The following is from the Saving Moses videographer who experienced Cambodia for the first time on our recent trip.
Upon my arrival in Cambodia, the first thing I noticed was how dirty and hectic it was. The bus ride to the hotel from the airport was quite the culture shock for me. I witnessed five people on one motorcycle—not to mention the hundreds of motorcycles going every which way. The amount of trash lying in the sidewalks astonished me. We drove for miles and the chaos just kept going. I had just entered into the third world country universe.
At first, all of this seemed so hostile, so alien. I dismissed this feeling of fear as irrational but it still bothered me. Then the photographer that traveled with me said if I smiled and waved at even just one person in the crowd of busy, busy people, I would receive the coolest gift—a heart-warming smile. Little did I know that in Cambodia a smile can be more than what words can offer. Cambodian people are the nicest most generous people I have ever met. Even when visiting the slums I was completely amazed that these people who had nothing were laughing and a smiling. These people, that literally live life in a landfill, are more than happy to give out a smile to strangers from a foreign land.
“The main thing I learned from this experience is my worst day in the United States is far better than any day for those people in the slums. And yet these people gave to me what they had—a smile.”
We called the slums we visited “plankville” because of how the homes were loosely constructed of various scraps—planks of board and metal sheets. The whole system of houses was built above ground and connect by walkways made from these planks. Small rivers of refuse ran under the elevated structures. This was a place full of sewer water and trash. We noticed how the children of this village played care free on the “sidewalks”, even with dangerous drops offs into the sewage. The older kids weren’t afraid to just jump right in the filth. I watched as kids reached down into the sewage water with tongs to snag a piece of candy to eat—a piece of candy unwrapped and covered in sewage.
After visiting this place it became even clearer that there is a great need to help the sex workers with NightCare for their babies. The women of the sex industry love their babies and they struggle to take care of them. By day they are loving mothers and by night they work with vile men that only take advantage of them. It was clear that NightCare could be that guiding light to these women, a place where they could receive help—a place where they might find Christ.