Diary of Mission Trip In Cambodia 2012
Every year, Father Martino leads a mission trip entitles “Lend a Hand” – This year the trip begins on Jan 3 and will ends on January 15! There are 13 young professionals from US and Canada – pay their own way and taking their two weeks vacations to be on the trip – including three members of One Body Village’s Board of Directors. Nga Vu, MD; Young Hoang, PhD; and Pham Tiffany, MSW! Father Martino continuously repeat the purpose of the mission: ” When you are on the mission with me – you don’t do a lot!! I want you to open yourselves, watch, listen, see and learn! The DOINGS begin when you return to the US!” so you can talk about it and do with passion to be the VOICE and the HAND of these children being sold/forced into sex slavery!”
Here are some of their reflections. Let begins with Dr. Vu’s – a Vietnamese American born and also the Chair of the Board of Directors of One Body Village on her first trip to Cambodia!
“Looking back on this journey so far, I am grateful for this opportunity to get to be surrounded by young people and their enthusiasm to help the OBV children. I am also grateful for the opportunity to see Father Martino and his determination and passion. Life is so different from just hearing about these experiences, and to making your own experience. I am on my own journey and creating my own footprints from Vietnam all the way to Cambodia.
It was eye-opening to hear about the life of the Vietnamese people in Cambodia, and how history shaped the world that these young Vietnamese children have learned to grow up in. The war scattered them, and left them without a place to call home. They are recognized neither as Cambodians, nor as citizens of Vietnam. Their goal is to find a way to make money, and sometimes it means selling off their children to be forced into the world of sex slavery. For them it is a way of life. Without official documentation, nor an education, the children have little means to get out of Cambodia and/or out of the sex trade.
Everything in life begins with one step. I have taken that first step to understanding these children and lending them a hand, and I hope you will join me someday.