Global Renewal’s Blog

Where the Surreal is Reality

by davidnliney on Mar.20, 2012, under All

As Told by Volunteer, Nikki Kirk

Standing outside of Selah house stood four women: a young American student, a Cambodian social worker, an Indonesian training center coordinator and a Korean American mom.  All of different backgrounds & cultures, but with the same heart and one goal … to find children for the safe house who are at risk of being trafficked or who have had a traumatic experience and need healing.

As we gathered together to start our excursion to the villages, we invited our elderly tuk tuk driver to join us in a prayer.  He had been diligently duct taping the roof of the seated wagon to the poles that were holding it up, but obliged us as we began.  The roads to the many villages are not paved & the conditions put a tremendous beating on the vehicle which is why he was preoccupied.  We pray for guidance, discernment & His grace, as we journey out with hope.

Entering the villages, everything seems surreal.  I feel like I’m on a movie set depicting a historical war, just waiting for the director to yell cut and the backdrop & props would be rolled away.  But the reality of actual families living in these one room shacks sink in and it’s hard to believe that in this century, people still live in these conditions.  I also wonder if the guests at the luxury resort hotel that we just passed by, know who their real neighbors are.  They look out into their backyard forest, ordering room service in their deluxe suite, but do they truly see?

As we further our journey, the children greet us with curious looks & timid smiles.  Some of them in their limited English say hello back to us.  We hand out lollipops from our bags and each child replies with a happy thank you.  The highlight of their day was probably receiving this treat and some of the children call out to their friends & siblings to hurry and get a sweet, that’s what they called it.

We proceed to talk to families and village leaders.  We tell them why we are here and listen to stories of personal incidents.  More importantly, we ask them about any children whose situation might put them at risk of being a potential victim.

The toughest part of my day was visiting a family who lived next to a prison.  The father was a guard there and their three-year-old daughter was abducted & violated.  While listening to her story, I didn’t even realize that there were tears on my cheek, until one of my friends pointed it out.  I quickly composed myself to gather her information, write it down, and to take a picture of her for my report.  I don’t know if it hit close to home because I have a baby girl the same age or if it was because I was staring at such an innocent little face or seeing how small she was, but it broke my heart into pieces.  The shattered sound played into my soul knowing what she has endured and realizing that she didn’t even know what was happening to her.  But I was there to give support & to try to help, so I needed to remain strong.

In the end, it was these daily trips to the many villages that we visited over the course of a few days that I can say were one of the most productive & meaningful times in my life.  I felt closest that I had ever felt to Him, seeking Him, asking daily for strength, understanding the bigger picture, and pleading for guidance and hope.  I am thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this group of strong, spirit filled women who all have a tender heart for the children.  I am both humbled and proud to call them my sisters.

As I pray the children in, I await the day when I will return back to Selah House.  I look forward to see it filled with the smiling faces of children who know that they are loved, have a true purpose in their life and a bright future.  Until then, my heart is filled with joy as I hear about the progress of two of the little girls that I have photos of from my trip.  I know that they have been received into Selah House and that they are a blessing to us all.

 


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