Friday, October 28, 2005

From the Chiang Mai Airport

Well, I only have a few moments to write. I'm in the Chiang Mai airport, and I'm getting ready to fly to Bangkok, and then Phnom Penh.

Today was an incredibly emotional day. This morning, we took all of the kids to a nearby lake, and I baptized five of them. What an incredible opportunity to be a part of such a special day in these kids' lives. Very emotional for all of us.

We then returned to the orphanage and had lunch with the kids. Throughout the meal, the kids were very clingy, very quiet. When it came time to say goodbye, the tears started to flow. In Phnom Penh and Battambang, some cried when we left, but today we had kids sobbing, trying to pull us away from the truck and back toward the playground. These kids have had a rough year. A few of them have only been in the orphanage for two weeks. That means that for some of the children, we are just as much a fixture in their new lives as Tutu, Luke and the other orphanage workers.

Two young girls who were just a few weeks ago being abused by their stepfather -- beaten and burned with cigarettes -- were clinging to my dad and weeping bitterly.

Tough. Very tough. Much more difficult goodbyes than any others on this trip. The kids in Cambodia have seen us come and go and come back again. They know we'll return. The kids in Chiang Mai -- already more fragile than the others -- don't seem to understand. I was especially saddened by the tears of a little boy named Bui. He reminds me a lot of Ian Cannell; very earnest, very sweet, very intense. He's been like my shadow this entire week, always clamoring for a spot next to me (or on top of me, as the case may be) always grabbing my hand, always giving me hugs. When it came time to say goodbye, he latched on to me, and hugged me with all of his might. When I got into the car, he climbed up onto the side, put both arms through the window and wrapped them around my neck. If he hadn't been pulled off, he would have hung on all the way to the airport.

Good kids. Good place. Rough goodbye.


dee said...

Keep looking at the big picture..the help and hope that these kids now have. I know it is hard to say goodbye, it is hard to even read about it, but someday they will learn that GOd loves them always and will never leave them. I need to remind myself of that from time to time.
MOM I love you

danthress said...

Checkout these kids!

erica said...

You are KILLING me here, oy, my heart, you are RIPPING IT TO SHREDS!

Yeah, they're more fragile ... now. It's going to be so cool to hear how they're doing in a year or two when they're closer in progress to where the Cambodian kids now.

I'm SO GLAD y'all are there and keep plugging away on Asia's Hope. I'm looking at our Rotanak as I type. Cutie.

We're still praying.