Isaiah Blake, NCU Sophomore
To traverse halfway across the world and experience a third-world country and return unaffected is what I would consider to be an impossible notion. What I witnessed in Cambodia, besides the obvious impoverished situation that the Khmer people live in, was a culture that harbors little respect for each other and focuses on the self. In a culture were morality has little to no substantial worth in society and Christian values are upheld by only a very small minority, it is no surprise that people there will use whatever methods necessary to make a profit.
In the months leading our departure the Cambodia Mission Team was briefed on sex-trafficking. We read statistics and testimony after testimony of survivors. Yet actually seeing it, in person, brought an entirely new level of shock and disbelief. I stood, stopped in my tracks, as I watched man after man, sixty or even seventy years of age; walk into a hotel with a teenage girl. I filled with frustration and anger. I wanted to run to the man and slug him. But to do so would only put me in trouble. Trouble with the authorities of Cambodia and trouble with the ultimate authority of God, a God who has extended grace to everyone.
I am reminded of the book of Matthew where Jesus says “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighborand hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Matthew 5:43-45 NIV)
I am called to reach out and serve in love. Hatred will only cause more strife, will do more harm than good. As difficult as it was to hold back such feelings, I know that the best way for me to reach these men and change the culture of Cambodia is to pray. I am to pray that God will give them a conscience for what they are doing and they will realize the devastating effects they cause.