I recently returned from a nine-day Neverthirst trip to Cambodia with an incredible team of coaches and athletes from multiple Iron Tribe markets.
For me, it was a chance to go to a new place I had never been, in a poverty-stricken nation that experiences life in a much different manner. It was also a chance for me to grow my faith, through a growing dependence on God in prayer, that is much harder to have here in America.
In the United Nations’ most recent Human Development rankings, Cambodia was 144th out of the 188 countries on the planet (U.S. was 8th).
The team embraced this philosophy, as we prayed about it repetitively, talked about it in our devotionals each morning, and we ultimately maintained this attitude as a unit throughout our trip abroad in a new land.
Neverthirst did a phenomenal job of planning this trip; establishing context for our work in villages, as we visited the nearly 1,000-year-old Angkor Temples near Siem Reap, and the Killing Fields in capital city Phnom Penh, where the Pol Pot Regime killed more than two million Cambodians in a genocide from 1975 to 1979.
These experiences set the stage for what we saw in the villages we visited and lived in for several days of the trip. It helped us understand the history of the Buddhist religion in Cambodia and the effects of the Pol Pot Regime, which killed the majority of the nation’s educated people in an attempt to force the country to “start back at zero,” just less than 40 years ago.
To quote a book I’m reading right now about Cambodia [Cambodia’s Curse], “you stand in these villages and look around knowing that these villages look exactly the same today, as they did 350 years ago!”
Neverthirst has united with multiple partners in Cambodia, to bring villages clean water through three delivery mechanisms; water wells, biosand filters and rain tanks, depending on multiple factors which determine the best option.
The work we were a small part of, with Neverthirst’s partners for each of these three clean water delivery mechanisms, allowed us to truly connect what you and I get to do with our annual Workout For Water event each year, to the exact latitude and longitude it affects on the other side of the world. It was powerful.
We stayed in areas all over the country, including the Vietnam border, where of course, I had to watch Apocalypse Now on my laptop before bed. The overall experience I had on this trip, is one I’ll never forget and surely try to repeat in Cambodia or another area of the world in 2017.