Sunday, July 20, 2008

Tangible Hope

Whenever I travel to Cambodia, I always send email messages home to update my friends and family. I just returned from Rapha House a few days ago and sent a few messages home while I was away.

One of the ladies at church who read these updates said that this time my messages weren’t as despairing as before. On my past visits, I confronted the horrors of human trafficking and the devastation that it brings to children’s lives. In addition to that, this time I saw something else when I visited Rapha House. This time I witnessed tangible hope.

I was in the car when Sopheap called the leader of our aftercare program with the exciting news that she just made her first sale. Sopheap used to be a client at our shelter, and then she married and moved away. Her husband and her lived in abject poverty, so we decided to help. We set her up in her own little clothing shop. And now she has made her first sale. It wasn’t just a business transaction; it was a case of tangible hope.

I saw tangible hope when I helped unload the salon furniture for Phally’s very own beauty shop. I witnessed a beaming smile cross her face when she told me in broken English that she was going to start her own shop. And in just a few days, she will leave our care and begin to realize the goal of our ministry—independent living.

At Rapha House, we have a saying: “We’re successful when the girls that we serve are successful.” And our girls are successful when we offer them tangible hope for a better life. Your participation makes that possible.

You may never visit Cambodia and email your friends back home. But you can rest assured that every prayer, every dollar and every effort on behalf of this work is bringing tangible hope to girls who at one time were hopeless.

You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more. (Psalm 10:17,18)