In 2012 my wife Becci and I travelled with our two youngest children to Phnom Penh where, for two years, we worked as missionaries. I had been working at Waitrose on the Isle of Wight but had felt a calling to “give something back”. Our children went to Hope International school to finish their education during our stay. It was during the first year that I worked in some of the slums in the south of Phnom Penh and was overwhelmed by the poverty and conditions in which people lived.
In September of 2013 there was terrible flooding in much of Cambodia and one of the slums I had been working in was severely affected by this. Ordinary people, good people, were desperate for food and dry shelter. I was able to offer practical help with funds donated by a beneficiary back home in the Isle of Wight but I became more aware of the plight of people living in this village.
Being drawn to one family in particular I felt that amongst the many ways to help was to sponsor the oldest daughter to go to school. If a child receives a good education then they can get qualifications enabling them to get a good job.
Many children will end up working in garment factories which have poor working conditions and low pay. The more vulnerable ones (usually girls but not all) are trafficked or sold into the sex industry which is rife in Cambodia (there are estimated to be about 20,000 prostitutes in Phnom Penh alone).
When we returned to England I went back to the day job and carried on with life as we had known it, but my time in Cambodia had affected me and I knew that God had put on a bigger plan on my heart. We were asked by other people if they could sponsor a child, mainly from our church and realised that we could help many other children receive sponsorship. God started to open doors and has continued to do so ever since, “Until God Say’s No” has become our motto! I left my comfortable job as a Manager of Waitrose as I needed to spend more time working on the charity, visiting Cambodia twice a year for four years. During this time, I took up various jobs to accommodate my travel and work there including being a cleaner, sausage maker, pot washer and dustman. We have now sold our house, cleared the mortgage, and moved to Scotland so I can now work full time for the charity and spend more time in Cambodia.