“The King of Cambodia died on Monday”

The day we arrived at the Khnach Romease Village, Pastor Vanny announced this during the evening’s worship and prayer time at the orphanage we’d decided to spend our week-long Pchum Bun holiday in. Together, our outreach team of 10 and the 31 kids who live at the orphanage prayed for the country.

These children offered their petitions to God with more fervor than grown men

It was one of the most stirring moments I have ever witnessed or been a part of. These children offered their petitions to God with more fervor than grown men. Eyes clenched, hands raised, and swaying back ‘n’ forth as we simultaneously prayed in our own languages. When everyone else had quieted down, these two little boys (Chert and Darinth) were standing there side by side, still going strong. They were in their own little world. One could easily envision them before the Father’s throne.

These were evidently confident sons, mighty warriors, about 9 or 10 years old, like David they were unafraid. They went on for a few minutes more ‘til their voices waned and the silence spoke of Father’s delight and satisfaction in them. That was night one, we had not even been there six hours and these little orphans were showing us what it means to be children of the Almighty King.

In those short hours, they had already latched onto us as if we were their older brothers and sisters returning home. Pastor Vanny told us that they had been praying for us to come and were so glad that we had finally arrived. We could easily see their excitement, because we had children crowd around us on every side the moment we got out of the van. They clung to us with absolute contentment and joy. They welcomed us with songs and choreographed dances; their vivid voices rose and filled that church.

We had not even been there six hours and these little orphans were showing us what it means to be children of the Almighty King

The night before we left, we concluded a time of worshipping Jesus together by sharing team testimonies. We each spoke a few minutes about ourselves and what God has taught us that we wanted them to hold onto. Then we got to pray for them all individually. We each walked around laying hands on small shoulders, cradling their heads in our hands and speaking out who they were to the Lord. We interceded for their futures and who they would grow up to be.

We thanked the Lord for his sons and daughters: powerful and brave, courageous and creative, leaders and world-changers. These children have prayed for things in their village and already have seen huge and immediate change. For example, there used to be horrendous smelling pigs, loud animals, and gambling men surrounding the orphanage. The kids went out, prayed, and it all stopped! These kids did not have small faith to believe. No, we were praying for those who have seen and accomplished that which we have hoped for.

What could we possibly say to them that they didn’t already know. “Abide in me,” Jesus said in John 15, “Abide in my love.” Our little holiday was all about one thing: we worship, serve and love the same God. Regardless of nationality or language, we are all made in his image. Children, adults, orphans or missionaries; we are all a part of the same family and we need each other. Love God and love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22). We got to experience that for Pchum Ben. Playing with children may seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Yet, in God’s Kingdom economy, it is more valuable than the things most of us choose to spend our lives on.

Photo graciously provided by Taren Maroun

Victoria Hawkins
Victoria Hawkins is an editor and freelance writer currently posing as a Pre-K teacher in the City of Lights (aka Las Vegas), NV. Aside from writing, she is passionate about music, poetry and any medium of storytelling really. Her greatest joy is to be a part of people confidently walking in their identity, pursuing their dreams, supported by community and living in the freedom of a relationship Jesus.