Where do I begin with describing our time in Cambodia? We decided several months ago that we wanted to volunteer somewhere in Asia. However, after researching volunteer options, I became very worried about choosing an organization to work at due to the high amount of corruption that goes on in organizations recruiting volunteers in Asia.
You see, volunteering has become a big money scam in Asia. Many organizations use their facilities as a business to make money, instead of bettering the people and children. I’ve read countless volunteer-scam stories online, and it really made me worried about choosing an organization that I didn’t personally know.
I posted on Facebook to see if any of my friends had personal connections with an organization in Asia who might need some volunteers for a month in the spring. Our friend Kati reminded us that her parents operate a non-profit Children’s Home in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Over the course of the the next few days, arrangements were made for us to stay with the Benz Family and help in anyway they could use us. Jared and I were very excited about this opportunity, but we didn’t know what to expect.
We lived with the Benz Family at Bykota House for a short 3 weeks, and we loved every minute of it!
The first two weeks, we focused on spending time with the special needs kids. They all won our hearts over, and we will always cherish the precious time we spent with them. The last week we focused more on teaching the rest of the Children in school.
P.S. Yes, I’ll come out and say it–I’m really hoping that some of you fall in love with these children and come over to love on them!
This is Sammy. He is so sweet and full of love. We called him our little koala bear because he loves to climb up on you and cling to you like a koala.
This is Tina. She is the most joyful little girl you’ll ever meet! She loved watching us play with the other kids, and she can laugh for hours on end.
Sokchia also won our hearts over with his eagerness to learn and read. He can sit for hours with his pile of books.
At five years old, Theda is the youngest of the special needs kids. She is such a joy! She loves rolling around on the ground, but more than that, she loves being held in your arms.
This is Hope; the most precious little girl you’ll ever meet. We had such a great time our first week playing games with her, but she got very ill and was hospitalized for several weeks. Thankfully, she came home the day before we left and we got to say goodbye to this amazing little girl.
Our entire time at Bykota House was filled with fun and laughter. We loved attending Small Group every Tuesday! Celebrating at the March Birthday party was a blast as well!
We were also able to lead a Safety and Protection seminar. It was fun to play round with the kids while teaching them valuable material.
Little did we know, Bykota House is home to the best pretzels in the world! Mark’s speciality? The Half Kilo Pretzel!
Interested in being a part of the work God is doing in Cambodia? Contact Mark and Rhonda Benz to see what you can do to help out. They are always on the lookout for extra help and support! And trust us, it’ll be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made.