Southeast Asia 2013

It was not on the official program. One of those things to do, “if time allows.” No, can’t say it was on the agenda, but there hasn’t been a time yet when I was in Phnom Penh and didn’t make an effort to get there– a brief visit to the Kien Kleang Orphanage, where it all began for me. The year was 1999 and it was here that I held my first HIV/AIDS patient, a little boy who was 3 but looked like he could be only a few weeks old. He had that look of anguish in his face, the kind only those who experience severe pain can express. But it was too late for him. He was already beyond recoverable.

I found out that there were others like him in the home – waiting for their turn to die.

I got out of the property, went inside the van, and wept bitterly. “Why? God, why?” I kept asking myself… And that day I made a promise to God that if He opened the doors, I would do anything to help rescue at risk children. And a decade later I met Faa and the dream is now a reality in the form of G.R.O.W. (

Post 3a

We only had a brief visit today and I felt bad I walked there empty-handed. But the smiles and hugs were worth it all, from my friends who have suffered so much in this world but keep on smiling.

In the pictures here is a girl with Down’s Syndrome. Se was only 13 when I met her in 1999. But she has never forgotten me. And her hugs are so special. The other little gal I only met a couple of years ago. She and her sister are deaf and mute, but their smiles are much ore than words. Note to self: come back only if I have time to play for a while. And never again empty-handed!

Pastor Ivanildo C. Trindade (reporting from Cambodia)