Sunday, March 4, 2012

Visiting Siem Reap

Today Faith, Sathya and myself headed to Siem Reap for a brief visit as we have some meetings with one of our Ratanak partners Reaksa Himm. I haven't been to Siem Reap since 2006 and this was the first time flying there. The 45 minute plane ride was short but provided enough time to take a cat nap.

 Faith & Sathya
Cambodia Angkor Airways

Our Ratanak partner Reaksa Himm met us at the airport and took us directly to our hotel to check in as we were heading to a nearby area for a quick visit at our partner AIM's new ministry that has recently got started in an area that is well known location for a lot of KTV entertainment places.
Reaksa Himm

We met up with a young American family Steve and Lygia Gherbean who have moved here from California to oversee AIM's ministry in Siem Reap. AIM has set up a similar ministry to the one that is in Svay Pak as they seek to reach out to many young women who are trapped in the KTV scene. 
Steve & Lygia Gherebean
Similar to Svay Pak, there was an initial hostility to their presence in this area of Siem Reap but Steve commented that slowly the community is warming up to them. The initial outreach targeting the kids in the community has resulted in kids coming to Rahab's House - Siem Reap to learn computers and study English and there are also similar classes for girls who are from the KTV establishments.

Jayme another young American from Bayside church in California who is also part of the team here in Siem Reap has moved up from Svay Pak to help oversee the beauty salon and mentor some of the young women who have moved up here from the brick factories in Svay Pak. These other young women have been trained in hair cutting and this week they will be officially opening the salon.

Steve in one of the classrooms set up to teach English

Computer lab

 Jesus was right when he said  in Mark 10:14-15 Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it. It is the children who were the first to come to Rahab's House in Svay Pak and here again it is the children who are paving the way for this ministry. Its amazing how the Lord uses the weak and the vulnerable to build His kingdom. It is so opposite to how the world operates but it is a great reminder that the least of these are the ones who are so often open to God's ways.

Since I last was in Siem Reap much has changed. This sleepy tourist town is not that sleepy when it comes to sex trafficking. It is one if not the hot bed for sex trafficking. Today as we were driving by one of the main streets it was quite interesting to see many establishments owned by a particular Asian nation. There are many restaurants and KTV establishments run by this ethnic group. It was quite an eye opener to see this but not a surprise as we have been aware of this for some time. There are tour buses catering to sex tourists who come from this particular Asian country and bus loads of these men are dropped off to feed their warped fantasies and perverted appetites. It is clear that this place is the new Sodom and Gomorrah. It is a place that needs a lot of prayer. 

1 comment:

  1. what is KTV?
    Do your volunteers know only english when they go to cambodia?

    God bless