From Siem Riep, we took a bus to the capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh. We went to visit 2 Christian ministries, the Joy of Cambodia (JOC) and Children at Risk (CAR). Unlike last year, we didn’t lead a short-term outreach team from our church. We mainly wanted to love on and encourage the people who run these organizations. They pour their hearts and souls into what they do, all for the Kingdom. It can be exciting and exhilarating doing the Lord’s work, but it also can be exhausting, stressful and discouraging. In the past when we have been part of short-term outreach teams, we have focused more on serving the people that JOC and CAR serve. The purpose for our visit this time was to care for, encourage and bless the JOC and CAR team members.
Our first stop was JOC’s Jehovah Jirah Center. The center ministers to the children who live near the center, many of whose parents work at the city’s trash dump. JJ Center provides tutoring for the children and a hot meal each day.
We spent our time hanging out with the kids.
We ate lunch with them.
And helped them do some painting.
In addition to the JJ Center, Joy of Cambodia has a women’s ministry called Dorcas Women’s Ministry. DWM employs women and teaches them to make jewelry and accessories from the inner tubes of old bicycle tires.
Webley and I were able to join in on a class and were taught how to make some of the accessories.
It’s actually a long process and not easy to do, but the results are so cool!
That evening we enjoyed a Khymer dinner with the Joy of Cambodia team.
Next we spent some time with Children at Risk, a YWAM mission organization. Tim and Mel Chan are the leaders of Children at Risk. They so graciously opened their home and hosted a barbeque lunch for us.
Children at Risk began their ministry reaching out to children who were at risk of being trafficked. Over the years, it became clear that the ministry needed to broaden and address families as a whole. Keep in mind that during the reign of terror of the Khymer Rouge, one-fourth of Cambodia’s population was killed. The family unit was destroyed. Because of the genocide, only 3% of the population is over 65 years old and over 60% of the population is less than 30 years old. The people of childbearing age are in great need of mentorship. So Children at Risk now not only provides care to children, but also builds homes for families, provides guidance and mentoring on parenting and includes a sewing business that designs and produces fair trade clothing for Recreate Store, an online store based in New Zealand. You can see what they sew at the store’s website. Here’s one of the dresses sewn by Tim’s and Mel’s team.
This is Mel. At 19, she came to Cambodia from the U.S. as a YWAM missionary and never left. Her husband, Tim, is Khymer. She is a fellow homeschool mom and was homeschooled herself.
And this is their precious team! Mel’s husband, Tim, is standing next to Benjy.
Please join me in prayer for both of these ministries, Joy of Cambodia and Children and Risk. “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesian 6:18