the days. After praying for a stroller God provided a free one! The next day, stroller in hand, I picked up Samnang and picked up his half necked sister plopped her in the stroller and were off. She laughed, he sang and we had a blast getting to the shelter.

routine has been going on about a week now but after dropping them off tonight, I just couldn't rid the feeling of wanting to sit and play with them some more. I had a bad day and I knew loving on these two kids would change my sour spirits. I walked back over to where they sit and the mother was there dropping of her garbage load to the community pile, but her kids were not around. She saw me, smiled and waved, and walked me to where her kids were playing. I followed her into the temple and began to weave in and out of the streets full of monks and food vendors. I arrived in front of what I could describe as a little alter area where the kids were sitting on the ground playing with a plastic helicopter. I sat and chatted for about twenty minutes and then she said she had to go. I was a little confused about what was going on (a common thing for me here) but I smiled and said ok. She walked off and left me along in the middle of a Buddhist temple with her two children. I had no idea what to do so…we began to sing. I took turns clapping their hands to the song "clap you hands all ye people shout unto God with the voice of triumph…" You know the one? We were all having a blast.

It came time to leave and we said our goodbye. I know it is just my Western mind set but I have the hardest time leaving them alone in the dark. I was just happy that it was not on the side of the road.

As I walked home I had an overwhelming sense of the greatness of God. I look at their dirty little faces and toothless smiles and I know He designed and created them. Please join me in prayer for these two beautiful children. Daily, nightly they are at physical risk. Also they just found out that the girl, along of many other problems has a heart condition. She passed out and her heart stopped the other night. Miraculously she came back but she is not well. You can see it in her eyes. Please pray for God to heal her little body and pray for wisdom for those that work with her everyday to know how to handle ourselves for the betterment of her health. I can just image her standing right up, God healing those bowed and broken arms and legs, and her dancing for the joy of the Lord.


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