A sign should be posted, I thought, that warns those fearful of heights not to enter. I was walking into a riverfront slum, one in which every home was built on stilts—some very high stilts. Even the sidewalks that weaved through this collision of cobbled-together buildings were built on interconnected stilts that tied everything together in what seemed an uneasy truce with gravity. I didn’t want to look down, as it was impossible to avoid seeing the ground far below through the gaping gaps between boards—but if I didn’t, a slight misstep might seriously ruin my day!
I had come to visit Lighthouses—sanctuaries in the slum communities of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where children can come to receive love, hear about God’s love for them, and learn about the dangers of human traffickers who stalk poor communities like these in search of easy, desperate prey. They are places where relationships are formed, and kids receive attention they need. As the small ministry team makes their weekly visits, the children also see relationships between healthy adults—a rare occurrence in these communities—modeled before them on a regular basis.
Heaven’s Family is grateful to be working through the Human Trafficking/Slavery Fund to rent two of these “front-line” slum houses for a year, and I could see some of the early fruit already. Lighthouses are recognized by the children as a safe place. Adults look on with cautious acceptance, sensing that our presence there is good for their children and their community. As their hearts soften to our presence, we believe they will also soften to the message of the gospel. Pray with us that the children will be protected, and, long term, that the entire community will be transformed by Jesus’ love.
Below are some of the photos I took that tell the story…
I plan to send another blog from Cambodia in the next couple days, and then from the Philippines during the second leg of my trip. I hope you stay tuned. Thanks again for helping protect children and bring change to minds and hearts in Cambodia.
Because of Him,
Co-Director, Human Trafficking/Slavery Fund
Parting Shot: …loving the one