Cambodia

Two young Buddhist monks walk along the moat surrounding the temple ruins of Angkor Wat near Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Two young Buddhist monks walk along the moat surrounding the temple ruins of Angkor Wat near Siem Reap, Cambodia.

I had the opportunity to travel to Cambodia in May. A team from our church went to begin construction on a building for an orphanage that our church supports. The orphanage is located in Battambang and is an extension ministry of New Life Mission. Our task was to break ground for the project. Doing so meant digging 24 cubic meter holes that would act as the foundation for the building. We also had to clear the site of a dozen or so trees and move a small outbuilding in order to clear the way for the supplies that needed to be delivered. The manual labor was one of the hardest weeks of work in my life. The children at the orphanage made the task so worthwhile, though. The children were beautiful in every way. In an week with them, I never heard a harsh word, observed a squabble or ceased to be amazed at their industrious spirits. I can truly say that our team was more blessed by their service than the labor of love that we provided for them.

Along the way, we saw many incredible sights. From the brutality of the Pol Pot regime to the infectious laughter of the children, we experienced every emotion possible. The markets, the temples of Angkor Wot, the motorcycles carrying every item imaginable and the lush countryside will stay in my memory for many years to come.

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