In one week I will be turning 26 years old and I have never been so grateful for what God is doing in my life. I am humbled by how He has used me during my trip to Cambodia as well as what He has revealed to me. This is the start to so much more. The best is truly yet to come! 🙏 #Cambodia2014 #Blessed

In one week I will be turning 26 years old and I have never been so grateful for what God is doing in my life. I am humbled by how He has used me during my trip to Cambodia as well as what He has revealed to me. This is the start to so much more. The best is truly yet to come! 🙏 #Cambodia2014 #Blessed

A Piece of Home… Day 9

This morning we got to sleep in a little bit more than usual. I woke up feeling rested and realizing that this trip was right around the corner from being over. Breakfast was in a few and I wanted to spend a little time collecting my thoughts because over breakfast today everyone will be sharing how this trip has impacted their lives.

This journey of following Christ is something that I decided exactly a year ago. I never in a million years would of thought that a year later I would be here in Cambodia building a bio digester for children and men who are victims of all sorts of things from drug addictions to their parents abandoning them. Being here has opened my eyes to the world that exists outside of the United States. I learned that in Cambodia, 1% of the population is Christian, 93% are Buddhist and 6% are other. 1% sounds so small but I saw past that percentage and looked at where I keep 100% of my focus on and that’s Jesus. No matter what the majority of the people here believe, I not only saw it but also felt all the things that God is doing and is going to be doing in this country. He is moving throughout the entire city and countryside of Cambodia. Coming here really opened my eyes to how far Gods love really goes. We sometimes joke and show people that we love them “this much” - with our arms spread wide open. God showed me very clearly that he has the entire world, regardless of their actions or beliefs, completely wrapped in his arms. Before I came here I knew that I would have assignments to help build the bio digester but spreading love to anyone who I came across was priority to me on this trip. God is Love!

At breakfast, everyone got emotional and went into detail about how God used them during their mission trip. Being that we were a group of 28 world changers - it was remarkable to see how much was accomplished. Far more than I can even understand nor put into words. A few days ago, I wrote about how we bridged the gap between our hearts with the people at Teen Challenge Cambodia. That for all of us was the biggest high of this trip. We have created not just new friends here in Cambodia but yet family!

Today are plans are to go visit a wildlife refugee zoo in the jungle about 30 mins out from our hotel then head on over to Teen Challenge Cambodia to say our final farewell. Upon arriving at the zoo we witnessed dozens of elderly beggars on the side of the rode. As much as we felt like giving them what they wanted, money. We knew that giving a beggar what they wanted would do more harm than good. It was a very sad sight to see. When we parked and got of our vans we were greeted by an overwhelming amount of baboons. Immediately I realized this was not your typical zoo. They’re was no security or tour guides. We were in the middle of the jungle.

Our interrupter for the trip, Kimmy, had been here once before so she courageously led us on a “tour”. As we walked we were followed by at least 30 baboons and 2 deer looking animals. It was something I had never experienced in my entire life. I felt like the baboons at anytime were going to attack. We were clearly out numbered. Kimmy said all they really want is food. Some of the guys bought bananas and fed them which only caused them to follow us more. At the “zoo” we saw tigers, bears, alligators, porcupines and more. Going here was by far an adventure and completely worth the thrill.

When we arrived at Teen Challenge Cambodia, for the last time, we all began to realize that this place had become a little piece of home for us all. All the kids were so happy to see us. Especially being that we had arrived with the 3rd group of girls that they hadn’t seen since last week. I don’t think I will ever forget their smiles every morning when we would arrive. Some of them give such great hugs filled with so much love. We spent the night eating, dancing, singing and expressing how much they all mean to us. We had a translator translate how they felt towards us as well. The amount of love in the room was out of this world.

It’s incredible to see how far we all came from the first day when we just showed up 28 Americans from the U.S. claiming to build a bathroom that would help provide a sustainable way of living. Now, everyone is loving on each other just like you would with anyone in your family. It got emotional for most but for me it was tears of happiness. God really moved here at Teen Challenge and I’m so excited to be able to say that I have family in Cambodia. I’m going to miss these kids that I have built relationships with. Ironically some of them have Facebook. Not sure how they manage that. I doubt they are checking it the way we do but I pray I reconnect with them and that God brings me back sooner than later. I left them all my work clothes, boots, and hats. I also gave a pair of brand new sneakers to one of the older guys who has been helping translate for us through out the trip.

