Everyone loves Christmas season. Warm thoughts, good food and family are close. It is most people’s favorite season of the year. In our yuletide joy we forget about all the hard places in the world. For a month we forget about poverty and the pain that others have.
A while ago I met a few kids. It was an unusual meeting. I meet kids every day, but I was with an entourage of Government officials coming out of a high class restaurant at 10:00pm. As the governor, mayor and other military official boarded their chuffer driven $150,000 Lexus SUV’s I waited to see them off (and also embarrassed by my dirty 1991 Toyota Previa).
As the pulled away I looked around and was surprised how many people were just milling around this area. We were in an exclusive zone next to the Thai border were access was limited. What shocked me further was that most of the people, hundreds of them, that were just hanging around were children.
I walked toward my car and saw three kids, apparently siblings, standing next to my car. I started up a conversation with them. I asked, “What are you doing here so late at night?”
The older boy, probably 8 years old or so replied, “We are waiting for our Mommy.”
“But the border is closed now. Where is your Mommy?” I asked.
“We don’t know, but we are waiting for her.” He responded to me.
How horrible. These kids were just waiting by the border. In this area of Cambodia tens of thousands of people flood across the border into Thailand to try and find any work. If they get a job, sometimes they will be gone for days, weeks or even years. Sometimes they never come home. Most of their children are just left to fend for themselves. I soon found out they had been waiting for days. There was not one to take care of them. The mother had given them a bottle and told them to beg for milk for the baby brother. They just ran around all day and begged for foreigners and anything they could get.
I think back to these kids often. I can hear them calling in the night, “Mommy, where are you?” How can I forget them? They are only a few kids, but there are hundreds more. How can I be so concerned with my own comfort when children like this are sitting along the road said calling out for help. How can I enjoy a nice Christmas with my kids when there are so many hungry and abandoned kids out there?
That government meeting at the high class restaurant was not your typical meeting. It was the Governor of Banteay Meanchey province asking me to help him; Help him save the kids. You see, looking out of his Lexus SUV he can see the kids too. Actually, he commonly drives around at night in old cars to see how people are doing so he can help those with the biggest need. So soon, in about one month, I will have housing completed and I will be able to tell these kids. “Come wait with me at a nice place for your mommy.” And they will certainly find out who their father is, the Lord Jesus Christ.