Hope For Cambodia
We first fell in love with Cambodia in 2011. We were volunteers on short-term mission projects with groups from Northwest Christian University (now Bushnell University) of Eugene, Oregon.
After moving to Siem Reap, Cambodia, in 2013, we served with Bloom Asia as General Managers for Blossom Café & Training Centre for five years. In 2018, we moved to Phnom Penh to volunteer for four years with Agape International Missions (AIM).
As of 2022, we are stepping into anti-trafficking ministries on a broader scale, working with leaders of multiple anti-trafficking organizations to connect them with resources, troubleshoot and brainstorm, and offer other support. The annual Trafficking In Persons Report provides more information about the scope of global anti-trafficking efforts.
Since the onset of COVID-19, the need for collaboration has proven to be crucial for organizations now and into the future. At the core of who we are is a strong desire to assist organizations in building and empowering Cambodian leadership.
Our Ongoing Anti-Trafficking Work
From 2018-21, Matthew was the country director at Agape International Missions (AIM), overseeing the 12 projects in Cambodia. He led a team that was empowering disenfranchised people in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap to offer them skills and training, propelling them to a new life for themselves and for their families.
Melissa was the director of international advancement at AIM, working to connect churches, relationships and businesses in Southeast Asia with ministries on the ground in Cambodia.
During our service with AIM, the people of Cambodia managed the chaos and complexities of COVID-19. It hit our ministry personally, as Matthew experienced a complex health situation from the long-term effects of COVID-19. As a result, our ministry emphasis shifted.
We are now working with multiple anti-trafficking organizations in various aspects of support and care, assisting with a wide range of support, including but not limited to:
- Training and preparing policies and procedures
- Residential care and best practices
- Khmer leadership empowerment
- Succession planning and consultation
- Working with Cambodian church musicians through private lessons and coaching, empowering them with new skills and tools to become music trainers within their communities
- Developing musical resources in the Cambodian language to equip worship leaders with practical music theory skills and training
A New Chapter In Our Efforts
Because of confidentiality issues and child-protection policies, we do not mention the organizations we work with by name. We are, however, excited to continue to share the stories of how our support helps to prepare organizational teams for a new chapter in a quickly changing Cambodia.
As we help equip organizations for the future, we are doing the same for ourselves in our pursuit of online advanced degrees. Matthew is earning a Master of Clinical Mental Health at Colorado Christian University, and Melissa is working toward a Master of Arts in Leadership with a nonprofit focus through Bushnell University.