No place on earth has captured my mind and heart like Cambodia. I had the opportunity to live in Sihanoukville last spring, while volunteering with Iris Cambodia, a Christian NGO dedicated to loving the poorest of the poor, advocating against human trafficking and sexual exploitation, and running a day center for children living in the slums- providing food, basic medical attention, love, safety, and the good news of Jesus.
The history of Cambodia is rich, complex, and tragic…exploitation during French colonial rule, bombing during the Vietnam War, the Khmer Rouge genocide in the 70’s, widespread poverty, and a highly corrupt government that still reigns today. (You can learn a little bit more here, and I HIGHLY recommend the book “Cambodia’ Curse” by Joel Brinkly.) That said, Cambodia is far from hopeless. The country is beautiful. I meet the most incredible men and women…Khmer that seek to live each day fully and well, to live counterculture to the strife and corruption that is rampant in all levels of government and systems, and to make Cambodia a better place for their children.
Here is a small glimpse of my precious time in Cambodia…
Iris Cambodia Ministries: The Dream Centre
The amazing staff…