Monday, November 26, 2012

Cambodia Trip: Post 8 - My Last Sunday

Ok so these next posts are over a week late, but better late than never. On my last days in Cambodia, last Sunday and Monday, there were several things that I thought readers would find interesting.

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On Sunday morning we headed back to Good News Baptist Church in Phnom Penh. This was a special time for the Phillips family. Since they have moved to Ta Khmao, and are headed to the States for furlough, it was their last time to see many of these folks for a while. They lived and served here at the church for most of their first 2 years in Cambodia so the church members were glad to see them before their trip. We had a great Sunday School hour as Missionary Stephen Benefield led some music and singing for us to use for Chad’s video. The AM service was good also, but since I don’t understand the language I was forced to sit in the back and make faces at Emily. This was quite entertaining as you can see.

The Benefield family has a wonderful family and ministry here in Cambodia. It was a great pleasure to meet them as I had heard so much about them from Chad. I had a wonderful time with them on Thanksgiving Day as well - they let me crash their party, complete with Turkey, stuffing, and all the fixins’. In the services that I was able to attend there, it was obvious that the people have the joy of the Lord, and are stirred by the messages. The Lord is really using them here in the capitol city; please pray that the Lord will continue to bless the Benefield family and Good News Baptist Church.

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On Sunday night, we just had a few minutes walk to Liberty Baptist Church, which is just around the corner from Chad’s house. It was great to see the Shull family, pastors Proh and Toh, as well as the church members one last time. We had a great service, and little while to fellowship before we had to head back home. It was great to talk to some Cambodian teenagers as well. Some of them were working on trying to go on a special trip - all they had to do to go was memorize the book of Phillipians!



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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Cambodia Trip: Post 7 - Fam Pics & Visitation

Last Friday was also a great day. We got together with some families from the church the Phillips family will be assisting when they return from furlough. First we took some family pics and then headed out on visitation. Here is the Phillips family along with their friend and helper, Theary. Also, there is a pic with the family of Proh and Toh with the city of Phnom Penh in the far distance. These men and their families have been a joy to get to know over my time here. It is great to see the joy of the Lord in their hearts as they serve here in Ta Khmao.


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During visitation I was introduced to a Cambodian treat, Sugar Cane Juice. At first I was hesitant to take a sip from a yellow bag, but it turned out to be quite refreshing. Should you ever find a yellow bag in the United States, I would not suggest consuming the contents. However, should you have opportunity to get yourself some fresh sugar cane juice, I can heartily recommend it!


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Friday, November 23, 2012

Cambodia Trip: Post 6 - Ministry Wednesday

Village Ministry

Probably the greatest day that I have had so far here in Cambodia, was on Wednesday. Chad and I headed out early in the morning for their “Village Ministry”. About 2 hours outside of the city is a farming town, Kampot, where they have a faithful group of people that come together on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The trip out of the city into the countryside of Cambodia revealed a completely new perspective of the country for me. While the city is busy and fast paced, the farming communities outside the city run at a more peaceful pace. Not only was I able to enjoy the beautiful scenery on this trip, but also the wonderful service that we had.


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These are my pals Lin & Lei. It was a joy to meet them and see their enthusiasm for the ministry here.  They were the first ones to arrive and the last ones to leave.



Special Thanksgiving Service

On Wednesday evening, we headed back into Phnom Penh for a service at Good News Baptist Church. There were also several other churches coming for this special service and we really packed out the auditorium. There was singing, a testimony time, and a message by Pastor Benefield. All this was followed by some food and fellowship afterwards. While I had no idea what was being said in the service, I was able to recognize some of the tunes and join in English. It was a wonderful service!
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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Cambodia Trip: Post 5 - Phnom Penh Tourist

On Tuesday everyone went to go get some ice cream. It was fun to get out with the family and see downtown Phnom Penh.



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After that I got to meet Hawn, Chad’s language teacher. Instead of a normal class, Chad decided to take a field trip to one of the Prison camps during the Khmer Rouge - Tuol Sleng, also know as S-21, which is now a memorial museum. Chad did try to get some work done on the Tuk Tuk ride.

