By Susanna Fan
I have been praying for opportunities to be involved in FiCF ministries. As a building inspector with an architectural background, my work is in one form of construction or another. So when Pleroma School for Girls broke ground for construction, I asked God to give me a shovel and put me to work. Instead God moved Cecilia (FiCF Board Chair) to ask me to be the photographer of this calendar. Little did she know that I had often dreamed about working as a photographer for the National Geographic!
After much reading and research about Cambodia, I flew to Phnom Penh in early January, 2015. As my camera started to roll, emotions sideswiped me left and right. The ancient structures took me back in time to marvel at their past glory. Yet the poverty of most Cambodians today struck me with disgust. How could a few people live so lavishly and squander the country’s foreign aid provided by so many kind-hearted people?
As I walked silently through the school- turned- prison with torture chambers at S-21 and the old cemetery- turned- Killing Field, tears welled up in my eyes as if the blood- stained ground spoke to me afresh the pain and suffering of those who were so cruelly killed some 40 years ago. The Khmer Rouge survivors’ faces troubled me deeply. Some told their stories that they escaped death by killing and making others their scapegoats. At the Pleroma Home for Girls operated by FiCF, it was gut- wrenching to find out how young and tiny some of the victims were. The horrific crime and injustice perpetrated against them aches my heart.
I sat quietly before my computer looking over and over at the pictures that I took from Cambodia once I got home. Many were a bit boring due to lighting and subject matters and others were too crowded. I worried I might not have the right pictures for this calendar. However, deep in my heart, I knew that God had chosen and sent me to Cambodia, so the pictures got to be there. As I prayed for His wisdom to see these pictures the way He would want others to see them, the collection used in this calendar began to crystallize. The pictures and prayer items started to correlate. I worked through the night and before I realized, the skeleton of the calendar emerged.
God allowed me to see what breaks His heart also broke mine, and what I saw became the first draft of this calendar. After many revisions to polish the wording and to better organize the pictures, the core remains. This was never just a project for me, but a true life experience of co-laboring with God.
*Susanna Fan is the volunteer designer and photographer of this Calendar.
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