“Be careful because Cambodia is the most dangerous place you will ever visit. You will fall in love with it, and eventually it will break your heart.” Cambodia’s Curse, Joel Brinkley
The 2015 Cambodia team would beg to differ with this statement. We found that it’s not always a dangerous thing to have your heart broken by Cambodia. Rather, we discovered it brings joy, hope and a bigger picture of who God is! We felt so privileged to have fellowship with our Khmer brothers and sisters. And we are grateful with how God used our little ‘5 loaves and 2 fish’ to have an impact for Him.
The Cambodia team went to Cambodia as learners and servants. We learned about Cambodian ancient and recent history, culture, and world view. Some of the team spent a week in Kampong Cham working with the Friendship school. The rest of the team worked with Fountain of Hope staff and new believers from the cell churches. Team members ran a VBS, painted the children’s church, collected case studies, did photography, and taught the book of Galatians.
Joke van Opstal, country advisor for Fountain of Hope reported, “We were excited to see the impact from the Galatians study! It was such a blessing to discover, share, experience and grow in grace together. For some it was a new concept, for others it was a deeper understanding of grace. The Fountain of Hope staff and new believers have already started to teach and share with others.”
Other Fountain of Hope staff members agreed, “I got God’s Word from all of you about the foundation of faith. We are one in Christ.” Another said, “I thanks Mr. Joe team come to Cambodia. They spent time teaching me about Galatians. I understood: grace, faith, law and freedom.”
Still another staff member said, “Your team was a blessing to the staff and the cell churches! The VBS, children’s church, the teaching and your love makes my heart joyful. I’d like to say thank you to Xenos church for your prayer and your heart for the Khmer people. We had meals together like brothers and sisters, we have unity in One Father. Only in Him can we know each other and have fellowship together.”
Scott Malone, a Xenos member, was impressed with the love he saw among the Fountain of Hope staff, “The people of Fountain of Hope are characterized by the joy they have in serving Christ.”
Cindy Botti, also on the short term mission team from Xenos agreed, “I met a former Khmer soldier who became a Christian this year. He wept over God’s grace! It was a beautiful reminder that God’s grace covers any sin.”
“There is nothing like seeing what God is doing on the other side of the world,” said Chance Shannan, also from the Xenos team. “Traveling to Cambodia has expanded my view of God’s power and love for people. Playing with the cutest Cambodian children and seeing their lives transformed by the love of Christ has solidified my desire to support the Friendship School in any way possible.”
“The impact this trip had on us will last a lifetime,” Dan Branaghan said. “We saw God’s Spirit moving in a country crippled by genocide, poverty, suffering and corruption. It gave us a deeper understanding of his grace and the life changing power of the gospel. We also witnessed the sense of hope, joy and peace the Khmer believers have in spite of their trials. They encouraged us, served us, loved us and called us their brothers and sisters.”
“Personally, God used the Cambodia trip to give me vision for my ministry, and endurance in my faith and service for God,” Dan continued. “I have a new perspective on John 15:17, where Jesus says "My Father is working until now, and I am working." What a privilege to work alongside such a good God, as he seeks and saves the lost around the world, and gives abundant life to those who ask!”
The 2015 short term mission team thanks you for your support: in raising funds, prayer and listening to our stories. We encourage you to find out more about Friendship School and Fountain of Hope at: