Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Cambodia - A Success Story

Mark 5:2-3,55 (NLT)  When Jesus climbed out of the boat, a man possessed by an evil spirit came down from a cemetery to meet him.  This man lived among the burial caves and could no longer be restrained, even with a chain.  Day and night he wandered among the burial caves and in the hills, howling and cutting himself with sharp stones.

During our second visit to the World Hope's Assessment Center, one of the teachers just wanted to talk with us, to tell some stories.  There was healing in the sharing.  The AC gets girls straight off the street, from a brothel raid or following a rape.  This is often their first encounter with loving, caring people, but their history of abuse breeds distrust.  Work at the AC can be tough.

The teacher shared about one woman who was wandering the streets naked, not mentally right.  No other organization would take her in because of her mental condition and she would not come to the AC willingly.  So she was sedated and transported by ambulance.  The woman (we'll call Ann) couldn't speak, would run around the courtyard naked and hit her head with rocks.  Slowly, with counseling and proper medication she improved.

The other girls at the center were very encouraging, clapping and cheering when Ann learned a word or their names.  Since she was unable to participate in making bracelets like the others, the teacher gave her the task of knotting together the scrap pieces and balling the long colorful string.  When she saw the beautiful bag crocheted from her knotted scraps, she said "Ah, I am so smart!"  Ann felt worthy.  She had created something beautiful.  We are bringing this bag home and carry her in our heart. (photos to come)

This teacher is especially gifted at including everyone so they feel valued.  Her loving heart is just the medicine these girls need.  Much healing comes from the craft time conversations.  Color choices reflect their mood.  Tight knots release anger.  Even ripping out work and starting over is good medicine.  Creativity comes with healing.  It's a beautiful thing.

She has been teaching at World Hope 9 years.  She and I had a special connection 3 years ago, spending one long afternoon sharing photos of our families.  The teacher confessed that some days she retreats to the supply room to cry, but prayer and scripture renew her to return to the girls.  Can you imagine chasing incoherent naked girls?  Breaking through to belligerent, hardened, abused young children?  The job is tough.  The reward is immeasurable.

After long term care, Ann is now a cook at a center for 40 women.  Her village leader even gathered her community together to display her healing and asked them to stop calling her a crazy girl.  What a success story!

#seedsofscripture #Cambodia #leastofthese #womenatrisk #worldhopeinternational

Read related trip posts:
Blastoff to Cambodia - The Never Ending New Year 
God is in Control - How I Almost Missed My Flight
Don't Do It Alone - How a Guide Can Help
Sister Visit - Visting The Woman I Sponsor
They're Not Just Stories - A Prison Visit
The Goal - A Toilet in Every Hut, You Can Help
A Day With Survivors of Trafficking and Rape
Renewing the Spirit - The Missionaries Worship
Encouraging the Missionaries and Each Other
A Success Story - One Girl at a Time
Sowing Seeds of Kindness - Devotions with Survivors
Living Intentionally - Defining Yourself
Who Are They? - A Report About the Men Who Buy Sex
Who Are They? - The Missionaries
Part of the Problem - A Corrupt and Unjust System
Rebuilding After Loss - Recovering from Flood Damage


  1. This hits very close to home for me. I am sure if we had lived in Cambodia or many other countries like it, our Katie would be "Crazy Girl"...or worse. I will pray for Crazy Girl often, doesn't she have a real name? If not I will call her Redeemed Daughter. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story, Beautiful Teacher, Beautiful young woman!

    1. Wendy, for privacy purposes, I'm not allowed to use names. Before she was healed, her name was truly Crazy Girl. Now she goes by her given name for sure. A miracle.