Sometimes I find it so hard to write. It’s not that I don’t know what to write but there’s so much going on that it’s hard to wrap it all up. There are also many memories that are very sacred and not to be aired like laundry on the line…you know?
As I sit in the hotel room just resting I found myself looking through the pictures from the orphanage. There were so many fun things that happened there. As the memories came back to me, one picture popped up and I can say it was the most touching moment of all that I have had since being here in Cambodia.
Meet Souern. He’s 21 years old and has been at the orphanage for 7 years. He’s the oldest orphan and the Vanni’s (pastor and the man who started the orphanage) right hand man. He leads the church services, he cleans the gutters, he helps take care of the other kids, he runs errands and most of all he loves well. He has that smile on his face all the time!!! He loves Jesus with all of his heart because he saved his life.
Souern might look like a boy but he is a man!!! And I tell you what, if I was 9 years younger I would have had a major crush on him, instead I loved him like my little brother. We would sit and he would teach me Khmer or help me play the guitar. He has a heart of gold….like overflowing with gold. There was something about him that caught my heart immediately. He is a hard worker and a man of such honor. When he prays you see how much he loves the Lord, when he sings it’s even more. He is truly a man among men and yet he has grown up with no parents, an orphan in the middle of Cambodia.
Yet there was something inside me that really wanted to know him but the time we had was not enough. The Lord would speak to me about him and I would encourage him most days and just let him know how proud the Lord was of him and the Lord just kept telling me to tell him that there were big plans ahead for him. He would be a man that would change the nation of Cambodia. He has an apostolic anointing and is a MAN of God. I could be sure that at least 5 times a day I would be greeted by his smile and a “sooks sabi Lu?”. Which means how are you? It always made me smile from ear to ear. It was like I had a soul connection with him…it wasn’t until the last day that I realized why.
On the very last day I was packing up my things and he was in the vicinity and he walked over and said hi. Then he reached into my heart and snagged a piece that I might never get back…and I’m ok with that. He said to me, “Lu everytime I look at you I remember my mom. You look just like her and it makes me miss her but it also makes me happy.” I fought back tears but not very well. It was almost like I had been punched in the gut. I asked him about his mother and he said that she left him a long time ago. But in no way did I feel like he resented me for looking like her, but it made him happy. As I walked away I felt like I got slugged in the gut. I then knew what I needed to do.
I grabbed Vanni to translate for me. I knew that he was a heartbroken man and there really wasn’t much I could do but there was one thing. I hope this next part does not sound in any way arrogant or of my own will or strength. This was so much the hand the of the Lord. The Lord spoke to my heart through one of the girls there and I stood in gap for his mom. I asked the Lord what he wanted me to say to him….I told him that I was sorry on behalf of his mom. I reminded him that it was nothing that he did that caused her to leave. It was not his fault that she left. I told him that not every woman was like that and that there was a woman out there that God has set apart for him to marry. She would be a Godly woman that would love him for the amazing man that he was. We both cried and laughed and said goodbye.
The love of the Lord is the simplest thing in the world. I may be on some grand journey but it’s really simple…I’m learning to love Jesus, to look more like Jesus and to love like Jesus loves. It’s wrecking my heart as to how much he loves me and the ways in which he’s teaching me to love.
Thank you Souern for opening my eyes to love…