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The tour of Tuol Sleng was very sobering, and really the saddest sight I have ever seen. It used to be a Primary and High School in Phnom Penh but was turned into a prison and torture chamber during the Khmer Rouge. The things that come to mind when I think of torture are nothing compared to the things that were shown in this museum. This was far beyond the violence of war and really the most disturbing thing I have witnessed in my lifetime. What makes it even more impactful is that this is still in the heart of the city, it is only one of many of these camps, and that this happened just over 30 years ago. Below are some pictures of the camp. These do not show the terrible story of this camp, but for this audience I have tried to include only pictures that anyone can view. Hawn and our tour guide are the others in the pictures. This was Hawn’s first time going to this camp, it was very sobering for him as well.

Also in the pics is one of the seven survivors who was selling his book at the museum, Chum Mey. Of over 12,000 prisoners, he was one of the few who lived to tell the story.

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This is a view from inside the rooms. You see 3 brick cells on the right. Each of these rooms were filled with several of these tiny cells where the prisoners stayed. The pieces of writing that you see on the wall at the top was lettering that remained from the school.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Cambodia Trip: Post 4 - More Moto Please!

Monday, Chad and I headed out to Phnom Penh and Ta Khmao.

Here are some pics from Phnom Penh, I will try to put up some more vids later.


We stopped by Chad’s old house in Phnom Penh. Good News Baptist Church is the building on the right. We will be having a special service here on Wed. night with several other churches coming. I am really looking forward to it.

When the Phillips were here, they had to install that fence around the upstairs that you see. Monkeys would get in that tree and come up on their porch. hahah!


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Here we are in a traffic jam in Phnom Penh, trying to turn left. The building on the right is the tallest building in Phnom Penh, but will soon be surpassed by the building on the left which is under construction. You will see it in several of my blog pics if you look close.


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Ok, so I have no idea how much gas prices are here, but 5,150 of anything is just ridiculous!


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Update

We were headed to KFC for lunch, but I quickly changed my mind. haha!

A low angle view through the streets of Phnom Penh

Cambodia Trip: Post 3 - First Sunday



Sunday, we headed out to church at Liberty Baptist Church in Ta Khmao, Cambodia. This will be the church that Chad is working at in the future, and where he lives now. Thought you would enjoy hearing a classic Hymn in the Khmer language - can you guess the tune? Also, Here is a vid of our Tuk Tuk ride home. He lives just a few blocks from the church.






Sunday, November 18, 2012

Cambodia Trip: Post 2 - My First Moto Ride

On Saturday, we just relaxed most of the day at the Phillips house. We did head out in the late afternoon for a “moto” ride through the town of Ta Khmao where Chad lives.


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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Cambodia Trip: Post 1 - I Have Finally Arrived

Well after over 20 hours on an airplane, I made it to Cambodia.


Thanks to Jason King and Travis Birge which dropped me off at the airport on Thursday morning. I landed in Cambodia last night around 11PM their time.

I was right by the wing on the plane trip leaving Atlanta, so here is a time-lapse vid of the takeoff. Also, Chad and Linda got some pics of the kids as they waited for me at the Phnom Penh airport. They were easy to find since they were the only group with Braves clothing. haha! The kids showed me how to do the Tomahawk chop on the van ride to their house.  You will have to get them to show you when the come to Georgia.

I am going to try to be putting up a post every few days, so Be sure to check back for more updates during the next couple weeks.


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Also, I wanted to say thank you to the many friends and church family that helped me financially for this trip through donations, and purchasing my Cambodia packages. I truly appreciate it! If you would like to get a package, I still have plenty of them left and I will hook you up. You can order online Here, You can see my Mom at church or send me an email at vichuff@gmail.com. Thanks again!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Young Family - Party of 6

As I mentioned in my last post, I am headed to Cambodia later this month. It turns out that I am not the only one going on a journey to the Far East!



One of the best things about my time Freelancing is the opportunities I have had to work on some very special projects. What seems like forever ago, a member of my church Crystal Young, asked me if I could help them create a family video. She explained to me that they had been doing the preliminary work for adopting a child overseas, and one of the things the agencies like to have is a video showing the family and home. I told her I would help as much as I could and to let me know if things worked out. Well, praise the Lord, earlier this year things finally worked out. In June, Mr. Jason and Mrs. Crystal let me know that everything was moving along with the adoption process and that they were ready to make a video. The next addition to the Young Family would be a little 4 year old girl named Sunny May!



