Monthly Archives: March 2014

First Trip to Cambodia

We’re back now from our visa run to Cambodia! Because of some visa issues (you can read more about it in our last post) we had to make an unexpected trip out of Thailand and decided that it was a great opportunity to visit Phnom Phen, Cambodia. We’ve been wanting to visit Cambodia for quite awhile now and we were excited to finally be able to see it for ourselves. Over the past several years we’ve heard many stories about the country often describe to us as a less developed Thailand and about how busy and unruly the streets and traffic are in Phnom Phen. Some saying it’s even worse than Bangkok’s!

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Click on the image above to see more pictures from our trip!

It didn’t take long after getting off the plane to see that Cambodia is much less developed than Thailand. The entire population of Cambodia is about 15 million people which is about the same population of Bangkok’s metro area. So Phnom Phen seemed much smaller that the big city of Bangkok.

While there we stayed with Dennis and Sharon Welch. Gary and the Welchs went through Sunset’s missions track together so it was great to be able to catch up with them and to see all the things they are apart of now in Cambodia. They’ve adopted a Cambodian daughter who may just be the sweetest person on the planet! The Welchs have been in Phnom Phen for 5 years now. Dennis teaches and works with the Cambodian Bible Institute (CBI is a Sunset associated school) and Sharon runs the SNACK (Supplemental Nutrition Aiding Cambodian Kids) Program.

With the Welchs.

With the Welchs.

One day we were able to go out with Sharon and the SNACK Program to feed malnourished children in a few outer villages. The SNACK Program’s base of operation is at the Welch’s home. It was cool to be able to see the full process of getting all the trucks loaded and ready to go in the mornings. Each morning fresh bread, soy milk, and ice are delivered to be used that day. The crew that works with the program seemed to have such kind and loving hearts for the kids. Many of them were graduates of CBI. Once everything was all loaded up the whole work crew prayed together before heading out. The crew split up into 3 groups to head out to several villages in the country.

Preparing the bread with peanut butter for the SNACK Program.

Preparing the bread with peanut butter for the SNACK Program.

These outer villages in Cambodia looked a lot like the hilltribe villages that we have visited in Thailand. Except that the villages in Cambodia had a lot more kids and didn’t seem to offer the same level of care and education for their communities. Each time we pulled into a village we were greeted by excited little kids with big smiling faces. SNACK provides each kid with one piece of bread containing vitamin enriched peanut butter and a cup of soy milk. SNACK also teaches the children the importance of good health and hygiene as well as spiritual truth from God’s word. The kids really seemed to love these activities especially the singing! That day we also got to see a special Bible verse challenge that the SNACK crew had organized between two of the villages. It was awesome to see all of the scripture that these kids could quote!

EDITED- Cambodia Trip real

On our trip we mainly focused our time with meeting and connecting with the local missionaries that we know of in the city so we could learn more about the kinds of ministry being done. We were excited to finally be able to meet several young missionary couples that we had heard a lot about and connected with online before but never had the opportunity to meet in person. These families are the Allisons, Hayes and Trotters. We spent several of our afternoons going to visit some of the families in different parts of town. We really enjoyed being able to spend some time together with other missional couples! It was great to visit with them, to hear about their journeys with God and the dreams that God has put on their hearts to reach the people of Cambodia.

We also were able to join with one of the church that meets at the Welch’s home on Sunday. Gary was able to share a lesson on discipleship and Dennis translated it into Khmer. It was a joy and blessing to be able to gather and worship with them.

The church that we met with on Sunday.

The church that we met with on Sunday.

Our trip to Cambodia was awesome! We really enjoyed all the things we were able to be a part of during our time there and all of the cool people that we were able to meet! It was eye opening to see how poor the nation is and how much help the people there need. Above all they need the spiritual help that can only come through the gospel so that God’s power can heal their land and quench their thirsty souls. Please keep the work and people there in your prayers. Pray that God continues to do great things in the kingdom of Cambodia!

Click here to see more pictures from our trip!