Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Why Cambodia?

You might be thinking why Cambodia? Well, here is a little lesson on Cambodia’s modern history.

From 1975-1979, Cambodia was torn apart from its highest governmental levels all the way down to the foundation of the family. The brutal Khmer Rouge, led by Pol Pot, murdered over 30% of Cambodia’s population targeting the aged, educated and professional classes of society. Their goal was an agrarian society that could easily be controlled and their means were genocide and displacement of the population from the cities to the rural provinces. The Khmer Rouge divided children from their parents in order to re-educate a new class in their controlling brutality.In 1979, the Vietnamese army defeated the Khmer Rouge thus sending them into hiding in the jungles near the Thai-Cambodian border. The Vietnamese army occupied Cambodia until 1989 – years of warfare brought fear, instability and more death to the Cambodian people. Democracy was restored in 1993 with a power sharing deal between two major political parties – one led by the Prime Minister and the other led by the royal family. Generally, there has been peace since the 1990’s with the only exception being election related violence. Only now, in 2008, are those responsible for the genocide known as “the killing fields” being brought to trial.

Because of the tragic history over 50% of the population is under the age of 20, and less than 10% of the population is in skilled labor! Some other statistics on why we have a desire to help those living in Cambodia:
  • 35% of the population live on less than $0.34 per day
  • The average annual income is $300 and 75% of employment is in agriculture
  • Literacy is at 74% (ranked 134th out of 179)
  • Only 5% of high school teachers have actually obtained a high school diploma

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Asian Hope

Asian Hope is a faith-based organization that operates in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. After Cambodia went through a tragic genocide in the 1970's, several missionaries felt called to open an orphanage in Phnom Penh to help the children who had recently become orphaned. After starting the orphanage the staff discovered the public schools were teaching the children that it was appropriate to bribe authorities in order to receive a better grade, thus came Logos International School. Asian Hope then expanded the school to also serve Cambodian children outside of the children’s home by providing quality, affordable or free, Christian education, all with the hopes of helping Cambodia be changed for Christ. The school now has an enrollment of about 600 students grades K-12, and is the 3rd largest school in Cambodia. Asian Hope still has both a girls home (House of Faith) and a boys home (House of Hope) that serves those children that are found on the streets. The organization invests deeply in their children and have the ability to send all of their kids all the way through higher education. These students are given the opportunity to go to college in either the US, India, China, or Thailand where they gain the knowledge and experience to bring skilled labor back to Cambodia. When they finish their schooling the kids come back to Cambodia to transform the country. We love this philosophy of ministry as we feel this is how Christ did His ministry!

For more on Asian Hope please check out the website at

Friday, September 4, 2009

We are moving to Cambodia...

That’s right we have decided to move overseas and live in Phnom Penh, Cambodia for two years and work with a Christian organization called Asian Hope. We decided to set up this blog so our family and friends can track our lives out in Asia. Before we leave the blog will mainly be used to keep people in the loop on our fundraising, preparations, and information about our organization. When we leave in July of 2010, please continue to check up on us to hear about our day to day in Phnom Penh.