Thursday, May 08, 2008

squatters village

The last leg of our trip to Cambodia took us to Siem Reap. We stayed in a little retreat amongst all the pain and devastation of the "squatters village". Journey's within our community has been developed to allow folks to vacation while seeing and helping the needs of the surrounding community. As we journeyed outside the four walls of our safe haven, our eyes and hearts got more than they bargained for. The poverty and living conditions were almost too unbearable to see. I walked down the bumpy dirt roads constantly wanting to shut my eyes, only to open them and be in a different place. A happier place perhaps... a place of hope.

The first child i encountered seemed a bit separated from reality as he sat on the ground playing with broken glass. Not a mother in site. As we walked down the streets further i began to see a pattern develop. The next child had an aerosol can in one hand and some type of knife thing in the other... and a few other children were laughing and giggling as they played with plastic bags in their mouths. Are these children alone? Does anyone care about them? Ones heart could not help but leap out for them. Something has to be done, i thought, but what???

I discovered, through many questions to our guide, that these villages are all over. Basically, these people have absolutely nothing... so they squat in a place that has no value, the trash dumps or sewage areas. They use sticks, mud, trash... whatever they can find... to build a shelter. They're water is dirty and food scarce, so many of the people become sick ... some even die. The parents don't care too much about the children, for they have problems of their own to worry about.

What would be our hell on earth... is there only choice.

Thank God there are people trying to do something about it. This non- profit has actually started to raise money and has begun building wells for the people in this area. I know their efforts seem small in the grand scheme of things, but it does make a difference. Every little thing makes a difference, even if it's only one person... it matters. I enjoyed getting to know this crew and hope to work with them some in the future.

Here's the thing... this is injustice. And they are living without hope for a better tomorrow. There are millions of people in this same position and I could not write this blog without defending every single one of them, vowing that i spend my life fighting for their lives! That there is a true story of rescue, hope and love... and a Savior who fights for us and who longs to make His love known to all.

Spiritually speaking, many of us may be in the same boat...
are we playing with the very things that could be destroying us? Like the child with the broken glass or the bags or the knife. What if that child were to tell me that the broken glass hasn't hurt him yet and won't hurt him unless he falls on it. What if the kid with the knife said the same? I know in my own life there are things that i've waisted time justifying because I enjoyed it.. when all along i was playing with fire just waiting to get burned. There is always gonna be a time when those things are gonna hurt us... or others... because they were never intended to be used that way in the first place. Let us trust that God knows what he's doing when he asks us to stay away from certain things. It crushes Him to see His children hurt.


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