Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Goodbye to Cambodia

Well, it's now time to say goodbye to Cambodia. For me, it's not that big of a deal -- I know I'll be back soon. For the other team members, the reality of leaving is a bit sobering.

Everyone I spoke to is anxious to return, but no one knows when that will happen. Last night, we drove to each of our three Phnom Penh-area orphan homes, saving Prek Eng 2 -- the Central Vineyard home -- for last.

We spent about an hour and a half playing with our kids. Bethany showed them how to make silly putty with Borax and glue. I played a long game of "Simon Says," and then we started the long process of leaving. As we had at each of the other homes, we gathered together to pray a blessing on the kids, the staff and the home. Then we hugged all of the kids, and said our 'goodbyes' and 'I love yous.'

I did fine until, as we walked out of the gate toward our truck, Vilaiy grabbed me. He buried his head in my chest and began to sob. I expected this level of emotion from the little kids, but Vilaiy is the oldest -- almost a man, with his deep voice and lanky frame. I just held on tight and told him "I love you, and I will always come back to see you again and again." After a few moments, we pried ourselves from our kids and drove away.

The rest of the team is taking it by faith that they'll enjoy Thailand, but I'm sure it won't be the same. Or, as they say in Thailand, "Same same, but different."

Well, my time is about to expire, and my flight is about to board. I love you all, and I'll write more from Thailand.


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