[A team of STORMer’s experience – Nicole, Esther, Jen Yee and Andrea]

Anlongvil – We traveled early in the morning that day by tuk tuk. We were scheduled to teach English to the kids, educate them on how to throw rubbish, make rubbish bins and play games. As we journeyed to Anlongvil, the cool air was blowing mercilessly as it tousled our hair. We reckoned that was Cambodia’s way of saying hello. Not long after, we arrived at Anlongvil. The children at the village came running out of their houses with wide smiles on their faces to welcome us.

They were shy at first; always looking away whenever we made eye contact. However, when we offered our high 5s, their smile broadened even more as they responded to our little gesture.

The village was simple. It was made up of a single storey concrete building where children would gather to learn English. This building is also used as a church on Sundays. Next to this building was a small sheltered area where an elderly Aunty would make delicious kuih-kapek-like (love letters) biscuits.

We, then, assembled the children and began our session with them. They were dressed in simple shorts and shirts. One look at their faces was enough to detect the excitement that was building up inside them.

We started the session with some songs. They surprised us even more when they started dancing along with us. They were quick in learning the actions to the songs and weren’t shy in doing them.

After the short warm up, we began to teach English. We taught them about the days of the week, colours and shapes. We, then, moved on to storytelling time. They were so participative when they were asked to act out the story with us. At the same time we taught them about cleanliness and we managed to carry out a successful clean up activity.

Each of us (Andrea, Esther, Nicole, Jen) had personal favourites of our time in the village.

Jen Yee: “One of my favourite moments in the village was the time we spent cutting the children’s nails and washing their hair. As I held their tiny hands, my heart can’t help but think about all the great and mighty things that they’ll do for God when they grow up. I truly believe God has a humongous plan for each of them and I can’t wait to see them living His plans.”

Nicole: “The highlight of my time in the village was when Teacher Mary Jane shared her life testimony with us over lunch. Her testimony made me realize how she was not only preaching the gospel, but living it. By God’s calling and witness to how the unfortunates were living, she was compelled to devote and sacrifice all that she was in the Philippines- her job, her family, even her potential to be a wife one day. Her testimony essentially inspired, convicted and questioned me of what my relationship with God is like.”

Andrea: “I really enjoyed the part where we cut the nails of the children and when we washed their hair. It was a really humbling experience and it impacted me a great deal. I was so happy that I could serve them in that way. Another experience that I really treasured was when a little girl came up to me and as I was bending over, she started stuffing flowers into my hair. I felt really touched by what she did and it was really such a beautiful thing to do.”

Esther: “One of the highlights for me is the children’s urge to learn English was just so motivating. Not only they were excited to learn English but also to praise God in the things they did. Also, their humility towards the things they have we’re just so humbling.”

Every day that has been spent here in Cambodia had been a special one. Together, we are ecstatic to see what God has in store for us in the week to come.

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