Reflection of participant
It was the second last day of our Mission trip and most of the ACTs team was eagerly looking forward to the Christmas party and concert to be staged by the children of Teuk Thla that morning.
Whilst waiting for the concert to begin, one of the Grade 5 girls, Thi Da, also a boarder with the Sisters ran up to me with a broad smile and handed me an envelope. Dr John Lee, who was seated nearby teasingly commented, “receiving thank you cards even before the party?” I looked at him sheepishly, wondering whether to peel open the envelope. However, Thi Da was eager that I did – in it was a beautiful origami card with a handwritten message.
As I read the card, I could feel the warmth of this 12 year old girl resonating in the simply written words. My eyes filled with tears as I read the last line, ‘Can you to be my mother?’.
I had first met Thi Da in 2009, on my first ACTs trip and taught her catechism with her fellow Catholic boarders. Thi Da struck me as a girl filled with enthusiasm and an eagerness to learn more about her faith.
I showed my husband the card when he returned from the day spent at a village and we both knew what felt right for us. We started liaising with the Mother Superior of the Salesian sisters via email to see what we could do to help this lovely girl whom we looked forward to seeing every single year we returned to Phnom Penh.
Sponsoring her tuition and boarding fees were the least we could do whilst remembering the words of the Lord Jesus. For He himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive”. (ACTS 20:35)
By Audey Ruyters