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Releasing Joy

We've finally made it to our first ministry site in Battambang, Cambodia, where we will be for the next two months. I'm going to be honest, our first day at the center meeting all the girls was tough for me; we were greeted with joy and smiles, and my initial reaction was, "Why are we here? They each seem so happy, what is God possibly going to do through us here, when there is already evident joy?'' Those thoughts raced through my head throughout the first day, and after returning to our 'treehouse' to turn in for the night, I realized how selfish I was. I realized the limits I placed on God. Disgusted, I prayed for forgiveness, a new perspective and a peace over my mind. 

Our next day at the center was spent getting to know the girls; we played games and brought out the dance moves. After doing the electric slide, I went over to the stage and sat next to one of the girls. Without a word being said, she grabbed my hand and held it tight. We sat in silence for about 15 minutes, when I looked over at her and smiled, fighting back my tears. In that moment God reminded me why we are here. To love. To bring hope.  I have no idea what I expected that first day, but I sure as heck didn't expect to be loved on by these girls. They are in desperate need for love and I'm very grateful that our team has been given the opportunity to do just that. Later that day, I was holding a five year old girl on my lap, shocked she actually went with me-she was so shy before. I was just playing with her hair, trying to communicate in broken english, when suddenly I felt warmth on my legs. I lifted her slightly and yep, she definitely peed on me. She had the biggest smile on her face that gave me such joy! I continued caressing her hair and went on as if nothing happened, but inside I was so happy. Who knew getting peed on would be such a joyous moment? 

The children here are so loving, very open and so easy to love on.  They have so little and yet they have showed me so much. Although there is somewhat of a language barrier, it has been so simple to communicate love to them, to communicate joy. We are so ungrateful for all that we have and these children literally have nothing and the joy that radiates off of them is insane!!! I am falling deeper and deeper in love with not only the girls at the center, but the girls on my team. How amazing that we've only known each other two weeks, and already I feel a bond between us that is stronger than anything I've felt before. God is so good. 

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