In a Land of Darkness, We Found Hope: Cambodia
This is about 2 months overdue. An overview of my 6 week trip to Cambodia!
Being a Light in Cambodia
Our team of 14, plus 2 kids, jetted off to Cambodia for 6 incredible weeks. God spoke to us clearly about our mission in Cambodia, partly through the book of Haggai in the Bible. We were to go & rebuild temples (the people of God) in broken places. Keeping the focus on God, planting seeds & encouraging and blessing the people we met was the focus of our mission. It was so cool to hear God speak & see the things He spoke about actually happen!
Our first ten days were spent in Phnom Penh. Some things we did:
- Random acts of kindness.
- Prayer walked around the red light district of Phnom Penh. We had our eyes opened, and hearts broken, at the reality of sex tourism, child prostitution, pedophilia & the sex industry. It was no longer just a documentary, it was reality.
- We worked with the amazing organization Precious Women! They offer counseling & vocational training to women who work in the sex industry (often karaoke bars, beer gardens and brothels).
With Precious Women we hosted an outreach party for women who work in the industry. (Most work in the night life to support their family, and aren’t there because they “want” to be.) We hung out, played games, cooked, painted nails, and just had fun. It’s rare they are in a safe environment, so it was huge to be able to simply bless and empower them, let them be girls and help them realize their value.
Precious Women shared about the services they offer as a way out of the night life and our team shared a skit about Christ with them. They were really moved and it was seriously a blast spending time with them!
Our second ten days were spent in Siem Reap.
Before going to Siem Reap, God spoke to us that while there we would be teaching, involved in prison ministry and reaching people where they’re at. That’s exactly what we did. We helped a Pilipino missionary couple that ran these 3 ministries; teaching English at two schools, sharing testimonies and spending time with those in a drug rehab program at the local prison and participating in village ministry.
Some of us also had the opportunity to paint a mural at one of the schools, which was a awesome experience!
Last three weeks were back in Phnom Penh volunteering at She Rescue Home. She provides aftercare to girls age 5-16 who have been rescued out of sex trafficking. We did whatever they needed, including: stamping bags for their social enterprise, cleaning, leading daily devotions for the house moms and the girls, helping with homework, playing with the girls, encouraging the house moms and more! Seeing the girl’s genuine love for God and their joy, despite their circumstance, was truly remarkable.
When we got to She, they had just received into their care a young girl. She had never met her father. Her mother was in jail and she was in the care of relatives. She begged in the tourist area of Phnom Penh until as late as 12pm some nights, which led to her being raped by other children. Her relatives began to pimp her out to tourists, until she was rescued and brought to She. To watch her adjust to life at She, open up to the other girls and accept Christ was beautiful. She’s blossoming. This is what the Gospel is all about: being a light in dark places, bringing freedom, justice & love, & God making all things new.
Overall, Cambodia was an incredible trip. Our hearts were broken for the issue of sex trafficking in the country. However, we witnessed so much hope in Cambodia as well. There are countless individuals working to bring healing, opportunities, jobs and essentially life to women who have been exploited. In addition to Precious Women and She Rescue, Also check out Bloom Café, who employs women rescued out of sex trafficking, and Daughters of Cambodia.
Thank you for being apart of my journey, and if you have any questions please send them my way!