It's been a busy two weeks since we arrived in Phnom Penh. The team from Central Vineyard Church in Columbus, Ohio departed for home late last night after 15 days of lavishing attention on their kids from Prek Eng 2, and our family is making the 5 hour drive to Battambang as soon as I can get the kids up and at 'em.
This has been my family's second trip to Phnom Penh (although Chien came with me once when he as in fourth grade). The difference between the two trips has been pretty interesting. Perhaps it's their age, but on this trip, my kids have had far fewer experiences of amazement and wonder (Dad! Dad! An elephant!), but also a much higher number of deep conversations about what it is we're doing.
In various conversations we've had with the boys, and in other conversations team members have reported having with them, Chien and Pak seem to get what we're doing and way. They put things in terms of "fighting injustice." They report being heartbroken over the plight of kids on the street, and eager to see Asia's Hope expand to bring in more kids. They even observe that any sacrifices that we've made financially or professionally to make this happen have been worth it.
This is, of course, a good thing. Pak mentioned last night, "Dad, I'd like to try to Skype with some of the kids -- I've become pretty attached to a couple of them, and I think they're going to really miss me."
Today we end our time with the kids at the five Prek Eng children's homes. We were able to avoid the tearful good-byes, since we'll be back for 3 days at the end of July after we return from Thailand, but the team from Central Vineyard got the full bore of the kids' emotions as they said a final farewell to Prek Eng 2. As my wife, Kori, said last night, "Oh, yes. We understand. We'll have that experience about 20 times on this trip."
But today, we get the squeals and hugs of joyous reunion as we arrive in Battambang, the home of first ever children's home. I'm in a bit of a rush to get on the road, so I'll wait to post the last pics of Prek Eng 'til I'm ready to post the first from Battambang.
Peace to you, Godspeed to us.