On Monday, November 28th, a team of Next Gen Leaders departed St. John’s en route to Southeast Asia. Approximately 22 hours of flying time over two days brought us through Toronto, over the North Pole (no luck spotting Santa though) to Hong Kong, and on to our first of three stops, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. We (including all 17 pieces of baggage) arrived safely and without incident! Though jet legged, we were very ready to hit the ground running (partly because our legs needed the stretch) when Global Workers Ian & Tiffanie Rowley welcomed us at the airport.
Life Campaign: Clean Drinking Water in Cambodia
A small group of us left immediately and drove to a little village outside of the city to visit a family using a biosand filter provided by Asian Outreach via The Life Campaign, a project supported by both YCNL and Provincial Youth Missions. Allow me to paint you a picture. On arriving in the village after a short boat ride across a murky river, the sights, smells, and sounds of village life greeted us, where one-room homes are built on stilts for protection from flooding, droves of children are roaming the gravel streets, and livestock live as neighbours. There is no running water, no bathrooms as we know them, and food (primarily rice) is cooked over coal in a clay pot outside. The air is thick with humidity and dust. In the village we were introduced to Mr. Tai. Mr. Tai is a fisherman who works hard to provide for his family of 8. He earns an average of $2/day. He and his family gather their water from the river. On the reddish, clay-like dirt floor of their home, the water filter is installed for all to see. It is a valuable and prominent fixture in their home. It was exciting to see firsthand how the biosand filter has significantly improved quality of life for this family. Because of the filter, cooking is now easier, they have clean drinking water any time, and they are not fighting illness due to the contamination. Such a humbling and yet encouraging experience.
Child Care Plus & Global Student Centre
In Phnom Penh, Tiffanie’s work primarily centres around Child Care Plus (CCP). There are 11 CCP sites there and they range in size from 30 to 100 kids per location. Our team had opportunity to visit both an urban and rural one.At the rural site we visited, the children were having their Christmas celebration where the acted out the Christmas story (photo left). They were excited to act, sing, and dance for us.The amazing work of CCP is very evident. We quickly learned that child sponsorship not only provides children with education, nourishment, clothing, and health care, but it gives site leaders opportunity to support the child’s family practically and spiritually. The work of CCP changes lives and entire villages as it helps break the cycle of poverty. You’ll be hard pressed to find someone more passionate about the work of CCP than Tiffanie. Her love and care for the children and families of Cambodia is inspiring and contagious.
Ian works mainly with the Global Student Centre. There he ministers to the needs of young adults. He spends his time discipling and mentoring over meals, through worship, and teaching the Word. Global Student Centre will be moving to a new, much larger, location in the new year, which will provide more dorm room residence for students at a low cost and provide the space to increase ministry capacity. Please pray for Ian, Tiffanie, and the students as they prepare for the transition.
From Cambodia we travelled to Thailand, the Land of Smiles. We are currently finishing up time in Chiang Mai and look forward to tell you about this leg soon. The team is doing very well and would like to thank you for your prayers. Chat again soon.
Director of Next Gen Ministries