Neither words nor pictures can really capture what happened today but I will try.
Our team has been going hard since we left Sanctuary Church parking lot Thursday morning at 6am. The flight was exhausting and many of us didn't sleep on the plane. We started right in with a 7:30am breakfast Saturday morning and served on Widows Island and toured the Killing Fields.
Sunday we split into two groups with some at Pastor Paul's church and others serving at the dumpsite, visiting Pastor Sihok's church and then all meeting back up for an evening at Dr. Tago's church.
Monday kicked it up another notch. We arrived at Haleys House around 9:30am and immediately set out to painting the children's dorm rooms. Two teams (one for the girls room one for the boys) went to work setting up and jumping in. Another team worked on a mural for the main entrance and had to run to buy paint and supplies before jumping in.
Lets pause here for a moment:
If you've ever heard Jay Arntzen describe why SSM does what we do you've heard him say that these orphanages are severly understaffed. There isn't man power to maintain the building and watch over all the children closely and help them keep clean rooms. Today our team saw that. Today we saw the dirt build up, the pests and their effects on the room, the crumbling mattresses and more. Today we saw our brothers and sisters in Christ who were in need. Friends let me tell you- This team set to work with a passion I can't explain.
But please allow me to tell you what i saw
Denise and Dana went into the girls dorm when we arrived and did not leave until it was done. No lunch, no break, and no complaining.
Keith walked in with very little direction or planning and ran with the painting project to get it started and saw it through til the end.
April and her team (Abigail Josh and Alex) pulled together supplies and resources and then worked tirelessly to start and FINISH a beautiful mural in less than one day.
Ryan came at every part from set up to clean up with more energy and fun than I thought a group of painters and cleaners could have.
Mike stood on rickety chairs to reach the ceiling and make sure the job looked excellent and not just ok.
Micah and Clay stayed until every job was done. They painted swept scraped carried and more. And when Andrea found another job at the very end they popped up to finish that too.
Andrea.. no words for you girl just endless praises to God for your passion to fix ANY and ALL things that you could today. Wow. Thank you.
Matt went on any errand we asked, lugged old mattresses out, hauled new clean mattresses up three flights of stairs, covered them, and supported the team through it all.
Jay and Steve painted, swept, carried, cleaned and all while leading the team and spending intentional time with the Haleys House staff.
And last but not least I get to brag on my husband Williamrobert who lugged mattresses out and in with Matt, scooped backed up water with Andrea, bleached the floors with me, painted and scraped with Clay and Micah, and played with kids in the process. you were everywhere at once and making it fun for all in the process.
Y'all that isn't even the end. The other half of our team took the children for a treat to play at a kids place but before they left they were all in with cleaning and painting. So they did all the things I listed in the beginning about the start of our trip. They helped us start the projects I've shared about at Haleys House and then they took over 30 children and all out played with them for hours. They intentionally loved every child and saw to it that they had a blast. Reese, Tommy, Marci, Madelyn, Tara, Carly, Meg, Chloe, Chris, Caleb, Christy and Tracy thank you.
This entire mission team is incredible. This day was long and the work was hard but I'm so proud of what was done for the Glory of God to benefit these children he so dearly loves.
SO LET'S REVIEW :
We got the walls painted, the floors scrubbed, the mural finished (stunning!), old mattresses out, all the new mattresses in and on the beds, the mattress covers on, new pillows purchased and on beds, new bedding delivered, new clothes racks in the boys dorms. While that was happening the children were being well loved and cared for by the other half of Team Camodia. WOW!! Praise.
Please keep praying for our team and for our partners. This was just one day! Imagine what the next four hold!
(And I'll just add that these projects aren't cheap and we haven't fully finished fundraising if you would like to give to make sure we can keep doing stuff like this please give here
** Written by Sarah Green
Saving Susan Ministry Coordinator