Monday, August 27, 2007

Dinner by the Riverfront

Sunday night we invited our young friends from TLC along with their caregivers for dinner at a restaurant called Heng Ly on the riverfront crossing over on the Japanese bridge to the other side of the Mekong river. We arrived at their home at around 5:30pm and were greeted with the usual hugs. Hanging around them, we feel like one big happy family like the Brady bunch. They were all dressed in their own teenager fashions and all 19 of us crammed into a mini-van. Of course this would never happen in Canada but here in Cambodia or in South East Asia, anything goes! It was a sight to see as people sitting on top of one another but we all fit in. The girls like to sing and so we drove off to the restaurant all sorts of English songs were being belted out---You are my sunshine, Edelweiss, The Sound of Music, Row, Row, Row Your Boat, God is so Good, Jesus Loves Me This I know, Praise Him. I felt like I was off to a summer camp with a bunch of youth.

One of the international workers from our church who is Vietnamese Canadian joined us as she has a heart for this ministry to girls who have sexually exploited. It was good having Kim with us as she was able to speak to some of the Vietnamese girls while my other friend Cathy spoke to others in Khmer. The rest of us used our English as some of the girls who come from NewSong have had fairly intensive English lessons so their ability to communicate in English is quite impressive. Our male driver probably had no idea what he was getting himself into by carting all of us females around as the sound level within the van would often reach a high pitch from all the singing.

The restaurant has a huge stage and as we began our meal, different singers came on stage to serenade us. Our young friends were laughing and having a good time, lke any other teenager and I have to say, hanging out with them makes me feel like I am reliving my childhood. While we may not be able to speak Khmer fluently, I pray that the language of love we demonstrate through our actions would be healing to their souls as they see God's light in us as we seek to be His restorers of their dignity by treating them as His treasures.

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