This week we’d like to introduce you to Chanteoun, a young woman who is the sister of Aly, one of our Khmer staff members. Chanteoun (pronounced “chan-too-en”) has been attending our church for some time and is employed by Sak Saum at one of our Freedom Facilities.
Though you probably wouldn’t know it looking at her now, until recently Chanteoun suffered from cleft palate, a birth defect that can lead to other numerous health issues. In Cambodia, it is believed that birth defects and handicaps are sign of a curse, or are the punishment for sin in a past life. For individuals like Chanteoun, this belief can be a factor placing them at high risk for abuse and trafficking.
After building relationship with Chanteoun through Sak Saum, we approached her with a question: would she be willing to undergo cleft palate corrective surgery? Her response was a shy but thankful “yes!” Soon our national director Theavy accompanied her to a preliminary doctor’s appointment.
On the day of her surgery, Chanteoun arrived at our office with a look of both nervousness and expectation. A night in the hospital and a short recovery period soon revealed the restoration of what had already been a beautiful smile. But over time, something else that was not there before has emerged: a lightness in Chanteoun’s step and a newfound confidence.
Please join us in praying for Chanteoun, that she would grow in her walk with God and in the confidence that comes not from self but from Him.