We landed in Phnom Penh after over 24 hours of travel. As we walked out of the airport it was after 10 pm Cambodia time and about 20 people were there to greet us. I’ve never been here before, but within seconds I felt the incredible love that they were giving me. It was both humbling and a call to action of how we should be greeting people who are new. They were showing me that we are a family, so I was immediately loved because I am in that family.
The next morning we went to Toul Sleng to learn the history and grasp a better understanding of this country. Toul Sleng was a school that was transformed into a prison that tortured many people and is now a museum. As a teacher, it broke my heart to walk through rooms that had once been used for education but were turned into a space of evil. Pictures of the victims line the walls so we won’t forget them; the museum exists so we never forget the destruction to human life that happened at this place. It was a sobering experience to walk through Toul Sleng, but one that is necessary to understand Cambodia.
We spent the rest of the day with the kids at Prek Eng 3. It is at PE3 that I am reminded that Jesus redeems it all. While with these kids we played games, got to know each other, and sang worship songs. This place is full of love and joy. The children never cease to give hugs and smiles. They joke and play with ease. It is a true picture of a family and they let our team into that space so easily because they love with the love of Christ so well.