Cambodia is a beautiful country that has had a lot of trauma in its past. The Khmer Rouge came into power during the 1970’s and wanted to make an all agrarian society. So they killed most of the educated class in pursuit of that ideal.
Today we toured the S21 prison where the Khmer Rouge tortured and killed prisoners. They were very detailed in their documentation and we were able to see the pictures of actual prisoners and those killed.
We then toured the killing fields, where the Khmer Rouge created mass graves. We learned how the regime killed people, including babies. We saw actual human skulls and bones – it was deeply moving.
All of us were in a bit of shock as the realization of what we were seeing actually happened. It reminded me of the verse in Isaiah where the prophet wrote that there will be a day when the plowshares will be bent and there will be no more war, but peace. The Khmer Rouge used farm equipment to torture. Lord have mercy.
Our tour guide shared a little of her story and how the Cambodian people have learned to forgive. It is a necessity in order to survive; bitterness is an evil thing. However, they do cry out for justice, justice that has not happened and does not seem like it will happen. We know the hearts of the people and the Lord hears their cries.
We also ended the day at Daughters, which was a wonderful way to end the day. Daughters takes former women that were in the sex industry and helps them learn a trade so that they can make a living without being in that industry. It was incredible to actually see redemption in the midst of oppression.
We are so fortunate to be able to minister to these people and them to us. The Cambodian people are so wonderful and kind and gracious.