My time in Cambodia last year was the best experience of my life. There are sooo many different stories I would love to write about that stole my heart, but out of all of the many wonderful experiences there, this one has to be one of the most memorable.
One day we went outside of town to a rock quarry. It was such a beautiful drive, so much green and beautiful scenery. It was sad to see the living conditions of so many families, and kids running around with no shoes and hardly any clothes. Getting closer to the rock quarry we passed a herd of cattle with a kid guiding them. We pulled off to the side and walked up the hill a little ways. Little kids were running around and parents were sitting by piles of rocks breaking them. The area was very beautiful and heartbreaking.
The “homes” that these families had were just a roof with a little wooden platform to sleep on. Only a couple places had walls, the others were open to the surrounding environment. There were only a couple of houses, the village was very small. Some of our group started making balloon animals, while others were visiting with the village members and checking out the area. I walked around and visited with some kids and some parents. I tried breaking some rocks like the villagers do- it was hard work! Kids were running around with balloon animals, the boys were pretending the balloons were guns and made me think of how the boys back home would do that too. I started taking a couple pictures, but tried not to take too many just in case the villagers were sensitive to that from strangers. I showed the kids the pictures on my camera after taking them and the kids were so excited they wanted me to take a bunch of pictures! They asked me what my name was so I told them, “Danielle”, and they all started laughing and saying my name. I was confused but laughed too, (a few days later I found out that they were laughing because they thought I was saying, “Daniel” and thought I had a boy’s name, which explained a lot because I had quite a few people laugh about my name!).
I then walked over to a woman that was trying to breastfeed her baby but couldn’t because she didn’t have the nutrients in her body to provide the milk. We were talking to her via translator and she was very nice. We also prayed over a man and told him about Christ, he had never heard about Jesus! So it was very exciting to witness him learning about Christ. That was an amazing experience, I could feel the presence of the Lord there, it was a very powerful moment that I will never forget. The Lord’s presence there was like nothing else I had ever felt.
The Lord is working in hearts of the Khmer people and it is an amazing privilege to witness it. Seeing the people in this small rock quarry that work so hard and have so little, really opens your eyes to what God sees and what is in His heart. These people are so happy and giving, even though they have so little. I am very thankful that God blessed me with the opportunity to have all the wonderful experiences that came from this trip.