This was no ordinary day at the beach in Sihanoukville, Cambodia.
It was the rainy season, which made the beach a place to avoid during the torrential, daily downpours. Long past was the season when eager tourists lounged on the beach or searched for the typical treasures washed clean by the waves or deposited on the sand by the tide—seashells, aquatic creatures, perhaps a coin or some bauble lost by a distracted vacationer—but more likely finding trash—seaweed, sticks, and stones, as well as discarded cans and bottles. That fateful day, an amazing treasure was discovered among the flotsam—an abandoned baby boy who appeared not quite a year old.
Who was this baby, and how long had he been there? No one knew, but it was clear that his condition was dire. The sick and exhausted child, covered in bug bites, was near death.
“But God had another plan for this little guy,” says Brett VanderMolen, director (with his wife, Susan) of Sihanoukville Children’s Home.
When the local Ministry of Social Affairs office called to inform them about the baby and ask them to consider taking him, the VanderMolens didn’t have to think for long. “We said yes immediately by faith that we would have enough funds to cover his medical expenses and his care,” said VanderMolen.
When the child was released from the hospital a few days later, the VanderMolens took him into their own home to help nurse him back to health. “We loved him and prayed over him and prayed for healing in his body and his heart from the abuse he had suffered,” said VanderMolen. “Within a week, you could see God’s hand at work in his life, and he began to get better.”
Names are very important in Cambodian culture,* and this little boy had none. So it was a great honor for Brett and Susan to have the opportunity to name him. They chose David, which means “beloved” in Hebrew, because like his biblical namesake, David found his strength in the Lord (1 Samuel 30:6).
The VanderMolens are quick to share the credit with those who played important roles in David’s redemption. “Partners like Asia’s Little Ones made it possible to rescue another child from a life-or-death situation,” they acknowledge. “God is so good and faithful to provide when we take steps of faith and obedience.”
What someone abandoned on the beach that day was definitely a treasure of immense value to God. Today, David is a strong, healthy, and happy little boy whose smile lights up the rooms at Sihanoukville Children’s Home. He is truly beloved.
Read more about Sihanoukville Children's Home in the ALO Update Vol 26 No 22.
Check out and like the VanderMolens’ FaceBook page: https://www.facebook.com/Brett-and-Susan-VanderMolen-Missionaries-to-Cambodia-181888308510418/