Greetings from Phnom Penh, Cambodia. I am visiting this interesting and diverse country to assist and encourage our staff member, Chantha Kong, who directs a Hope Now ministry here. Currently, there are over 500 young men (and a few women) who have been deported from the U.S.
Samnang is one of the young men in our Cambodia program. He was born in a refugee camp during the tragic war of the Killing Fields in Cambodia. His father died in the war, and his mother never became a citizen when she arrived in the U.S. As a younger man, he committed a crime in his hometown of Philadelphia. That crime banished him from the U.S. for life. It’s a tragic story that I’ve heard over and over again, of young men who got caught up in gangs and were then deported to a country that was completely foreign to them.
The United States flies them here, opens the door of the plane, and tells them: “Have a nice life.” They can never return to the U.S. There are over 500 young men here now. Our Hope Now work provides training and encouragement, and helps them acclimate to their strange new world.
Chantha was deported in 2010. Ironically, that was the year he was the Hope Now Youth of the Year. His crimes took place years earlier. He had turned his life around, gotten married, was a supervisor in his job, was attending school, and was contributing positively to our community. Randomly, Immigration called him in, confiscated his car, did not notify his wife, and deported him. But God meant it for good.
Since 2010, Chantha (and his wife Sharon who joined him here) works with young men just like him.
Thank you for your support of Hope Now, and for our Cambodia outreach. Just note: “Cambodia” on your gift and we will use it directly for our work here.