Hello! My name is Claire, and I went to Cambodia, marking my third Impact global trip as a student. Thanks to all the prep from global, my team leaders, and a powerful God. It was a blessing!
After the long plane rides, we were ready to fully immerse ourselves into the culture of the wonderful people we would be serving. We learned part of Cambodia’s history from visiting The Killing Fields, where the Cambodian Genocide occurred. This invited us to think deeply about how this tragic event impacted the communities and families we would meet and serve with.
On the first day, we met with an organization called Kone Kmeng. Being able to worship together, although we didn’t speak the same languages, reminded us of how big and powerful our God is, especially since the majority of the population in Cambodia is Buddhist. We couldn’t wait to start God’s work!
We started the next day with a team devotional that prepared our hearts for what we were about to embark on. Afterward, we drove to the village and began the building of a house for a woman in the community. Hearing her story through our translator helped deepen our hearts for what we were doing and why.
We met and played with the kids from around the community, which put me in my element because I have a passion for kids. Witnessing the joy and laughter that comes from the connections with the kids even though our languages are different, encouraged us to find new ways to be intentional and relational with each other.
That evening, we went to visit the high school dorm that was funded by Student Impact. I remember fundraising for the dorm and being able to see the outcome first-hand was a moment of realization for me. God had this trip planned out for my life before I knew it. We worshipped with each other, shared testimonies, played games, and shared a meal!
The next couple of days we did the same activities: working on the house, playing with the kids, and building friendships with the high schoolers. It was so awesome seeing things progress bit by bit until the big picture came together.
Coming into the trip, our team read through the book of John with the focus of light versus dark and how we are called to be God’s light. We began to see ways the enemy was trying to pull us away, whether it be sickness, exhaustion, or the weather. However, that inspired us to lean more into God and push through it.
The next day we finished up the house, played with the kids some more, and taught a hygiene class to the local youth. Our team passed out toothbrushes, toothpaste, and soap to those who attended and showed them how, when, and why they should use them.
The next day was spent entirely with the high schoolers. We compared our blessings and future goals which opened our eyes to see that we should depend more on God than worldly things.
Following that was an agenda of fun and intentionality. We played a soccer game against them and ended our time together with a dance party! It was cool to learn the Cambodian dances and have fun together, but hard and emotional to say goodbye to the deep bonds we formed.
On our final day of serving, we attended a church service in the village, then prayed over the house we helped build.
I am so thankful that I was able to serve God globally in Cambodia with a team who loves God and loves serving others!