These last couple of days have been life changing. On Saturday morning I went like normal to pick up Songkum, Lisa, and Paulee. Lisa and Paulee are the two new street girls that have been coming to Sparrow’s Nest. (In the picture Lisa is the one on the left and Paulee is on the right.) As Jesse and I walked closer to where the street people stay I saw that the street was empty. What is normally filled with the chatter of dirty barefoot people surrounded by recyclables was now two men with silent faces. My heart sank. I began to cry right their in the street while a couple of men, who were able to run, told us about the cops coming to do a sweep of the street. On Friday night the cops came and did another raid, like they did a few weeks ago when they got Songkum and her mom. The two little girls, Lisa who is three and Paulee who is 2, were taken with the others to jail. We had just received amazing news about Songkum and I finally felt like we were making progress but this came as a huge blow to me. To be honest I was out of words. The only thing I could do was cry. I was rejoicing about Songkum but my heart broke for these two beautiful little girls were now taken. All day yesterday I was praying to God telling him that I trusted him. I will trust him through every situation. He is in control and I have to believe and proclaim that!!
Although this news about the street sweep was horrible, I had to praise God for answering our prayers about Songkum. As many of you know we have been looking for a place for Songkum, an eight year old girl with cerebral palsy whose mother wants her gone. They are homeless and the mother would have sold her for sex or most likely for harvesting her body parts. I have been taking Songkum to Sparrow’s Nest everyday and although the mother has been grateful, she still wanted to get rid of her. I am thankful for the relationship that we have with the mother. She could have just gotten rid of her, but instead she asked us to find a safe place for her to live. We tried over a dozen homes and nothing was working out. The mother was getting more and more tired and was asking us more regularly if we would personally take her. I could see that she wasn't willing to keep her for much longer. Friday night, we got an email from a Christan home that told us they would be willing to take her!! This was such good news and we all rejoiced and praised God for his perfect timing. We decided it would be best if she stayed with Jesse and I until the house was able to take her. This way if another raid happened she would be safe with us instead of getting taken to jail along with her mother. So last night Songkum stayed with us; now that was an adventure. I don’t have kids, let along an eight year old girl who doesn't speak English with cerebral palsy.
This morning at 8am I got a call from the organization saying they were able to take her today! The only way they can take her is if the mother is present to sign the documents. I was so worried the mother was going to leave Phnom Penh. We told her over and over again yesterday that she had to stay to sign paper work. I was up last night so worried that she was going to leave. I kept praying to God telling him that I trusted him and his plan! (The picture is of Songkum and I.)
I called our children’s pastor, asked him to be at our place at 9am and he called the mother asking her to meet us as well. All my fears were washed away as I saw her mother exit the Wat and walk towards us. I knew that God was in control.
We went to the home, took care of all the paper work and that was it. Songkum is now going to be raised in a Christan, God loving home. From today on her life will never be the same. It was surreal watching a mother sign over her daughter. I had such mixed emotions. I was so happy for Songkum and the bright future she now has, and so sad that this is the reality of life for Songkum’s mother. (In this picture Songkum and her mother are in the back and the government official is there to witness the signing of the documents.)
To be honest, I don't think I have processed what I have witnessed today. It hasn't really hit me that, by the grace of God, Sparrow’s Nest met Samnang and Songkum’s mom, told them all about the love of Jesus, and then literally saved their physical lives by getting them off the street. Songkum will never have to sleep out side on the road again!
Please pray with me that we can get the other street kids out of the jail, that Songkum’s mom will accept Jesus, that Samnang will be able to join his sister in the home (he is currently in an orphanage but it is best for both of them if they can be placed together), that Songkum adjusts to life well, and for the wonderful family that took her in. If you would like to financially support Songkum please write me. The family was happy to take her but there are a lot of costs, both initial and ongoing, that Songkum will need. Thank you all for your constant prayer and support. We love you and miss you all!!