[Thanks to Pam Epperson for relating this story.]
Recently, a team from Illinois returned from Cambodia and reported about their experiences. They had the chance to visit our second safehouse where trafficked girls get a new start on life.
One member of the team brought taped questions that his junior high Sunday school class wanted to ask the girls. It was a labor-intensive exercise. He would play a portion of the tape then our translator would translate it for the girls. Then the girls would answer, and their responses were taped and translated, so the kids in the Sunday school class could understand what they had to say. The group whiled away an afternoon with this project.
For the most part, the questions were pretty general: What's your favorite sport? How do you say "hamburger" in Khmer? The girl who caught this particular question easily fielded it by saying, "Hahmbooguh." Uproarious laughter broke out in the room. But the mood shifted when Nepa was asked a question.
Maybe you've read about sixteen-year-old Nepa in one of our recent mailings. At the time of this group's visit, she was about to give birth to her baby—the child of one of her rapists. The question was What is your favorite thing that you've learned about God so far? The translator primed Nepa with some possible answers, but Nepa rejected her help. As she began formulating her response, she went to a nearby cabinet and tore off a small piece of cardboard to write down her thoughts so she wouldn't forget them when it came time to speak. Her favorite thing that she has learned about God: "That he saved my life."
Her gratitude was deep and unaffected. Pure and simple. Maybe these girls have something important to teach us. He saved my life.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. (Psalm 40:2)
Update on Derek Anthony Sath
As of our last report, little Derek Anthony Sath was hospitalized and is recovering after undergoing treatment for a head wound. We found his mother, and she signed the legal papers of abandonment, making it possible for us to place him in a good home upon his release. A loving family and home are awaiting him.