This morning, I set aside a half hour to look through some of the bios of our newest group of kids, and to pray for each of them individually. This profile of a ten year old girl in one of our Battambang, Cambodia was on the top of the stack.
Her father was an alcoholic and physically abusive. This family did not have their own land but the neighbors made a small thatched house for them to stay in temporarily. Two years ago the father raped his older daughter. When the neighbors and her mother reported to the police official, he was convicted and sentenced to jail. Her mother cannot earn enough for herself and the five children. She has to work in the cornfields and none of her children go to school. They all work with their mother to collect corn, even though they are too young. She has 2 brothers and 3 sisters. We took three of them to live in our centre.
She lives with fear of her father because she knew that her sister was raped. Her family is very poor and does not have enough money for meals. Her income came from collecting corn in the field with her family. She worked hard to help her family.
Her mother had pity for her children because she did not want all her children moving with her from one place to another working without studying. She tried hard to find an organization or place that could help her children. She heard from another organization about the Asia’s Hope home in Battambang. She contacted the Asia’s Hope home, and was very happy to help her children have a better future.
Sadly, this story is not unique. Among the 24 children at this new home, you'll find kids orphaned by AIDS, alcoholism, imprisonment, mental illness, auto accidents and abandonment. Across our organization and among the hundreds of kids in our care you'll see every imaginable kind of suffering, and some you never even thought possible.
But, thanks to God's provision through the generosity of his people, each of these kids has a new start, a new chance for not only a beautiful childhood, but a happy, productive life.
My job is not easy -- although its certainly easier than that of our staff in Cambodia, Thailand and India who care for these kids on a daily basis -- but it sure is meaningful. What a blessing and honor it is to be able to get up every morning, head into the office and lead my staff, our boards and our partnering churches in asking "What can we do today to make life better for these precious kids?"
I'm thankful for every one of you who cares about these kids, for each person who prays regularly and gives generously. Be encouraged. As the psalmist wrote, "Oh, the joy of those who are kind to the poor! The Lord rescues them when they are in trouble. The Lord protects them and keeps them alive. He gives them prosperity in the land and rescues them from their enemies. The Lord nurses them when they are sick and restores them to health."