Asia / Church Partnership / Mission Trips

Hands-on Ministry: Cambodia Volunteer Team Day 1

A Lutheran Hour Ministries International Volunteer Team from St. Paul Lutheran Church, Mt. Prospect, Ill., is in Cambodia helping build an educational facility in Kompot Province.  Team members will be sending us daily updates on their progress—and we’ll share them with you here so you can celebrate how God’s Holy Spirit is working through them! Join us daily through March 5, when they will return home!

Cambodia2013GrpSqToday we spent all day learning about Cambodia.  Our first stop was the Lutheran Hour office. We met the staff, saw a presentation about their ministry and were treated to a puppet show about the Prodigal Son.  The ministry staff here works tirelessly at a multitude of projects partnering with local churches to proclaim the Gospel to the 98 percent of the people who don’t know Christ.  The staff of five are an amazing and energetic group of people!

After a huge lunch buffet of regional foods, we went to S-21—the secret prison of Pol Pot, who led a genocide of the Cambodian people in the 1970’s.  It is now a national museum.  Seeing the collected paraphernalia and photos from this horrific event was difficult for all of us. From here we went to one of the Killing Fields—a national memorial to those who lost their lives here.  Our tour guide, himself a survivor of this tragedy, had tears in his eyes as he explained to us the history of Cambodia and the events surrounding Pol Pot’s rise to power.

But even in the middle of this evil we saw how God used it for good.  Phin Naro, our host, shared with us that he lost his father during Pol Pot’s time when he was just six.  He missed him very much and felt empty without a father as he grew up. Then when he was in his early 20s, a Christian relief worker in Cambodia told him about our God the Father, who was the Father of orphans. He wanted a father desperately, so he started going to church to learn more about this Father and about Christianity.  His curiosity drew him to learn more and more and he continued to grow in his faith.  Now he has devoted his life to bringing that same Good News to other Cambodians as the Director of LHM—Cambodia.

After a relaxing dinner, we headed home for devotions led by Nicole, our devotional leader, who reminded us that only God knows what plans He has for us this week, and to simply trust him and just go with the flow. Though we are jet-lagged and exhausted, we are very eager to follow Him and learn what His plans for us in Cambodia are.

We thank you all for your prayers and love.  You are also in our prayers.

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