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Asian Hope Revisited

July 1, 2010

I had a post several weeks ago about the family who won the Asian Hope (http://www.asianhope.org) silent auction for my family portrait package.  Well I had the immense pleasure of meeting some of the students from Asian Hope last weekend.  It was a rainy afternoon at the Fischer’s home, but we were able to manage a quick photo session for the students.

Here is a family picture of the wonderful Fischer family who has been so heavily involved with Asian Hope for many years.

Here are a couple group shots of the students who are currently here in the Denver area. This was after the rain really started…but they were great sports about running out for a quick group shot.

Here is a picture of Socheatha Jim, the first one to come to the states for an education.  Following is a picture of her and her sister Marena.  Socheatha has also wanted to share her story with you so you can better understand how Asian Hope has changed her life.

My name is Socheatha Jim. I am from Phnom Penh, Cambodia. I have one older brother and one younger sister. I grew up with a single mom because our dad left us. As a result, my mom had to work night and day to provide food for us. One day, at age 11, my mother left for work and said she would be back soon, but never returned. When my mom never returned home, my brother left us too. At 11 years of age, I was not only fending for my life in a country where women are already dealt a losing hand, but I was the sole provider and caretaker for my younger sister who was 7 years old. For two years my sister and I lived alone in the shack. When it would rain there was only a small place to lay our heads because of all the holes in the roof, and the shack smelled like trash.

During those two years, I have done things that I am not so proud of. I stole from neighbors, and broke into an abandon house just to pick vegetables so we could make our meal. At that point I started to go to church; but not go to church just because I love Jesus. I went to church because they provided money and food for us. Then a missionary told me about a new orphanage called “Asian Hope”. The missionary took my sister and me there so we could have someone supervise and take care of us. It was a miracle my sister and I survived on our own for those two years!

When I got to Asian Hope, I was so mad at God for the life He gave me. I hated the place and was thinking what are these white people doing here in Cambodia? I also hated devotions. We had it every single night! Then one night after devotions I sat on the balcony and talked to God. I asked God to show Himself to me if He is truly the God who cares for the orphans. Indeed He did! The next day during devotions I began to weep as we sang. I felt like the spirit of God poured down on me. That night, I asked the Lord Jesus to be my savior.

I lived in the orphanage for seven years and began to love the new “family” that God gave to me. Asian Hope has provided for me in many ways: they gave me an education, a place I called home, thirty kids whom I called brothers and sisters. However, the most important thing that I learned from being in Asian Hope is to know Christ as my savior. Know that it is still okay that I don’t a father here on earth, however I have the Father in heaven, that He will never leave me or forsaken me. I can always count on Him.

Because I was older, my Asian Hope guardians thought it would be good for me to further my education in the States. So I was sent to study at Front Range Christian School for my Junior and Senior years of high school.

Now I am entering my senior year at Liberty University in Lynchburg Virginia, and I am studying to become a Health Educator. My vision, upon returning to Cambodia after graduation, is to help people with their physical health and also share the gospel and what God has done in my life. I know that God has a plan for me and for our country, and I amxcited for Him to use me. Asian Hope not only gave me hope for a better life, but the education, experiences, and love needed to become a leader so I can help revitalize Cambodia in the love of Christ.

These are all amazing students with amazing stories.  I am excited to get to know them better and feel exceptionally lucky to have been a part of this.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 14, 2010 5:04 pm

    I love it Sarah! You have done a great job with these photos. Thank you again for taking the time to come to our house and be with the students. We feel so blessed to have worked with you…the pictures are amazing!

  2. Danielle permalink
    July 14, 2010 5:37 pm

    Sarah,

    These shots are beautiful!! Thanks so much for giving your time to shoot these!

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