Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Sophie in Cambodia - 8/6/2009 - Day 13
With the massage parlors, Beer Gardens and Karaoke Bars, I cannot tell which girls are being trafficked and which are not.
Today, I went to a shelter for under-aged children, two hours outside of the Phnom Penh. It is setup as a traditional village with dusty roads and traditional villages around it. As soon as I entered, I saw many girls, around the ages of 11-15. I was introduced to a beautiful Vietnamese girl who spoke English and had an angelic smile, in order to show me around. She had been at the center for 2 years and looked about 15. As she gave me the tour, other girls followed, smiling and giggling. The center was filled with fruit trees, chicken, grasses, and a large pond. They even had a pet monkey. The girls ran to the pond and picked a large, gorgeous lotus flower with which they decorated my hair. They smiled, laughed and held my hands.
As we walked back to the common space area, I saw a group of children, around the age of 5, sitting on the floor, eating with their own little hands. I found out that many belonged to the women from shelters, and a few others were abused or raped by members of their own communities. Oh God, how you love these children! As I watched each of them eat, my heart cried that even one abused child is one too many in God’s eyes.
On my way home, one of the graduates of the shelter stated to me that I will be strengthened by visiting the children there, that it will give me the strength to speak out to the world and fight against the injustice of sex trafficking.
Dear Heavenly Father, may you continue to give me the strength to learn to do what is right, to encourage the oppressed, to defend the fatherless, and to free the captives.