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Published on: Jul 19, 2015
Our time with the orphans of Cambodia
Today’s post is the first in a series of posts that I will present to you over the next few weeks. I hope these blog posts will give you a somewhat personal view of our time with the beautiful children in Cambodia. A beauty so authentic, surreal and life changing that I will never be the same again.
Our mission trip to Cambodia
Last month, my husband and I were blessed with an opportunity to serve on a mission trip to Phnom Penh, Cambodia through globalX, an international division of North Point Ministries. During this trip, we were able to see and experience beauty far greater than anything we had known before. Beauty that emanates from a compassionate heart and love for others. A rare type of beauty that supersedes our naturally self-serving nature and places a higher value on the lives of others instead of ourselves.
As I have mentioned on multiple occasions, I believe that beauty is much more than what is seen on the exterior of a person. True beauty is a rarity in today’s culture, suppressed by envy, comparison, competition and materialism. The beauty to which our society places value on is fleeting; relative to superficial stereotypes, flash in the pan “trends” or “ideals” that can fade from memory as quickly as they appear. However, in a land not so far away, I heard a story, felt its beauty so deeply that it has captured my heart. Here’s to hoping it captures yours too…
Meet Rev. Vek Huong and his wife, Samoeun
For several years, globalX, has partnered with New Life Missions (NLM), an organization dedicated to sharing the love and word of God with the people of Cambodia. NLM is led by Rev. Vek Huong and his wife, Samoeun, native Cambodians who chose to risk their lives and follow God’s calling on their hearts during the fall of their country and takeover by the Khmer Rouge in 1975. (If you are unfamiliar with the horrors of the Khmer Rouge regime, you can learn more from the book, “Ordeal in Cambodia” written by Pastor Vek detailing the story of his family’s survival and escape from the Khmer Rouge. Click here to read: Ordeal In Cambodia)
Through NLM, Pastor Vek and his wife have created three non-traditional orphanages in Phnom Penh, Battambang and Bantey Meanchy, Cambodia. These orphanages are designed to bring hope, love and stability to the children of Cambodia through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The children in these orphanages were orphaned, uncared for or abandoned by their birth parents or rescued when they were on the verge of being sold into the sex trafficking industry. They are brought in to one of the orphanages of NLM, and given their basic physical and emotional needs as well as practical life skills that will prepare them for adulthood. Most importantly, Pastor Vek fosters a personal daily relationship between the children and Jesus Christ, their Heavenly Father. Pator Vek’s ultimate goal is to inspire a new generation of Christian leaders who can help their country heal and rebuild.
Youth Camp in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Over the course of five days our team of 14 hosted a youth camp in Phnom Penh for the 71 children from all three NLM orphanages. Each day we divided into teams and with the help of translators, taught lessons to the children that demonstrated the love and forgiveness of Christ that is available to each of us, regardless of race, creed or color. Each morning our team would travel half an hour by bus to the orphanage in Phnom Penh. When we entered the gates of the orphanage, the children would be watching and waiting for our arrival. Within seconds, there would be a sea of smiling faces at the door where we exited the bus. Before both feet hit the ground we were welcomed with warm embraces and voices that sweetly greeted us with “Good morning!” This alone was an emotional experience so touching that I am overwhelmed as tears well up in my eyes as I share this memory with you.
I have shared a few photos of the children of Phnom Penh as well as a short video recorded on the first day at the orphanage. As you will hear in my voice during the video, the depth of love and emotion we experienced took me by surprise. Words cannot describe what happened to our hearts when we opened them up to receive the abounding and unconditional love of these beautiful children who expected nothing more than our love in return.
To be continued…
As I wrap up today’s post, I pray that this introduction to the children of Cambodia has captured your hearts and left you yearning to know more. I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to be part the globalX Cambodia team this summer. To the many friends and family that donated to our fundraising efforts and made it possible for us to experience the beauty of the Cambodian children, Thank you from the deepest area of my soul. I look forward to sharing the details of our trip and personal stories of the children with you each Sunday for the next few months.
I would like to ask for your support through prayers for these children, Pastor Vek and New Life Missions. Without the generous support of people like you these children would have no family, no home, no hope but worst of all, no knowledge of the life and love they can have through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Sending peace, love and happiness to all!