Here is Natalie’s story of change after her trip to Cambodia in November 2015:
When I stepped off the bus at the orphanage for this first time, I was instantly surrounded by 18+ smiling kids all saying hello repeatedly, holding my hands, and wrapping their arms around me for hug after hug. I did not expect to be so overwhelmed with emotion not even a minute after being with them. There are many types of love and then there is God’s love. When you experience a moment so filled with His presence, you cannot help but be moved… to be changed. And that was one of those moments for me. If those kids are not a testament of God’s unconditional love for us, I don’t know what is.
We were given a tour around the orphanage and the entire time the kids followed us laughing and smiling. Two of the boys in particular kept holding my hands and trying to tickle me pulling me left and right, showing me different parts of their home. Right then I felt my heart being stolen and I gave it freely. These two, who were brothers and very new to the orphanage, knew zero English but honestly, we played and I hardly noticed we spoke different languages. Our team brought board games and these two little nuggets grabbed Operation; they caught on quick and did not stop playing with it until we loaded up the games.
When we returned the next day, our first full day with the kids, our team was greeted the same way with the same amount of enthusiasm, if not more. I saw my two little guys and as I went to hug them, not knowing they learned some English while we were away, they said to me, “Hello! Thank you! I love you so much!” Words cannot describe what I felt at that moment. I decided to sponsor them both the next day, how could I not? And that was only the first two times with the kids. It only got better from there. This was my first trip to Cambodia and I know without a doubt that I will be going back.