Some days ago, ICF Cambodia celebrated its second anniversary. On the 7th of September 2014 we had our Grand Opening in Siem Reap. Before that, ICF Cambodia already existed for about 1 year – already as a small kind of house church with celebrations on Sundays and a social arm reaching out to those in need. It simply wasn’t really official yet. We, or rather family Strupler & Co. (I started in July 2014) first wanted to pick leaders as well as get used to people and culture. From the beginning on, it grew faster than ever expected. Within a few months we had great and supportive leaders and to-become-leaders respectively on our side.
Looking back, there is uncountable stories from people who have changed immensely. Something which fascinates me again and again.
One girl was a cocktail waitress in a bar and is now our worship singer and preaches in the ONEIGHTY (youth) celebration.
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Cambodian kids smile. Not always maybe, but very often. Especially when they see some white faces. They love them, it might be because in the villages they live they don’t see them too often. Or because white faces often say hello and wave. A Cambodian wouldn’t do that. There is too many kids in this country – too exhausting. Nonetheless, there is more in a life of a child than white faces and a smile. It might be shown in their dark eyes. Rather sad facts. Malnutrition, child labour, child trafficking, death of a parent, … – you name it. And, even if it is – in comparison – only as “small” as the lack of love or attention or being neglected. It carves into their hearts and the older they get the deeper the cut will be.
There is treatment, though.
According to John F. Kennedy, former president of the USA, children are “the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future”. Period. This is why we need to protect the smallest and weakest and give them back what the past of Cambodia – its war and genocide – had stolen years ago: Love. Recognition. Dignity. Belief in themselves. Attention. Faith. Encouragement. Hope. Childhood. An unending list.
You can’t buy these. But you can give them. That is, what we made to our mission at ICF Cambodia.
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