Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Cambodia Mission Trip

Dear Friends,

I am writing to tell you about an incredible opportunity my husband and I have to go to Cambodia this summer.
After Matthew has completed his degree (likely 2014), we believe that God is calling us to spend a couple of years serving abroad in missions. In the meantime, we are hoping to learn more about various parts of the world that interest us and to explore important issues that move our hearts, so that we can discern where God wants us to go and what He wants us to do when the time comes.

From August 15 - 27, we are thrilled to be taking a break from our typical routine to go on a short term mission trip to Svay Pak, Cambodia with a group from Menlo Park Presbyterian Church. We will be partnering with Agape International Mission in Svay Pak, a humanitarian organization founded in 1989 that focuses on preventing child sex trafficking and restoring hope to its victims. This is done through a holistic strategy of preventing the problem, rescuing the enslaved, restoring the broken, and equipping the Church so that sex-trafficking can be eliminated forever. You can learn more about the organization at

As you may know from previous blog posts, I believe that human trafficking is linked to human health in a profound way, affecting both the physical and emotional well being of its victims, particularly if those exploited are children. Svay Pak, the village where we will spend most of our time, is considered a notorious brothel district and a "destination location" for pedophiles, located a short drive outside the capital of Cambodia. Over the last five years, the government of Cambodia, assisted by a number of NGO's (such as International Justice Mission), has successfully shut down some of the brothels in the area that exploit children as young as five years old. Yet much is left to be done to eliminate this practice and to restore the community. It is believed that approximately one third of the prostitutes in Svay Pak are under age 18 and that as many as half are infected with HIV. Our friends who have gone to Svay Pak in past years have reported that pimps could sometimes be seen openly waiting outside the kids' club for the songs and games to be over in order to pick up the girls they traffick.

Our group will work with Agape to put on a daily kids’ club for the children of Svay Pak (where kids can just be kids), to plan a celebration at Agape’s safe house for recovering victims, to teach computer or other skills with which we have been gifted, to encourage those who are ministering in Svay Pak already, and to otherwise meet any needs of the community as we are able during our stay. And of course, we will be traveling not just to give to the community, but also to learn from the community - to build relationships, learn about the culture, understand their struggles, celebrate their strengths.

In order for us to go to Cambodia, we need to find a faithful group of people committed to praying for us before, during, and after the trip, in addition to raising approximately $2,900 each ($5,800 total) to pay for travel, lodging, and other ministry expenses. We would be honored if you would consider partnering with us on this mission to fight against human trafficking.

Would you be willing to join our prayer team and/or to support us financially? Donations are tax deductible, and any amount you are able to contribute is significant in helping us reach our fundraising goal. Donations can be made online at, or checks can be made out to Menlo Park Presbyterian Church and mailed to:

Menlo Park Presbyterian Church
Cambodia Missions Trip
950 Santa Cruz Ave.
Menlo Park, CA  94025

For checks, please include a separate note in the envelope indicating that it should be designated towards Matthew & Kristen Campbell for the Cambodia mission trip. All donations are non-refundable and must be received by the church before July 31, 2012 to go towards our trip. Any donations received after that date will not go towards our trip and will instead be used for other mission endeavors at the church.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions you may have.



  1. Kristen & Matt,
    I am so impressed with you two. Cant say that often enough. I am sure you will be blessed on your tirp. Lots of luck..and many blessings
    Love you the most.

    1. Thanks, Nana! We hope that people will see God at work more than they see our efforts. We are thankful and excited that He can use us in this way!