EXTREME LOVE - RESTORE
We first met Lily (not her real name) while visiting a local village in Cambodia. We could see burn marks and scars all over her face and body, and her soiled clothes and other signs pointed out the obvious: severe neglect. We could also tell that she had Down Syndrome.
A dark, profound sadness poured from Esther’s eyes. Fear and loneliness, too. We tracked down her mother in a nearby shack. She was drunk. We asked what her little girl’s name was and were told she had not been given a name at birth. But she had a nickname: Fat. After questioning others, we learned of even more atrocities that had been committed against Lily (the name we gave her).
She received worse treatment than most animals (most likely because of her disability), was forced to sleep outside naked, and was tortured and abused.
During another visit to Lily’s village, we came upon her, naked, with two men and her drunk mother. The men explained that they were only there to “play with Fat.” We heard more stories too horrible to recount. We now knew we had to rescue Lily, and our battle for this precious little girl began.
By diligently working with government officials and social workers, we were finally able to bring Lily to our Hope House shelter. She is now loved, and well on her way to physical, spiritual and emotional healing and restoration. That journey began with a miracle: once mute, Lily spoke her first words, “My name is Lily,” the same day she received her new name!
Hope House is a small, family-style children’s home providing hope for a forgotten generation of overlooked, abused and exploited Cambodian children with physical or intellectual disabilities. Children with disabilities are often at-risk for trafficking and other forms of abuse, but our goal is to provide them with abundant love and value, just as their Creator does.