Sitting before our computer as we were anticipating to watch a video taped by Paul while he visited the Elder Care Night Shelter just weeks ago. They all sat with feet tugged unseen and underneath their sarong. Their hands were clapping to give themselves a beat to sing along with. I vividly remember one whom, nearly 2 years ago now, I had the privilege to learn her name from and shared a few laughs with. She was a delight to spend time with. When she smiled, her eyes arched into beautiful crescent shape underneath her shaved head which captivated me greatly. Through an intepretator, she tried numerous times to tell me what was her name. With numerous attempts of mouthing the same Khmer pronounciation on my lips, finally I got it — Her name is “Mon”! We shared some laughs and also learnt that her sister was the one who sat right next to her. It was a delightful evening despite we didn’t understand much of the conversation, yet in their presence, I was soaked in their resilience of surviving decades of war and genocide, and now living their later days of life being abandoned by their families and ended up begging on the streets. I came out of the shelter with moist eyes as they bid us farewell at the entrance of the shelter with only one dim street light lit our ways to hop onto our tuk tuk.
Then little did we know or even dare to expect, 2 years later, Paul also had a chance to go visit this night shelter, and even more blessed to be serenaded with songs sung by these precious grannies, praising Jesus together loudly and convictedly in their hearts. Paul knows my secret desire (I might as well write it out here, too) is to go there again one day and prayerfully that I am able to hold a few Khmer conversations with them, or simply asking them the question myself, “Gee doan, Ah-yoot bpone-mahn?” They may ask me the same question and my answer will be, “K’nyome ah-yoot sam-sup prahy bay ch’nahm!” One day … one day!!
You will understand now why it’s such a joy and pure delight to read up on Ratanak’s latest newsletter featuring this Elder Care Night Shelter!!