Excitement and anticipation were in the air as 24 people from Crosspoint Church gathered together at Bangor International Airport to start our long journey to Cambodia. The group that would serve the Lord together was diverse, with ages between 11 and 76 years old, occupations from pastors, school teachers, physical therapists, contractors, and nurses. Although diverse, our hearts were united for one cause, to partner with our brothers and sisters in Cambodia to share the good news of the Gospel. The 11-day trip was in partnership with Paul and Jeanette Tabanao and the Highlands Camp of Cambodia. The team was split into construction, medical/vision and VBS teams with much done for the spread of the Gospel.

The construction team was busy all week as they labored alongside our Cambodian brothers in the hot sun. Their week of ministry included mixing mortar and building a wall at the site of a future Christian school where young hearts will learn of Jesus and His world. At Pastor Imm’s church the team moved a never ending mound of red clay to level the lot so they could continue to expand their church and school. The team returned to this church later in the week and painted the entire inside and outside of the church and school. Pastor Jerry even painted a few team members’ backpacks for free. The other two teams often joked that the construction team just monkeyed around all day, but little did we know that they ended one of their days by literally feeding the monkeys.

Many lifelong friendships were formed through the hours working hand in hand for the building of churches and schools.  One team member became close with a young man about the same age as himself who had come to know Christ through the Highlands Camps. This young man had a heart to serve the Lord but shared his testimony that his family had disowned him because of his faith in Christ. Our Cambodian brother was encouraged in fellowship with our team that week but I believe that our hearts and faith were challenged more than he will ever know because of his testimony for Christ.

The VBS team was full of energy and excitement all week as they shared the Gospel with approximately 300 kids. There was laughter and smiles all day as they sang, danced, played soccer, and painted fingernails. Pastor Gary made balloon animals and had all the girls giggling as he posed with his painted fingernails. One of the highlights for the VBS team was attending church at the dump. This church ministers to kids who live at the dump by having a church service and ending by bathing, shampooing and delousing every child’s head, and giving them fresh clothes for the week. The children left with full bellies, clean bodies, and Jesus in their heart and our team left with teary eyes as their hearts had been changed forever by what they had seen and done.

The medical team consisted of an eye and medical clinic. The eye clinic was able to see 751 patients in 6 days with many receiving glasses for the first time thanks to the generosity of many at Crosspoint Church. Two women stood out on this trip as one said she would finally be able to read her Bible again and another who stated, “It was like Jesus healing the blind.” The expression on some of the people’s faces who could finally see the world clearly again will not soon be forgotten.

The medical team saw around 1100 patients throughout the week. The team often laughed that every person got prescribed something for acid reflux, pain, and some vitamins. Although we were often giving simple medications we found joy in the fact that we could alleviate these people’s ailments for even a short while. Imagine not having enough money to give your baby Tylenol when they have a fever or not have an antacid when you have terrible heartburn. The team treated a young boy with a very serious wound and taught his mother how to do the dressing changes. Another woman was gravely ill with kidney and liver failure. Pastor Jerry and a local Pastor were able to take her to the hospital in the city to get testing and treatment. Although this woman may die soon, we praised Jesus that she had come to know Christ as her Savior the week prior and her husband had accepted Christ at our medical clinic. The highlight of each of our clinic days was that the local Pastors would share the Gospel with all the attendants and many accepted and heard the Gospel for the first time.

Throughout the week we were reminded that the work we did was building bridges for the Gospel to be spread throughout Cambodia. Tasks like building walls and sidewalks, giving pain relievers, and painting children’s nails were done in the name of Jesus. These things encouraged the local pastors and helped to bring many into their churches who would never otherwise hear the good news of the Gospel. We pray that the work would continue to be a bridge for the Gospel for the pastors in Cambodia as they work tirelessly for the Gospel of Christ.