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The tracks went straight; made of iron, surrounded by tiny gray pebbles. They had a purpose and a destination like all train tracks do. They had momentum and drive, power and opportunity. Nothing made these tracks different, but the people that lived by them.


I came to Cambodia with a good amount of knowledge of the culture and plight that I might experience, but nothing prepared me for these broken joyful people who I met when we were taken to the train tracks in Phnom Pehn. These people had come from surrounding villages, searching for opportunity and success- a search I am sure most of us are familiar with; but they ended up here. They either owned the thin dark and musty spaces they called home, or they rented them. The juxtaposition of their joy and laughter with the rotting trash and swampy water that surrounded their stick and wood homes struck me. No matter how many times I see absolute poverty, there always seems to be joy. I see the power and freedom of Jesus in this place, and these people aren’t even aware of it yet! God’s power and joy has no limits even among those who have yet to know him and accept him as King. Psalm 24:1, “The Earth is the Lord’s and EVERYTHING in it, the world and ALL who live in it” (emphasis mine). It is joy inducing to know that God holds us all: Christian, Buddhist, poor, rich, smart, kind.


Freedom’s Promise works to bring awareness to people like those living by the train tracks that they are loved, they are fully known by God and he holds them close, even if they don’t know it yet.



Taylor Allen

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