From KHAN SOKHON, Pastor and Director of EMA (Evangelical Mission Association)
“ All of pastors and workers of EMA and I are very thankful to you that you have a very kind and generous heart to bless our fellow Cambodian people. For I know that without your financial support, we aren’t able to help those people. So please continue to pray for our ministry and our needs, so that we can help more people and enlarge the Kingdom of God in Cambodia.”
In November 2011, Feed the Hungry Australia together with their partners visited Kampong Thom, Cambodia, where we feed 799 children daily through EMA network churches. The children are fed, cared for, receive help with their school works and attend Sunday Schools.
Following is a slide show by Exposure 2011 and FTH Australia when they visited Cambodia. If you are interested to join a short mission trip with us to Kampong Thom, Cambodia this August departing from Hong Kong, please click to "contact" us and leave us a line.
Explorative visit - Poipet, Cambodia January 2012
Poipet is a Cambodian border town next to Thailand. Many hopeful economic seekers come to this town wanting to cross over to Thailand for a better life. Many tried to cross without proper papers and inevitability got sent back, and all got stuck in this town, soon Poipet became hosts of slums where many poverty stricken individuals and families dwell in some of the worst condition. As a result many children were at risk to sex or labor traffickers who could purchase these children for as little as US$50. The stories would go that the children’s families sold their children for a song out of ignorance, the children would be drugged, hidden inside piles of goods that was hand carted out of the country, once crossed over to Thailand, the children might ended up in other Asian Countries.
Poipet was about a 2 hours journey from the international airport of Bangkok, what amazed me was between the Cambodian and the Thail border, in what we normally called no-man land, there was over a dozen casinos set up businesses there. Who were their clients I wondered?
At the invitation of XPMission and Cambodia Hope Organization (CHO), a group of us went there to see their rescue work. CHO established Safe Houses in Villages headed by at least one Christian family as a model family to show the others how to be responsible parents, to create awareness about strangers who might come to the villages to offer “jobs” to young girls or boys in the big city. CHO also established a Safe Haven Christian School to help children at risk, children who had been abused or exploited, some simply too poor to go to school or who has no one to take care of them. At school, children would be given opportunities to grow and thrive in a safe, protected, being accepted and loving environment. Another important ministry CHO took on was to create businesses and employment for the young people, to help them come out of generational poverty.
A slum village
Our trip was particularly meaningful to hear first hand stories of children and young women being trafficked back and forth between these two nations, how they got rescued by CHO, how CHO helped these people; to help them to start anew, to learn new skill, or simply send them back to school where their safety was prime important. We also visited an AIDS and TB hospital, the “hospital” is so primitive, not one medical machine could be found anywhere. We were glad to be there, to bring prayers of comfort to the patients and their family members.
We played with the children at the Safe School, at first they were really scared of strangers, after they saw that we were all friendly and caring, they began opened up and played with us.
We went to the village to give out rice and to pray over the villagers.
Let the little ones come to me, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these… (Matthew 19:14)
Center of Peace in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, takes care of 72 children ages 3 to 18. Most of these are either orphans or extreme poor children, their families no longer able to care for them. Many families are so poor that they do not have a place to stay but live in the street. Domestic violence is common and divorce rate continues to increase due to many parents had to work oversea. Single parent families are on the rise. COP aims to support these families by bringing their children into a loving and safe environment, where children can receive all their basic needs and education. By doing this, they hope to enable many single parents, especially the women to find a job to support their other children and themselves.
What a happy face…
How talented …
This year’s the big flooding that swept through Cambodia, took away more than 300 lives already and ruined large portion of national rice fields, resulted in high rises in food price. This has put COP in a bad position financially, especially since February this year, they lost a major donor in America who would give rice budget of $500 per month. Their rice budget will run out by November.
The Center of Peace needs 15-16 bags of rice per month for 72 orphans + staff = 83 people. (3 meals a day). This comes out to about $500/month
To help them to purchase rice for the coming year. We must raise US$6,000 by Thanksgiving, the idea is to purchase un-milled rice at end of December when rice is at its cheapest. Please consider helping these children with their daily meal? Thank you for being a part of God's answer to their prayer.
SINCE the first appeal were sent, within a few days our donors were able to put together the needed money for rice before Thanksgiving.
COP was started on Jan 1st, 2001, at first they only had 15 children, the mission is to provide abandoned children with the essential spiritual needs; physical needs - security, clothing, food, and education. Today COP takes 72 children and 8 youth are attending Universities.
Children are first taught about Jesus in a real personal way. They believe in Jesus, they know Jesus loves them and Jesus is their best friend. On Sunday the younger children would attend Sunday school at COP. The older children would go to church. A lot of the children could not read when they first arrived. After living in COP for about a year, they can read and write well. Finally, the children will receive the security and love they need to build up their confidence, one day when they leave COP, we pray that they will live in peace and harmony with their neighbours.
The Centre spends about US$33 per day to feed all the children with three Meals a day, but one of the meals is only a bowl of soup with not much meat. COP receives no government grant except a few local merchants would send them clothing or stationeries, they receive support from Ps Bob Oh and his ministries in US and Cambodia.
Sometimes in great difficulties the House Mother wants to give up, but she thought if she does not take care of them, who will? Where can they go? If COP stops running, the love and security that had built up to replace the rejection and abandonment would be gone. This is what kept her going, and this is her daily prayer, that the Lord would not forget her and her children.
Will you consider supporting COP for their 2012 daily meal. To give hope to the hopeless. In Cambodia, it is important to take the kids off the street or they would end up being trafficked or sold into slavery. For US$15 per year a child is fed with vegetable and meat.
CHANGING LIVES IN CAMBODIA – the testimony of one family
Chheng Rann lives in Thnol Baik village Tror Paing Rossey commune, Kampong Thom Village. When Chheng Rann’s husband gambled and drank away the family’s money and jewelry, she didn’t dare to fight back. After a serious of illness, her husband died, it was even worse. She had to care for their six children, she would take any jobs to provide for them. Together with her 14 years old son, they would work in the field, sometimes she would have to take things to the market to sell, and these kinds of trips could take her away from home for a month or more, so the children are left on their own. She became miserable, angry and bitter, quarreling with her neighbors and crying as she plowed her rice field.
Then Feed the Hungry came to town, Chheng Rann offered her home as a cooking place as well as a place where children can come to eat and have meetings. Through the ministry you support of feeding children in Cambodia, children came, not just eating together but learning and reading together. Through her children, Chheng Rann became a believer and her whole attitude changed, she is now a much happier person. This feeding program allows her children and others to be able to continue their studying after helping their families in the field. She doesn’t worry about anything now but learn to trust and to pray. She invites donors continue to pray for her and her family !