Enjoy this update from our friends in Cambodia …
In July 2013, Construction of Hope had just begun sponsoring the first child, Nam Aoy, to live under the care of Pastor Somnang and the church. It was also during this summer that we led a mission team of students from our international school in Bangkok to lead a Bible school for children in the local slum community and to help with some much-needed renovations to the church in Phnom Penh.
One afternoon as we were cleaning up building supplies to make room for the afternoon’s activities with the children, Nam Aoy came back from playing with the children in the local community with a little girl, who we came to know as Li Hou, trailing behind her. Li Hou’s face was badly bruised, hair matted against her face, and looked at us with pleading but yet cautious eyes. Nam Aoy had found Li Hou in the slum community and saw she needed help. Nam Aoy, having just moved into the church herself, knew the church was a safe place. Long story made short, Pastor Somnang learned that Li Hou was living with an abusive step-father who forced her to daily beg on the streets, half-naked, to acquire money for food and alcohol. Her mother was alive but was unwell mentally, potentially from being repeatedly beaten by her husband.
From that very afternoon Nam Aoy brought Li Hou to the church, Li Hou never spent another night on the street. Pastor Somnang quickly obtained permission from her mother to bring Li Hou into the church, secured proper documentation from the authorities, and became Li Hou’s legal guardian. Due to Li Hou never having received any kind of education, Pastor Somnang and members of the church spent the next 6 months teaching and training Li Hou. In January of 2014, Li Hou was accepted into a local school, though she still faced many obstacles developmentally and mentally.
This October, Li Hou began her third year of school. When Pastor Somnang went to register Li Hou and the other children in church for the new school year, the director of the school expressed her appreciation and commendation for the growth and development of the children, specifically Li Hou, who is proving to be a diligent and bright student in the classroom and at home in the church. During one of the evening devotion times at the church, Li Hou recently expressed her gratitude and thankfulness for where God has brought her, saying
‘I was once close to starvation, almost ready to die waiting on food from morning till midnight, but now I have no fear.’
We praise God for the provision and care for Li Hou over the past three years and rejoice in watching her continue to grow into a young woman who loves the Lord.