ENCOUNTER CAMBODIA TEAM SUMMER 2018

Mountain Photos

Mountain Photos

“The Best Day Ever” Trying to get this blog post to post with spotty WiFi is testing my patience tonight - here goes nothing! ...

“The Best Day Ever”

Trying to get this blog post to post with spotty WiFi is testing my patience tonight - here goes nothing!

Yesterday as we were getting ready to go to the mountain, it started POURING rain. We tried to wait it out, but decided to postpone our mountain trip to the following day. Instead, we walked the streets of Battambang, sampled some different fruits, and enjoyed a meal together. Durian is known as the “stinky fruit” here in Cambodia…our hotel literally has signs to say that people cannot bring it into the building because the stench is so strong. Here is Autumn’s description of it’s taste…

“It sort of tastes at first like root beer that has been sitting out for too long…then later it taste like gym socks in my mouth” - LOL.

We were able to make it to the mountain this morning! We each rode motos up to the top, stopping along the way to learn about some of the more somber moments in Cambodia’s history. We saw a cave where many died during the Khmer Rouge genocide in the 70’s. It was strange to see so much sadness with such a gorgeous mountaintop view as a backdrop.

All in all, it was an incredible experience - probably once in a lifetime - to see Cambodia from that vantage point. I think we are all falling in love with this country!

We ended the day at Rapha House, where we brought ice cream to the girls and had a dance party. Right as we pulled up to the safe house, it started raining HARD again - we ran theouh the puddles to hang with the girls and ended up dancing the night away in the rain. Every single member of our team was drenched in water and joy - what a perfect day.

Make sure to check out our next post with pics from the mountain because tumblr will only let me post 10 at a time!

Amber shares how God has worked to bring her to this moment in Cambodia.

From Lyndsey... The word I would use to describe day 3 of the trip is emotional. When we went to church at Rapha House, I was...

From Lyndsey…

The word I would use to describe day 3 of the trip is emotional. When we went to church at Rapha House, I was overwhelmed by how inviting all of the girls were, how they pulled us in and sat with us and how smiley they all were. We listened to them worship in their own language, and I was overwhelmed by how big God is, and how amazing it is that these girls were singing to the same God I sing to at home. At the end of our time there, the girls hugged us and wrote their names in Khmer in our notebooks, and told us that they loved us. It was so beautiful to feel so deeply loved by them, and to love them so deeply after only just meeting them. I will never forget the joy they have, and I hope that I can share with everyone at home just a fraction of the love, joy and happiness that I experienced today.

Frog legs. We finally reached the first day of our trip that did not involve hours of travel! After our 15 hour flight, our 4...

Frog legs.

We finally reached the first day of our trip that did not involve hours of travel!

After our 15 hour flight, our 4 hour flight, and our 6 hour bus ride, we arrived in Battambang yesterday afternoon. Many team members have been waking up around 4 am due to jet lag and falling asleep around 8pm. Hoping that tonight we can begin a more regular sleep schedule!

This morning, we went to Rapha House for church and got to meet some of the girls for the first time. We felt incredibly welcomed by the girls and by the staff and had an amazing time worshipping with people who live on the opposite side of the world. It was a beautiful morning.

We also got to eat in true Cambodian fashion this afternoon at a restaurant made entirely of little huts. Theara explained to us that in Cambodia, we do everything as a family - there is not such thing as personal space! It was really fun to cram inside a little hut and eat family style. Theara ordered for us…fried rice, sweet and sour chicken, and FROG LEGS. Everyone on the team was brave and tried a frog leg - some liked it more than others!

Because the location of the safe house is meant to be kept secret, we are not allowed to take any pictures during our time at Rapha House! Instead, here are a few photos from Teul Sleng, the genocide museum in Phnom Penh, and from our lunch this afternoon. We are about to head out to visit a mountain-top temple! More to come.

We made it! Our team is safe and sound in Phnom Penh! We went straight to Toul Sleng, a museum that explains the huge genocide...

We made it!

Our team is safe and sound in Phnom Penh! We went straight to Toul Sleng, a museum that explains the huge genocide that happened in Cambodia in the 70’s, and are currently getting some much needed rest at our hotel.


Tonight will be pretty laid back, with resting from travels, eating some dinner, and processing what we’ve seen of Cambodia so far!


More to come!

We made it to Taiwan! The team is in good spirits and is currently waiting for a cafe to open at 6am so we can get some coffee!...


We made it to Taiwan! The team is in good spirits and is currently waiting for a cafe to open at 6am so we can get some coffee! We will be boarding our next flight in about two hours.


Stay tuned for more updates!

Meet the Team...

Josh Speer

2016 Graduate, Math Ed. Major, Current Encounter Intern 

For this trip, I really hope to grow in my understanding and awareness of what’s happening with regards to human trafficking. I want to be able to learn a lot so that I can still support these organizations in any way that I can when I get back home.

I am looking forward to meeting these people on a deep level. I don’t want to leave without making a solid connection with at least one person who’s there.

Meet the Team... Molly Beil Encounter Staff This will be my fourth time in Cambodia and each time I go, I learn something new...

Meet the Team…

Molly Beil

Encounter Staff

This will be my fourth time in Cambodia and each time I go, I learn something new about the culture, about the people, and about myself. I want to go into this trip with an open mind - ready to see what God wants to teach me this time!

I’m super excited just to simply go back to a place that I love! I’m looking forward to seeing old faces and friends that I’ve met before and to continue those relationships, but also to meet new people. I’m also excited to bond with our team and to watch them experience Cambodia for the first time.

Meet the Team...

