Coming into this trip, I had a few ideas and expectations of what we would see and do, but not many. I wanted to keep an open mind to what we would see and experience. I knew if I set a lot of expectations, then those expectations would most likely be different than what I actually experience here.
As soon as we got here, we went straight to the genocide museum. I thought we would just be going to a building and see some objects and read some information about the genocide. But, the museum is the actual prison that was used during the genocide. It used to be a school before the genocide, but was transformed into a prison, and it was horrific. I learned a lot, and I am definitely glad that we went. It felt so real being in the actual place…seeing the rooms used for torture, the tools used for torture, and there were bones in a glass casing.
I really enjoyed going to Rapha House and spending time with the girls. It was awesome to see them happy and to see that God always paves the way for hope even in the midst of what may seem like the most extreme darkness. There were many times during the days that we were at Rapha House that I would all of the sudden become sad, because I would realize that these girls have been through horrific tragedy. And it is hard for me to understand. But, the girls enjoyed our presence and I definitely see God at work in Rapha House.
I really enjoyed going to the mountain and riding a motto up the mountain. But, that experience was also difficult because of the history. The cave was used as a killing spot. Our tour guide told us that children would be taken to the top of the cave and thrown off. We went down into the cave and saw bones in a glass casing. They were bones collected from the bottom where the children were thrown and murdered.
We went to Angkor Wat, which I believe is the largest Buddhist temple in the world. Most of us climbed all of the way to the top, and I really enjoyed that experience. I enjoy history and learning about it, and we got to be there and experience some of it.
Lastly, I want to talk a little bit about kids club. It was so much fun to be there! The team was surrounded by children everywhere! We got to do a prayer walk in the surrounding community and see where some of the kids live. The poverty and living conditions are absolutely terrible. It is really hard to see how some of the people live.
Coming into this trip, I thought I would be the one bringing encouragement to the staff and kids at Rapha House and kids club. And, I am sure myself and the team has. But, I have learned a lot from them as well, and I did not expect that. The faith of the people here, especially Theara’s family, has encouraged me greatly. God is working here and His light is shining bright!