When I first met my husband Ben in mid-2011, one of the things we first discovered about each other was a mutual love of Cambodia and its people.
Ben shared his excitement about meeting his sponsored child, Chanchorinai, earlier in the year through an annual Activate church visit to the project that many individuals and families were involved in through child sponsorship.
The following year, I went with a group from the Activate church community, including Ben, and met Chanchorinai, her dad, other children from her community and the wonderful staff at the World Vision Cambodia office. We visited community initiatives and learnt more about the ways World Vision works to empower local people to further develop business, social, health and education initiatives in the area.
Meeting Chanchorinai and her father in 2012, talking and playing in the yard and having lunch with them was an incredible experience and one that still moves me to tears. She took my hands with a shy smile, and linked them with both hers and Ben’s as we all talked and played.
Ben and I practised the broken Khmer we were both learning, as Chanchorinai showed her superior language learning skills and impressed me with her English. The World Vision staff were incredible at translating for us, sharing in our new friendships with each other, encouraging authentic interaction and joining in our excitement. Since then it’s been a privilege to learn more about the community in our letters between visits and we’re always planning the next trip over to see everyone.