October 2017 Brenda Dueck Update
It has been five months since I landed in this beautiful country of Cambodia. Since I’d dreamed about moving overseas as a missionary all my life, I was afraid it might not be what I imagined. In a lot of ways it’s not what I imagined, but rather, it’s been more amazing and fulfilling.
We serve in two different areas of the city. I mostly work in a community we fondly call the Railway Community. It got its name because it’s literally right by the railway tracks. In the last month one of our Khmer staff and myself have been put in charge of coordinating the railway ministry. Twice a week a team of Khmer and western staff spend the day in the community. God has provided us with a beautiful little room to rent for kids club. We start with outside playtime which includes playing soccer between the railway tracks (game pauses when trains come through), jumping rope, braiding hair, and playing catch. When everyone’s hot and tired we go inside for cold water and to wash hands and feet. The kids settle down for a time of worship, bible teaching, hygienic teaching, and crafts. They leave with a snack of fresh fruit.
[Learning about Jesus.]
[Seriously, seeing these kids pray melts my heart every time.]
In the last few months it has been amazing to watch the kids encounter Jesus’ love and the presence of Holy Spirit during worship times. They tell us about visions they see of Jesus. It’s my constant prayer that they will all encounter Jesus for themselves, so that even when we are not there they will know Jesus is with them. In the afternoons they come back to play. Since most of the kids live in quite extreme poverty, they don’t often get a chance to play with toys. Two afternoons a week we provide toys, books, and puzzles for them, which also provides us an opportunity to connect with the kids on a more individual level. In this community we also have a number of at-risk families we support every month. This includes rent, groceries, medical visits, listening ears and hearts, and countless prayers.
[I bet my nails done on a regular basis. The kids seem to prefer doing mine over getting their own done.]
The other area we work in is the Riverside. We reach out to the kids and parents who live on the streets. They make money selling various items (such as bracelets and scarves) to the foreigners who visit this main tourist attraction. Being out in the streets (aka the red light district) all the time makes them very vulnerable to abuse and trafficking. We are building relationship with these kids and parents, which helps us be aware of risks and needs in their lives.
[This community has found it's way deep into my heart. I'm so thankful for what God is doing here.]
It’s been such a blessing being able to serve with the Iris team here and I’m excited to see what God will do in the next six months.