A Life Changing Trip
Cambodia is a country I had very little knowledge about that now has an enormous place in my heart thanks to the guidance of God and SEAPC. When thinking about my summer plans, I decided service should be the primary focus. I felt the Lord telling me I was ready to do my first mission trip abroad. Through a friend of a friend, our group heard about SEAPC. Going to Southeast Asia had been a dream of Vinh’s (a member of our team) for years now. As soon as I heard that service there was an option through the beautiful work SEAPC is supporting, we decided Cambodia would be our service destination.
SEAPC helped to link our team with a wonderful man they serve in Cambodia named Hubert Tutwiler. Hubert and his family drove over eight hours to come and get our team from Phnom Penh. As soon as this family picked us up, we were able to see why they work in missions. They showered us with God’s love every step of our journey. Our journey up through Cambodia consisted of a few stops to different homes that SEAPC helps contribute to, called New Hope for Orphans. During this time, our team was able to see a small glimpse of the environment we would be staying in for the week to come. Our end location was the New Hope for Orphans children’s home in Banteay Meanchey. When we got there, it was different from the other locations we had experienced, a little more remote, and little more out of our comfort zones. Prayer was something we all did. Every day we were there, we were able to see God’s love shine. The children are beyond amazing. They host a Bible study and worship every night, studying God’s word and professing their love for Jesus Christ. It was incredible to see that despite any circumstances, these children and their house parents show their love for Christ and love for one another. The efforts here from NHO are absolutely where they should be. This is a place I will be going back to every year.
After our stay with New Hope for Orphans, we were able to see other projects that SEAPC is serving in Cambodia. With the help of Jenni Taylor, the team has created a fantastic Biblical-based English teaching curriculum that is being taught to Cambodian teachers who will then take that and use it in their classrooms to teach their students English. I could see the excitement on each teacher’s face as they were able to learn English. The Lord is indeed working in the hearts of each Cambodian involved. Christians make up only about 2 percent of the population in Cambodia, and to have a Christian-based curriculum in schools is a testament to God’s love working on the hearts and minds of people in Cambodia.
This trip was life-changing for me. Seeing God’s people in a different setting was beyond eye-opening. I plan to return to Banteay Meanchey every year and visit these beautiful people. I am so thankful for this opportunity that the Lord provided for my group and me. A huge thank you to the local team (including Hubert and his family) for helping our group navigate Cambodia!