Today we missed going over to Chapters praying over the girls in the Traffik Book. Yet my mind keeps reeling over to our “2 girls” at Daughters Cambodia (“Daughters”), especially so when I read the word seeping through the email describing what the Ratanak team saw and felt during their visit, I feel like I was there too. 2 minutes later, another email from R of Daughters came finalizing our order with the Sewing Room. My whole being is taken over by this flood of joy!
Payment – checked! Quantity of Order – checked! Date of Delivery – checked! Brochures – checked! My excitement – checked checked checked!
The email throws me a smell of familiarity as if I have been there, as if I have known all these people like the back of my hands. I did have a few email conversations with some of the staff, even with Ruth Elliott, the founder of Daughters. She has started Daughters for only 2.5 years ago to help girls to find an alternative to working in the brothels. Rather than offering a shelter where it was discovered that the girls felt rather uncomfortable receiving, so Daughters offers alternative employment. The majority of girls find themselves with no other choices but working at brothels due to obligations to pay for family debts. Failure to comply often means that younger siblings are forced into the same tragic ending.
Daughters now offers girls training in jewellery making, sewing kitchen linens, even cake decorations. It’s more than only a life skill or a job with wages, but an opportunity to escape from the dark world they have been forced into. Medical care and nursery school are also provided to care for girls’ immediate needs as some girls are new mothers themselves. Every girls who are now in the programme has stopped their former work. Nothing does get better than this, doesn’t it? I am starring at the picture of our girls Daughters sent to us. They are attentive with their sewing projects. I imagine in less than 4 weeks, I will be holding what their fingers are now holding. What a delight!! Again, nothing does get better than this, doesn’t it?
Currently there are 58 girls attending Daugthers for around 35 hours a week. 45 of them have accepted Christ and others are genuinely interested. Our 2 girls are amongst the 13, Paul and I have been praying that they will accept Christ after encountering the risen One in such a tangible form through the love and care they receive. We pray that the message we send over to them will mean something more than just words but with actions all wrapped by our love for them. I am taken to Matthew 23 today, when Jesus indicts the scribes and Pharisees for their hypocrisy with regard to tithing. The Law taught tithing. The scribes and Pharisees were meticulous about tithing, when it came to trivial things. They made much of tithing when it came to small things like mint, dill, and cumin. (I stop and ponder : don’t we have our own little things in our world to mull over on a daily basis). But in making much of small things, they made little of very important things like justice, mercy, and faith. In our Lord’s assessment, they “strained gnats and swallowed camels.” Their attention to little things was a pretext for ignoring the most important things of all – JUSTICE, MERCY AND FAITH!
Micah 6:6-8 spells out these 3 very important things as well :
“With what shall I come before the LORD
and bow down before the exalted God?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams,
with ten thousand rivers of oil?
Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
He has shown all you people what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
— I repeat these 3 lines again, “What does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”