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Progress in Cambodia – a letter from United States

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Delighted passengers of the cruise ship arrive at Phnom Penh International Airport from Sihanoukville. City Hall

May God continue to bless Cambodia for opening its port to a cruise ship with ill patients after five other countries had sent it away. I didn’t know much about Cambodia until my daughter and her husband answered the call to go there as missionaries. I began to educate myself.

Cambodia was drawn into the Vietnam War because munitions were “hidden” across the Vietnamese-Cambodian border and American bombing missions soon found the munitions and bombed Cambodia. There continued to be political unrest after the war was over.

But the worst was yet to come. Pol Pot and “The Killing Fields” didn’t make much news in the United States. But from 1975 to 1979, Pol Pot had about one-third of the population slaughtered in a country of about 8 million; thousands more died of starvation. Vietnam forces finally came to their aid, removing Pol Pot from power. But the country, which only a few decades earlier had been a tropical paradise, lay in ruins.

In 2006, my firstborn with her husband and their three children left the USA and made their home in Cambodia. Ken and I visited in 2007. We were taken aback at the living conditions. Cambodia was and still is considered a developing country.

I’ve made the trip four times. Each time, I could see progress. The people are so warm and friendly. The religion is mostly Buddhism. But the Buddhists and the Christians are friends. I pray that the world will notice the open arms of the Cambodian leaders and will bless them.

JoAnne Hershey
Providence Township

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