Saturday, March 1, 2014

Travels - Cambodia

February has been Filled with Visiting Several Amazing Places

This month has gone by fast as I enjoyed two separate trips. The first trip was 5 days in Siem Reap, Cambodia where I visited the Stop Slavery Orphanage, several villages and Angkor Wat. Then a few days later I left for Bangkok, and Krabi, Thailand.

It has been incredibly fun to visit these different places and I am thankful each day for the opportunity to see new places, and learn new things.

I'll cover my trip to Cambodia in this post, and make a 'part 2' for my travels to Krabi.


I went to Cambodia with Buddy Rathmell, founder of Stop Slavery, on a quick five day trip at the beginning of February. We checked in on the orphanage sponsored by Stop Slavery there, and looked into several other mission projects at nearby villages. We also did a little sightseeing at Angkor Wat.
An enclosed area at one of the temples in Angkor Wat
Visiting Cambodia was en experience I will never forget. Angkor Wat was an amazing collecting of temples, each with a massive number of intricate structures as well as carvings on almost everything. I was astounded by the shear size of the structures and walls that surrounded them, along with the number of different temples.

Lots of other people also there to see Angkor Wat
But what I will likely remember even more vividly than Angkor Wat are the people I met in Cambodia. Ranging from the indigenous pastors and missionaries to the children at the orphanage and villages, they were all a joy to meet and get to know in just a few short days.

One of the villages
At both the orphanage and villages, I was surprised at how little the kids had compared to western standards, and yet they lived quite happily. It made me realize that I should both be thankful for what I have, and also not put my happiness in stuff.

It is hard to fully convey the experience of seeing an extremely rural village, where some families live in one room bamboo and wood houses on stilts to avoid flooding. They use a well with a hand pump to get water that isn't clean, but its all they have. The village has various animals that roam about, and the only way to reach it is on small dirt paths.

This is how they get all of their water
Yet inspite of conditions that I would find difficult to live in, they were happy and embracing life. Huge steps are being made by a local widow who is sharing her life, and the Gospel, with one of the villages and on one of our visits, around 30 women and children gathered for a short church service. 

At the orphanage, Pastor Paul showed us around and I had a great time hanging out with the kids. They were so excited to meet new people, and were welcoming and friendly. I spent several meals with them and by the end of the trip they gave hugs as we said goodbye. 

I was surprised about how many things I took for granted in America, that the kids at the orphanage didn't have. Clean water from faucets, indoor kitchen, refrigerator, hot water, toys, and the list could go on. 
With the kids from the orphanage

Visiting Cambodia was a great opportunity for me to recognize not only how blessed I am, but that there are so many opportunities around the world for change and hope. Right now, Stop Slavery is making amazing progress in Cambodia through indigenous missionaries and it is incredibly encouraging. You can visit their website by following the link to learn more.

I could probably write pages more, but I wanted to keep this short and to the point. If you have questions or thoughts, be sure to leave a comment!

Thanks for visiting!