After a few great days, we took thirteen of the older girls to a retreat in Chiang Rai, Thailand. From swimming and playing with beach volley balls, to seeing a movie at a nearby cinema, then over to a night of bowling and wondering for noodles, we enjoyed our time with these amazing women. Celebrating our faith together and the hope the Lord brings us, brought tears to many of our eyes as testimonies were shared. On the final morning of the retreat, we had a spirit filled worship time, ending with our retreat theme song “Back to Back.”

Saying our goodbyes after that was one of the most difficult things we endured on this trip. It was evident to us that our God brought us together for many purposes, one being to just purely love one another. The harder the goodbye, the deeper the relationship you have built. And our goodbyes pooled tears by the seas.

We then headed to our family at G.R.O.W. and were greeted by new smiles, and new hope. After some beautiful dances by the children, a day filled with tasty food we headed to the hotel “Cabbages & Condoms,” for some needed rest for a day of work ahead. We spent the following day building a fence around their on-site fish pond, where we made quick efforts to finish before melting away in the tropical heat. Next on our agenda was a shower and nap, followed shortly by witnessing children catch frogs, aka “Dinner.” We had the pleasure of enjoying a worship service with the kids the following morning including a skit performed by our Hillside team in which kids laughed in song. Saying goodbye, once again, was very difficult even with the short two days we spent with them, but God had plans for us in Cambodia.