Sharing God’s love with a poor family in Cambodia

March 29, 2013

by Dale Henkel,

What a joy to know that we were somehow used by the Lord to help a soul in need. Now she has a physical home and a spiritual home.

By Dale Henkel, Samaritan's Purse Teams Trip Leader

I was privileged to lead a Samaritan's Purse volunteer team to work on a Cambodian water project in November of 2012. Our experience was truly beyond words. Let me share the story of Hong.

Hong is a 27 year old who lives is Kampong Thom province in northern Cambodia. Her mother recently died and when her father remarried, he quickly abandoned Hong's younger siblings.

Hong was married with one child, but her husband also deserted her. The young woman was left with six siblings and one small baby to feed.

Hong works hard in the rice fields from morning to night and earns only $2.50 per day. When we met her, the family had no house and all their possessions were neatly placed under a tree where they cooked and lived.  For six months of every year, monsoon rains, forced Hong and her family to seek shelter with friends and neighbors.

Our team worked for two days to build Hong a house. It was amazing to learn to cut long poles of bamboo, split them into strips, form a grid, and attach palm leaves -- all to create a panel for each wall of her house.

Hong worked alongside us and taught us how to work with the bamboo. Her work with us meant that Hong was unable to work in the rice fields and earn her daily wage. Thankfully one of our interpreters noticed this and gave her some money so she could go and buy rice for her family's evening meal.

Hong shared her beautiful smile every time we would glance her way; at times her smile was mixed with tears of joy at the prospect of soon having a home of her own. Even better was the news from one of our interpreters that Hong and her family had decided to accept God's gift of love for them.  

What a joy to know that we were somehow used by the Lord to help a soul in need.  Now she has a physical home and a spiritual home. 

For those who are able to join a Samaritan's Purse team, I would strongly suggest taking the matter to the Lord and seeking His guidance. I personally had no idea what was in store for me 11 trips ago, but the Lord has filled my life with a new purpose and an amazing sense of awe. I will go where He leads me.