Blessings in Cambodia

Why come to Cambodia? Come because the kids will change your heart. During this week  we have seen how respectful, kind, and caring these kids are to us and other kids around them. Each kid has unique and wonderful talents. They have been a blessing to us.  Every day we leave the orphanage  we feel blessed that God has called us to play a part in these kids life’s.

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Fiesta

On Sunday. we went to New Life Orphanage for the first time. It was amazing to see the kids again. I
love seeing the kids meet the bus when we drive up to the orphanage. It was also great seeing the new people meet the orphans for the first time.
After playing soccer, football and other various games with the kids, several team members went to the kitchen to prepare fajitas for the festival. The kids loved having fajitas with chicken, onions, preppers, cheese, and guacamole. Before eating the kids sang a prayer, which was very beautiful.
After dinner, we had angry bird piñatas for the kids.  The kids had a great time trying to do destroy the piñata, and the team had a great time watching them.
Overall it was another great day!

The First 24 Hours

As one of the “newbies” to Cambodia, I am happy to say the first day (and a half) have been a success! Yesterday was a great day spending time the the team. Many of you reading know one or two people on this trip, but let me tell you this is an amazing group of 11 individuals.

We spent our day yesterday exploring the city. The morning was emotionally a very hard one. First we went to the church, which was fun to see. It was much larger than I expected. After that we went to S21, the concentration camp used for the people in Cambodia. Seeing the faces of thousands who were not just killed, but tortured then killed was heartbreaking. While it was difficult to see, it was important to understand better what many people who live here had been through. It was amazing at the end to see one of the seven survivors!

Lunch was after S21. We went to a great buffet where we were able to try LOTS of local specialties. The food was great (the smells when you first arrived… not so great). After lunch we went by a local grocery store, think a Whole Foods of Cambodia. We ran around like kids looking at all the unique items. Ice-cream flavored Oreo’s were just one of the specialties.

Next we went to the market. Hundreds of vendors in a huge space selling every (fake) name brand anything you could want, clothes, paintings, and food. We spent the bulk of our time here walking around to see everything and buying fun gifts.

We left for dinner at 4:30 as Mike predicted people would be falling asleep at dinner if we went much later. He was right as most of us were delirious when we got back to our hotel about 7.

So far, it’s been an amazing trip and I know there are lots of great things to come! Off to tackle day two…

**This was written very quickly and not proof-read, sorry for any errors 🙂 **

Back in Phnom Penh

After months of prayer and planning we finally made it back to Cambodia. Getting here from Atlanta took a while- I believe the total travel time in the air was around twenty one hours. Before signing off I would like to share a story.

Two years ago I went to Cambodia for the very first time on a missions trip. I didn’t know what to expect. During the trip, I learned about Cambodia and God’s wonderful plan for the people of Cambodia.  One child, really connected with me. His name was Chean. Mike, the leader, told me that I was the first person Chean had really connected with.
After leaving Cambodia, I knew that God wanted me to return, but I also felt a stirring to support a child- the child I started to support was Chean.
Two years later I am back in Cambodia- but before I left I received a letter in the mail from Chean. In the letter, he wrote I love you and I miss you . That letter confirmed that going back to Cambodia was from God .

Heading back to Phnom Penh!

I can’t believe we are heading back to Cambodia on Thursday!

Its been almost 11 months since I was there. What a year its been. My wife and I had a baby… and, well, my wife and I had a baby… that’s pretty much all that happened this year. But our daughter pretty much took over so it seems like more than just “one event.”

It seems like only yesterday we were there telling the kids were were going to have a baby. I cannot wait to see the kids again and show them pictures of their “sister”. It’s always hard to describe to people who haven’t been on the trip, just what these kids mean to us and just how much they feel like our family. Once these kids get in your heart there is no turning back, you’re hooked. This will be my 6th trip to the orphanage, and I cannot wait to be back.

We have a great team and am excited to see what God does next week.

We’ll be spending the week talking to kids about relationships. Every relationship from their relationship to God, to Us, to their Community, and to each other. The team has some great ideas planned to make a huge impact.

We also have a ton of fun activities planned–the water park, the movies, eating out, and a dodge ball tournament (just to name a few).

Its going to be amazing! Check back during our trip to see how everything goes.