Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Zoo, Part Two

Well, as promised, here are some photos of the people I saw at the zoo.  Most of these photos are from our first visit, since the second visit found the zoo mostly empty.  Here are some random snapshots throughout the zoo. 

No, the people weren’t in cages!!  Here they are watching two bears that are about to get in a fight.  I was just around the other corner.

This boy is trying to throw food over a cage to some deer but not strong enough to do it so he’s laughing in embarrassment.  I thought it was kind of cute. 

And here are some more:

The photos are fun and bring me joy of this place I love.

On the road that leads out of (and into) the zoo, however, it’s a different view.

 These photos just break my heart into a million pieces.  This dirt road is filled with beggars just standing there asking for money as the cars go by.  The first time we went the road had people literally every 10-20 meters or less.  And this road is 6 kilometers long.  That’s a lot of people who are poor and homeless and asking for more money than I could physically give out! I mean, I physically did not possess enough bills for the number of people present that day. How do you decide who to give to and who to pass by?  Most of them are old and disabled in some way.  Some are children or entire families and it’s just heart breaking to see them sitting out in the middle of this quiet road so far from the bustling city of Phnom Penh.  There they are, just standing and asking for money.  They  fill the holes in the road with dirt so cars will appreciate their work and pay them.   Some are blind and just stand in front of the cars so they have to drive around them to get down the road.  I saw one with no legs just sitting by the road.  They all looked so sad.  And so old!  It’s very unusual to see so many old people in Cambodia.  I just want to hug them all.

I want to give all the money I have to them and take off my clothes and give them something to wear, even if that means the Chaco sandals I got for my birthday last year or the Gucci knock off sunglasses I bought at the beach for $10.  I don't care.  They have nothing.  I have so much.

 I don’t know why God gave me the heart He did and the love for these people that He did without giving me millions of dollars and thousands of people to come with me so I could help these people and change the world.  I guess because it makes me ask Him that question every single day.  And every single day, He answers my question by saying that it is enough.  What seems like so little to me is so much to them.

Just smiling at a young girl as I pass her in the market might be enough to keep her from making a choice to feel worthless enough to jump on a pimp’s moto one night.

Asking my tuk tuk driver how he is doing today instead of just shouting out a destination might be enough to make him notice something different and encourage him to stay and come inside on Sunday when he brings us to church.

Tipping my server at a place where tipping isn’t customary (just a little so not to insult them) might be just what they need for a child at home that day.

Who knows what invisible needs are present around me every day.

If it were easy, 
I wouldn’t need God.  

And neither would they. 

These people break my heart.  

And God puts it back together when I fall to my knees before Him.

And then I wake up another day so we can do it all over again.

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