Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Safe Haven, a New Life

Students at Safe Haven School

Do you want to see God's transforming power in Cambodia? Do you want to see new life? Safe Haven is a wonderful complex of buildings outside Poipet, Cambodia. The campus is run by Cambodian Hope Organization to care for children rescued out of the sex traffic industry and child slave labor industry. I had the opportunity to visit Safe Haven a couple of times during my stay in Cambodia. (I will not be showing pictures of the childrens' faces in order to protect them.)

I sang songs in English in the first grade, and I visited each classroom. It was fun to see Manna, Chomno's adopted daughter, in one of the classrooms and at the ice cream vender. I had seen her daily at the CHO cafe, so it was fun to see her in her school setting. 
Looking out at the dorms from the classrooms.

I also saw Heng, my seamstress friend from "New Bloom", with her daughter. She was very proud to introduce her, and I felt honored to meet her. I visited various areas of Safe Haven: farming, woodworking, jewelry making, dorm rooms, rice fields, fish ponds, brick-making and new library.

I had been told that one boy had been rescued fairly recently from the border area. He had been shot up with heroin in his hands and trafficked (for prostitution into Thailand.) I was told he is ten and making some progress, although he will not make eye contact with visitors - Westerners in particular. (He had been hiding under tables.) Each one of these children has a story, and I sensed I was in the midst of a very special place; a place where Jesus is loving and caring for His lambs in spite of the evil of that region.

An ice cream man came at lunchtime!

With the loving school atmosphere, the country setting with micro-businesses tucked away here and there, new dorms with neat and tidy beds and play spaces; the folks at Safe Haven and all who support them around the world, are being just like Jesus to these children. They are giving them their childhood back again and sharing Jesus and His amazing Good News of love for each of us. Here is real trnsformation.

But Jesus said, "Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children." Matthew 19:14

Anne, an ESL volunteer teacher, from Gig Harbor, 
spending some time with the students.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing reality on the other side of the world. You treated those kids with such loving kindness. Well written. thank you, Marcia