We set aside a day to get some video which included some personal greetings and a tour of the house. I have known the Young family for quite some time, but being in their home I was able to see how special they really are. Jason and Crystal are great parents to an amazing group of kids already. Shelby, Malachi, and Cody each have their unique characteristics and it’s fun to see them interact. I can’t wait to see how it will be when SunnyMay joins the party!


Here are some shots of the vid:


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In August I finished up editing “The Young Family” video and got them a DVD. This was my first time working on a project like that so I was unsure if I was satisfied with how it turned out. It accomplished the criteria that the adoption agency requested, but this being such a special event I really wanted it to be great. At the end of the month Mrs. Crystal forwarded me an email that made me feel like a million dollars. It was titled “Update on Sunny May”. Crystal included a message that said this:

Here is a Note from worker at Mothers Choice:

"I have shown the family video and album to SunnyMay today. Here’s some photos of her.

She keeps on waving her hand to the screen when the video is showing to her, and she kisses her daddy’s photo when we told her this is her dad. She is so lovely/"


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Well the Young Family is on their way to Hong Kong now to pick up their newest addition, SunnyMay! Please be praying for their traveling safety and that their adoption procedures in Hong Kong go very smooth. I am looking forward to meeting SunnyMay in person and to seeing the growing Young family - Party of 6!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Going to Cambodia!

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One of my best pals, Chad Phillips, is a missionary in Cambodia. He and his family have been working working at Good News Baptist Church in Phnom Penh for almost 2 years now, and it is amazing to see how the Lord has blessed their ministry. I have often thought about trying to go and visit, and Chad and I had even mentioned the idea a few times, but no serious plans were ever made. That is - until the past couple of months!


About 5 weeks ago, I got a call from Chad telling me about some adjustments they were making to their furlough plans. They had an exciting ministry opportunity that would be coming about next summer, so they were going to reschedule their trip home before that date. Chad also began telling me about a project he wanted to do before he came home, and he wanted me to help him out. He was wanting to make a short video to kind of show his life and ministry there in Cambodia during their first term. Somehow in a few minutes he had talked me into trying to get to Cambodia ASAP and get this done.


Well, we worked out the details. I got my Passport and Plane tickets (which include 20 hours in the air, ughh!), I cleared my calendar during Thanksgiving (Turkey diet), and very soon I will be heading to Cambodia.


I am very excited about this opportunity, and humbled as well. Six weeks ago I never would have imagined that this would be possible. Please pray that the Lord would help me and protect me on this trip and that He will bless the work we do.


Cambodia Packages!

As we began to see the details come together that I would be able to go to Cambodia, I decided that I wanted to do a fundraiser to help pay for my trip and project. Chad was already working on some new things including a new website. I thought what better way to do a Cambodia trip fundraiser than to create a promotional packet to help promote this. Over the past few weeks I have ordered and created a few items and put them together into a cool Cambodia packet. I got a Pray for Cambodia T-Shirt made complete with Chad’s new website on it. There is also a wristband with the new website on it. I made a vinyl decal that you can put on your car or mirror to help you remember Cambodia. And finally, I made a tag to go along with the package. It has a picture of the Phillips family and some other info. What’s awesome is that my family members put all of these items together for me in a cool looking bundle! Check it out. 

If you would like to see more pics or even order one of these Cambodia Packages, check out my website Here.



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The Living Fields

Lastly today, I wanted to mention Chad’s new website. It is not complete yet, but you can check it out at www.living-fields.com.


The name he chose for his website is very significant. A quick Google search of Cambodia will show you why. Probably the most notable event in their recent history is the brutal Khmer Rouge regime which ruled from 1975 to 1979. Thousands were murdered and even more died of disease and starvation. There are several burial sites within Cambodia that are simply know as “The Killing Fields.” While this is just a history lesson to most people, it is still very real in the minds of most Cambodians, including Chad and Linda’s family members.


The things associated with “The Killing Fields” makes the name of Chad’s new website overwhelmingly powerful. The darkness and death that came in Cambodia’s past will give way to the light and life that the Gospel brings to the Cambodian people. With Christ and laborers like my pal Chad, the future of Cambodia is “The Living Fields”.
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