The Cambodia Team
On April 17th, 1975 the Khmer Rouge, led by Pol Pot, took power in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. In order to turn Cambodia into a Maoist, peasant-dominated agrarian cooperative, all city dwellers were forced into the countryside or to labor camps.
Hospitals, schools, stores, religion, and family were banned. People were killed for not working hard enough, for being educated, for being ethnically different, for many random reasons. By execution, torture and starvation, an estimated 2 million Cambodians, or 30% of the population, died during the rule of Pol Pot.
Cambodians are now rebuilding their lives, their culture, their very identity. The country is young, the average age a mere 20 years old. A small middle class is emerging, though heartbreaking poverty is still the norm. Families from XCF have set out to communicate the gospel in both word and deed by serving the poor through free medical care and education.
Meet the team
Tim & Marjie Benadum collaborated with many Cambodians and other organizations to bring about the Mercy Medical Center. Cambodians suffer from many health issues and do not have the resources to obtain the help they need.
Chris & Amy Gesler and their 2 daughters administer the Friendship School, which provides a quality education to rural children, who would not otherwise be able to afford the public educational system.
Joke van Opstal moved to Cambodia in 1993, joined World Relief in 1994 and established Hope for Cambodia’s Children. The Way of Hope movement grew out of that ministry and today has hundreds of cell churches. Today, Joke serves as the country advisor for the indigenous lead Fountain of Hope non-government organization.