This week in Poipet, Cambodia we are feeding more than 700 kids each day at the Imparting Smiles center thanks to the help of Kingsland Baptist Church. We spend more than half of the day teaching children in a VBS (Vacation Bible School), but in the afternoon I took them to see some of the homes of the children that were attending. The contrast is glaring:
The first two pictures are of the children playing at the Imparting Smiles center
The next shots are of the nearby village where many of the kids come from, and where thousands of more live. They are not the “worst” shots, but just normal shots of the village.
The sad thing is, many organizations would lead people and donors to believe that keeping orphans and at-risk children in the second environment is more “healthy” than our “institutional” setting. The reality is clear when seeing the contrast. Children in our center get proper food, the best possible education, a healthy and hygienic environment and most of all love. The children in the village, where child deaths are a nearly daily occurrence, are bound to a life of neglect and disease, with no access to education, proper nutrition and where the adults sit around and gamble while children play in the dirt.
With these contrasts you can see clearly what hope looks like.