I once was blind, but now I see

After we brought Shrey ya back from her happy day, we spent some time talking with her grandmother. Here’s a little glimpse into her life: She doesn’t own the home she’s living in and sometimes can’t afford the rent of $3 a month; she makes brooms for a living– she goes into the jungle for 3 days at a time {yes, she sleeps there} and gathers the plants to make the brooms {this is dangerous as there are many poisonous snakes, scorpians and disease carrying mosquitoes in the jungle}; then she makes the brooms and sells them for 3000 riel= 75 cents. It’s a good day if she sells a broom because then her and Shrey ya can eat. The usually only have 2 meals a day and they skip breakfast. When Shrey ya goes to school next year, she’ll need 500 riel a day= about 12 cents= $3 a month, which they can’t afford. Her grandmother said that she had no hope and when we asked her what she needed most, she simply said, “rice”. We asked her if she could read and she said yes, but that everything was blurry and she couldn’t read small print.

We were pretty shocked to hear all of this but also excited, because now we knew HOW to help them! So, the next day we took her to get her eyes checked and fitted for a new pair of glasses.  While we were in town, we bought her and Shrey ya lunch for $2 USD that ended up feeding them for 2 meals! We bought them a 50 kg bag of rice for only $25 which will feed them for about 100 days. 

We gave her grandmother the new glasses and a Bible…

and bought 2 brooms {I’m happy to say that our broom made it through 3 bus trips, 3 airports, 4 security checks, customs, 1 hotel, lots of strange looks and tons of questions as to why I was carrying a broom and is now safely in America with us! Obviously it is worth more to me than we paid for it}

We are also going to support Shrey ya to go to school, pay their rent and buy 3 bags of rice a year for this adorable little family who has stolen our hearts.

You could say that it was Shrey ya’s grandmother who was blind and now sees, but I really think it was us. We were once blind to the needs of others and actually had made the choice not to look. As a defense mechanism, after working in the ER for 5+ years, I had purposely hardened my heart in an attempt not to burn out or get overwhelmed by the needs and sad stories of others. And we lost ourselves in the abundance that we as Americans have.

But God broke our hearts while in Cambodia. He opened our eyes, softened my hard heart and gave us this incredible opportunity to help another. We once were blind, but now we see.

And we are so grateful for this experience.

Because of it, our lives are forever changed…

*If you would like to help Shrey ya and her grandmother, click on the Give tab at the top of the page.

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8 thoughts on “I once was blind, but now I see

  1. I have SO loved following your ministry to Shrey Ya and her grandma! I forwarded it on to my family so they can meet the girl that has stolen the hearts of probably everyone that reads your blog 🙂

  2. This story made me cry!! Such a beautiful picture of you two being the hands and feet of Christ to this sweet family!! Amazing to see how God used you two!!

  3. Thanks once again for sharing. It’s a beautiful thing to see how God is leading, teaching and still opening blind eyes today – one life at a time. Love you guys!

  4. An amazing post illustrating the generosity and love of your hearts and the
    willingness to meet the great need of this dear family. Shrey ya and her
    grandmother are uniquely blessed that you embraced them and are
    providing for basic necessities. I know that both of you are also blessed
    as you respond and do “for the least of these.” I love you dear ones.

  5. Wow – so incredible. I had chills and tears while reading it. It’s humbling to think of how much we have and how little it can take to make such a HUGE difference. Thanks for sharing and can’t wait to see you before too long! Love you both!

  6. Pingback: in case you’re wondering about the broom | Anderson Adventures

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