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Published on: Aug 23, 2015
Welcome back to my blog series, Children of Cambodia! Today’s post will introduce you to a special young lady that my husband and I met during our recent GlobalX mission trip to Cambodia.
Synat was born on June 5, 1991 and is one of the oldest girls at the orphanage. She helps out with cooking and other chores while attending the local university. In fact, one afternoon she told me that her finals were coming up and asked me to pray for her. Her sincerity and openness about her dedication to Christ and being a good role model to others was admirable.
Synat was placed in the Banteay Meanchey Children’s Home at eleven years of age after the death of both of her parents. She is a soft-spoken young woman with a very loving and caring demeanor. Synat openly expressed her gratitude for our presence at the orphanage. Upon our first meeting, she welcomed me with a warm embrace and whispered the words, “Bless you, sister”.
My motherly instincts immediately kicked in as we chatted and I learned that Synat was almost the same age as my daughter, Madison. From that point on I was drawn to her and would seek her out each day. As we spent time together we would exchange bits of our lives with one another. A spectator in the distance might have mistaken her for my daughter, as we held hands during these cherished moments together.
It’s hard to understand how the heart can become attached to a person so quickly. Although I had only known her for a few short days, leaving her was one of the most heartbreaking moments I have ever experienced. On our last evening at the orphanage, Synat and I held hands as we walked toward the bus together. No longer able to contain my despair, tears began to spill from my eyes as we exchanged goodbyes and promised to pray for each other. I reluctantly boarded the bus and took my seat.
Synat didn’t walk away, but instead walked around the bus so that we could see each other from my window. Her bright and beautiful smile shined bright, like a star in the darkest night as the bus drove away, leaving a piece of my heart behind in the process.
Despite the sadness of leaving, I am a better person because of my experience on this GlobalX mission trip. I have a clearer picture of what is most important in life: relationships, the everyday pursuit of enjoying life with the people we love and care about. Please pray for the children at the orphanages and for the adults that gave their time and opened their hearts to make this mission a success. God willing, my husband and I will return to Phnom Penh next year, and the next, and the next….
UPDATE: March 21, 2016
I am thrilled to have the opportunity to return to Phnom Penh on June 16th and serve on the 2016 globalX Cambodia Mission team! Please support our mission by donating to our fundraising campaign: View and/or donate here
Sending love, peace and happiness to all!