September 3rd, 2011

Well, my journey to Cambodia has begun! I flew out last Friday (VERY early in the morning) to Atlanta where I met my awesome team that I get to work with for the remainder of the trip.  The Cambodia team is made up of all women who are 18-22 years old, from all over the U.S. and Canada.  Pretty sweet how God has chosen to bring people with all sorts of different stories together, in one place, with a purpose.  

Once all of our team members arrived to the airport, our leaders sent us out on our first adventure—navigating our way through Atlanta to a homeless shelter called Safehouse—because this would be our home for the night.  Walking through the streets of Atlanta at this time of year was no regular stroll—thanks to the Dragoncon festival:)  For those of you who don’t have a clue what this is (I didn’t), this is a time when roughly 40,000 people come together in the streets of Atlanta dressed up as…science fiction characters from animated video games.  Yeah! Crazy!  Quite honestly, it makes the top 5 for one of the strangest things I have ever seen.  But what really blew me away was that this event draws in FORTY THOUSAND people to Atlanta—that’s a lot of people! I’m stumped.  It would be so cool to see that many people in one place, coming together for something bigger (sorry Dragoncon fans), something that could change a lot of peoples lives, because you can’t help but feel all the energy with that many people altogether for one thing.

We are at AIM’s training camp site, where it’s hot and sticky, but full of people who are excited to learn, love, grow and impact together!  Our training has consisted of a lot different components, all to prepare us for life in Cambodia, working together to impact and be impacted.  Already, our team is feeling more comfortable with one another and confident that we all have much to look forward to in Cambodia.

We fly out of Atlanta on Tuesday for an AWESOME 16 hour flight to South Korea and then it will be another 6 hours or so to Phnom Penh—I can’t wait to get to Cambodia. I don’t know a whole lot about the details of what we will be doing, but this is what I do know:

We are working with an organization called TransformAsia (website: http://www.transformasia.us/stop_the_trade/trade-school2) in Battambang, Cambodia.  At this organization, girls and women who were taken out of sex-trafficking, have the opportunity to gain some basic skills, learn English, take sewing classes—all to help them adjust to reentering their community so that they may not be trapped in sex-trafficking again.  We will be in this placement for about 2 months (then we get a 2nd placement) and hope to build relationships with the girls at Transform Asia and have a chance to hear each other’s stories.  I think that we have so much to hear and learn from these girls, and I know we have something to offer as well.  Can you tell why I’m pumped?! What an awesome opportunity!

There is so much that I am looking forward to in Cambodia—the people, the stories, the challenges, and lets be honest—Jazzercise in the park might be what I’m looking forward to the most!!  Thanks for reading, I will be updating the blog every week! Thank you for your prayers and your support—I will never forget all of you who have made this experience a possibility.  Thank you for trusting in me to do this work—God bless!


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