This morning I left my house just in time to make it to Sparrow’s Nest. I had fifteen minutes to speed walk into the office. As I was leaving I contemplated going past the Wat to see if, by some miracle, Paulee and Lisa had gotten out of jail and were there. Another motivation was that Lisa and Paulee’s older brother was supposed to meet me on Tuesday morning so that we could take him to an NGO that works with guys his age. He wasn't there Tuesday and nobody could tell me where he was. Although I felt as if I had no hope in seeing Paulee, Lisa, or their older brother I felt God speak to me. God told me to go and check. I have done this before, felt like God telling me to walk over there and then they were not there. When Songkum and her mother were in jail I went about every morning to see if they were there, and my hopes continued to dwindle as days and days went by without seeing them. I knew I had to trust God just like I did with Songkum, because one of those days she was there again. So this morning I walked towards the Wat just to check.
There was no sign of Lisa, Paulee, or their brother. I decided not to get discouraged. Every time I interact with the street people, my relationship with them grows; I kept that as a positive note as I turned and walked away. As I went down the street I ran into another group of street people that I see regularly. There was a boy with them that I always invite and he always turns me down. I invited him again and this time he told his grandma that he wanted to go. So off we went. Or so I thought. When I turned around he was gone. He has done this before and I am not going to force a child to come if they do not want to. So I kept walking, ran into Nita one of our regulars and began to walk hand in hand with her. As Nita and I turned the corner the little boy was behind us. He had changed his mind after all. Nita and I walked and practiced the English she had been learning and the boy stayed a safe five feet behind.
About half way to Sparrow’s Nest I looked up and what do I see? Lisa and Paulee collecting trash with their grandmother. I was so happy to see them. I think I screamed and probably scared them. Their grandmother handed them to me and began to walk away and then the crying began. Here I am standing with Nita by my side, two half necked girls crying and trying to flail out of my arms, and the little boy just looking at me in horror. The grandmother decided to walk with us, praise the Lord, and the crying subsided...till she left again. (The picture is of the Paulee, Lisa, and the boy sleeping after baths and lunch.)
The walk home was just as interesting. It included me and a double baby stroller with three half necked Khmer kids crammed in it. Needless to say I got laughed at and pointed at frequently, which I think I am getting used to. After I dropped them off Jesse and I sat and practiced Khmer with some of the parents. We had our language book and we made simple sentences such as, what is your name, where do you come from, do you like rice. We stayed for about twenty minutes and it was worth every minute. They were so generous listening and trying to help us. Even after I said the F word a handful of times, they stuck with it and taught me how to say help without cussing!
Thank you everyone who has been reading and praying for the kids. I am so happy Lisa and Paulee are out of the jail. Continue to pray for their safety. Also please pray for the boy. I do not have time to share his story with you tonight, but pray that he will continue to come to Sparrow’s Nest. Lastly, please pray for Jesse and I. We have had some rough days and we need God’s strength and wisdom in times like these.