Michelle Walker

Encounter Staff

It’s been two years since I first traveled to Cambodia. Last time I went, God taught me that the world is a lot bigger than I can even comprehend; that he cares deeply about people from other cultures; that I am not helpless even though I might feel small in this great big world. My hope is that I would return back to the states with that same renewed perspective, because we are a forgetful people and I am no exception to that. A lot can change in two years, and so this time around my prayer as we leave is that this trip serves a reminder for me of those things, and that my heart would remain calm and open to receive more newness.  

I’m looking forward to spending two weeks with this brand new team! Last time, I was brand new to Cambodia, and I think I’ll be experiencing it through different eyes this year. Watching the new team experience a different culture, try new foods, and even fly on a plane for the first time (for some!) is going to be a lot of fun for me. Getting an opportunity to travel to a different country with my camera is also something I’m looking forward to…Cambodia is a beautiful country, and I want to do it justice when photographing it.

I’ve also really missed “lime juice” (essentially lemonade made with limes), so I’m looking forward to gulping down that refreshing drink on a hot day - which I guess is every day when you are in Cambodia. So…lime juice every day, wooo! 

Meet the Team...

Mollie Smith

Encounter Media Intern

I hope God stretches my worldview with this trip. I want to grow in patience and compassion. I’m really looking forward to bonding with the team more and growing those friendships, too. I’m really excited to see how God works on the other side of the world. Our team has talked a lot about how beautiful and broken often go together; I’m excited to see the beautiful in the broken while in Cambodia. Just like the name Rapha House implies, our God is a healer and I’m humbled to get to witness that healing and redemption firsthand.

Also, I’m pumped to eat some tarantulas and drink iced coffee out of plastic bags.

Meet the Team...

Tori Jackson

Graduated May 2018 with degree in Public Relations

I hope this trip strengthens my faith and allows me to gain a new perspective from a new culture to bring back into the next chapter of my life beyond college.

Where do I begin…I am really looking forward to submerging myself into a new culture and interacting with the kids and teens in Cambodia. I’m also excited to grow in my own faith, understand how EACH culture is both beautiful and broken and see how God is omnipresent.

Meet the Team...

image

Brendan Streitmatter

Junior/Business Major

I hope to grow in my faith by increasing my ability to trust in God through this trip. Cambodia will be the furthest I’ve ever been from home, so it’ll be cool to see how God uses that. I’m looking forward to being a Christlike male role model to the kids we interact with and the girls from Rapha House.

Meet the Team...

Lauren Bowers

I will be a sophomore in the fall & my major is Speech Language Pathology.

I hope that I can grow in my cultural awareness from this trip. I have never been out of the country & I have never been exposed to such a different culture, such as Cambodia. I am excited to see how God is going to open my eyes to the differences across the world, but also the similarities. My hope is to see how God is redeeming such a spiritually dark place.

I am looking for to going out of my comfort zones in all aspects of this trip. I am also so excited to further my friendships with my fellow team members & to get to know everyone better. This trip is going to be amazing & I cannot wait!

Meet the Team...

Gaby Salgado

Sophomore // Family Consumer Sciences (confused)

I hope to come back to the states with a better understanding of the way Jesus loves; the heights and depths of his love. I hope you come back and have a better understanding of how to love others like Jesus loves us. I hope to be more compassionate and gentle. I want to be a voice for those who don’t have one.

I am looking forward to learning more about the team on that crazy long flight. I am looking forward to learning about the Cambodian culture and history. And I am looking forward to witnessing brokenness being restored and hearts being changed.

Meet the Team... Matt Schahrer  Senior; Kinesiology Studies I hope that God will use this trip to soften my heart and make me...

Meet the Team…


Matt Schahrer 

Senior; Kinesiology Studies

I hope that God will use this trip to soften my heart and make me more sensitive and aware of others around me. I also hope that God will change me so that I can see how He is working around me at all times.

I’m looking forward to being able to just show these girls, who have been through horrible situations, love and grace and to show them the love of Jesus. I’m also excited to be able to experience a different culture for the first time in my life.

Meet the Team...

Kayla Haines

Senior, Biology Education

As a result of this trip, I hope to grow a heart for those who are not in my reach.  I hope to have my eyes opened to the reality of that part of the world, and to grow in my appreciation for what the Lord has provided for me in my ow life.  I hope that this trip makes me realize that I can have influence on those that aren’t within my own country and that people who are not exactly like me can influence my life as well. 

On this trip I am really looking forward to growing in relationship with the teammates that I am traveling with.  I know a lot of my teammates at a very surface level and I am looking forward to diving deeper into each others lives.

Meet the Team...

image

Katie Delwiche

Junior Nursing Major

I want to grow in trusting in and relying on God during this trip. This will be my first mission trip, my first time on a plane, and my first time out of the country. This trip is going to push me completely out of my comfort zone and I am SO ready for it. In this totally unfamiliar place the only familiar thing is going to be God and His goodness, so I’m really hoping to learn to lean completely into that. I am looking forward to literally every part of this trip (except maybe that plane ride). God is doing some really exciting things in Cambodia and I am just so grateful to get to be a tiny part of that. I’m especially looking forward to getting to know these kids and just loving on them as much as I can in two short weeks!

Meet the Team...

image

Chris Ragland

Junior/Financial Accounting Major

I hope to see that no matter what decision I make in my life, God will always be there with me. No matter what I am doing or where I am at, it is God who works in me.

I am looking forward to experience and learn about Cambodian culture. To see how people live in a third world country. And to see how God is at work in all corners of the world.

Meet the Team...

image

Lyndsey Brown

Junior Middle Level Education Major

I hope that this trip helps me to grow in awareness and understanding of human trafficking, and I hope to use that to give people going through that a voice. I am really looking forward to bonding with the team, meeting the people at Rapha House, and trying new foods!