“Come and see!” yelled the two little shirtless boys in tattered shorts. Immediately, dozens of children surrounded us.
In Cambodia, Khmer New Year is like Christmas, a birthday and Fourth of July all rolled up into one. It is a time of gifts, family gatherings and lots of fireworks. We wanted to take advantage of the opportunity it offered us to hand out literature and gifts. So we packed fruit and toys in gift bags along with GLOW tracts in the local language and even brought out a few baby/lap quilts I had made. In total, we made 50 gift bags to distribute. We prayed for the Lord to lead us to the right village.
Children are usually easy to find, but that afternoon they were scarce. After an hour of driving around, we had only given out six bags. As we came up to a muddy, deeply rutted road, Arnold suggested we take it. Rounding a corner, we arrived in a village. The village appeared empty except for two boys standing knee-deep in a puddle, trying to catch a frog. We called them over, and they reluctantly abandoned the hunt for their dinner. We wished them Happy New Year and gave a gift bag along with a tract to each of them. You should have seen the smiles that broke out on their faces! “Come and see!” they yelled. Within moments, we were totally surrounded by kids of all ages and even a few adults carrying babies and reaching out for the gifts. Before we knew it, we were out of gift bags, but thank God, everyone got one.
The children skipped away gleefully, comparing their cars, bouncy balls and stuffed animals. Some of the older ones were reading the literature aloud as they left.
Seeing three young mothers with their babies cooing over the gifts they had received, I said to Arnold, “Let’s give them the quilts.”
We handed them each a bag containing a rolled quilt tied with a ribbon. Their eyes shone, and one of the women actually did a little happy dance as she hugged the quilt. It was such a sweet moment for us.
That day, Dorcas came alive inside Arnold and me. Now, on a quarterly basis, we seek a way to meet the needs of these impoverished villages through gifts of food, quilts and spiritual literature. Please pray that the Holy Spirit will bring a bountiful harvest from these interactions.
Thank you all for making this possible. You are amazing teammates!