Recently, a team from Normal, Illinois returned from Cambodia with CIY’s Engage program with plenty of powerful testimonies. Here are just two perspectives from college juniors who said their Engage experience was priceless.
“Cambodia is by far the most beautiful place that my eyes have ever seen. From the wild city streets to the countryside, our team was able to see so much of Cambodia’s true beauty. Before actually being on Cambodian soil, I had the idea that I was going to change lives in Cambodia even though I was warned that that was not going to be the case. I was surprisingly wrong; I was the one completely changed. I was changed because I got to witness just parts of the ways Jesus is moving in Cambodia. I saw beauty where it seemed broken, hope where it seemed hopeless, life where is seemed dead, and just a whole bunch of redemption and restoration. The girls that we met unfortunately had their childhoods ripped away from them at such young ages. However, we had the privilege of witnessing these young beautiful girls be kids again! The joy they had on their faces when they danced in the rain was priceless. It was the absolute best! There is something very special about loving on people who need it the most. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to be a voice for those who don’t have loud ones.”
– Gaby Salgado
“One of my favorite days from the trip was when we went to Kids Club in Phnom Penh. After playing with the kids for a few hours, our team went on a prayer walk around the neighborhood where most of the kids are from. It was one of the most difficult parts of the whole trip because we saw the extreme poverty that these young children were living in every day. Many of them are living in small huts with lots of other people, on the ##### streets underneath a tarp, or even on small boats that their parents fish on during the day as their job. It was hard to look at it all and compare it to my own comfortable life back home. But the most special thing about it all was that we got to see first-hand how, even though these kids were from such poverty, they were still some of the most joyful people we had ever met. It changed my perspective on poverty completely. I have always pictured poverty as the conditions that I saw these kids living in, but I learned that poverty has many different forms. While these kids may be living in those conditions, they are rich in love for others and bursting with joy. This was a common theme for everyone our team met in Cambodia, and it’s certainly what I hope to bring with me into my daily life at home.”
– Lyndsey Brown