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Bright colors and vivid images filled the once-blank cinder block wall of the soup kitchen in Phnom Pehn, Cambodia.

Members of Elder Gerrit W. Gong’s family and the army of street children they enlisted to help them paint the scene stood back and examined the work.

Although the family had provided the sketch, paint, and brushes, something had shifted. The mural they created, which added light to the once colorless space, wasn’t theirs.

It belonged to the children.

That delighted Elder Gong, his wife, Susan, and their four sons so much that they repeated the service project in four other countries during the next four years, while Elder and Sister Gong were assigned in that Church area.

“I don’t know how it came to us; it just did,” said Sister Susan Gong. “We were grateful others were excited for children to have creative opportunities.”

As someone interested in the photographic impact of light, color, composition, and moment, Elder Gong imagines the children—and others like them in Nepal, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Utah—enjoying the space.

Now as a newly sustained member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles he will share a different kind of light with God’s children throughout the world.

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