As we drove off we could do nothing but smile for all that God did not just within us but at Teen Challenge Cambodia. Back at the hotel, we packed up all our belongings as we prepare to check out first thing in the morning. Our flight leaves tomorrow at 11:55PM. It will take us about 28 hrs to get back to Miami including connecting flights and layovers. The next time I get to sleep in a bed will be 2 days from now at home!

One more - Goodnight!

chrislopezmiami

Alive but Rained Out… Day 8 

Woke up this morning feeling so much better! It’s amazing how you can go from one day feeling like you might of caught malaria to just having diarrhea. I can handle running to the toilet all day knowing that my fever is completely gone. Today, is officially our last day working on the construction at Teen Challenge Cambodia. We have to put in as much work as we can into the finishing touches for the bathrooms that we have been working on for a week now. I am excited to get back our there and work, being that I was out of commission for one whole day. The nurses are saying I should still take it easy and not exceed any extensive labor.

When we arrived at Teen Challenge at 7:15AM we had breakfast and watched the clouds move in for what was about to be a long rainy day. Apparently this time of the year it’s their raining season. For half the morning, I stayed under the pavilion and watched as everyone worked in the rain. I didn’t think getting wet the day after having a fever was too smart. Around 11:00AM the rain stopped and I jumped on out there and began working on laying some of the last bricks for the walls of the bathroom. By the time I knew it, an hour had passed and it was lunch time. The rain seemed to have picked up heavily and work was put on hold. After two hours, we realized that we couldn’t lay cement down in the rain and that all the children had gone to nap. I guess a little lunch with some rain makes everyone sleepy every where in the world. We decided to call it a day and head back to the hotel.

At the hotel we all showered and spent the rest of the day / night relaxing, playing games, and just grasping all of it in - once and for all. Tomorrow night would literally be our last night sleeping here in Cambodia. It truly is crazy how fast time has gone by. Friends and Family say it feels like we have been gone for a very long time. I do miss everyone back at home and my bed but when you are out here you must stay focused. Everyone has amazed me on how focused they have been. Nobody has complained nor expressed anything but positive emotions and comments. God really put together an incredible group of 28 men and women. Tomorrow morning we will be having breaking and everyone will be expressing in a group how this trip has impacted their life. I am ecstatic to hear from everyone and hear how God has not just moved on the outside but also in the side.

Currently I am going to bed tonight watching White House Down with my roommate Taylor. The movie doesn’t seem to be such a great one but this is the first time we have turned on the television all trip. I’m sure I’ll be knocked out before this movie ends.

Goodnight and be home sooner than later!

@ChrisLopezMiami

Not In The Plan… Day 7

Before I hit the bed last night I found my self shivering abnormally. Indeed, I was coming down with something. I had rushed to the bathroom repeatedly, which is never a good sign. I walked over to the nurses who are with us on the trip to see if their is anything I can do. They said since I’m already taking antibiotics to protect me from malaria I can only take Advil PM and they would check on me in the morning. All night I tossed and turned and found my self super worried. I could feel the fever slowly increasing.

When I woke up in the morning, my head was pounding, my fever, and the runs to the bathroom had all increased. The nurses recorded my temperature at 101.4. The look on their faces did not help the worry already in my mind. Of course when you are in a developing country you start to think the worst. After all, many people warned me about this happening. The nurses informed me that if my fever increases to 103 that I would need be taken to the hospital. I refused to accept that. I immediately started praying that we wouldn’t have to result to that. The nurses told Dan, the construction team leader, that I was unable to work today and should stay at the hotel and rest. I obviously knew their was no way I could work today but I refused to stay at the hotel all by myself miles away from everyone. I ended up going to the Teen Challenge Cambodia with the guys!

At Teen Challenge, I spent a miserable day resting in a small van and running to the bathroom. I literally went to the bathroom about 20 times. Now, these are not your ordinary bathrooms. They are small holes in the ground type of toilets. The way you flush is by poring buckets of water to push it down the hole. Throughout the day I found myself asking God why I was going through this. I really felt like I needed to experience this. A mission trip wouldn’t be a mission trip if you didn’t get sick at least once… Right?! I just really feel like this was to prepare me for future mission trips. I also realized that no matter how many precautions you may take you can’t prevent yourself from what is meant to happen. All the children were so worried and helpful through out the day. They would bring me water and constantly ask if I needed anything.

After what seemed like the longest day ever, I started to feel better. We headed back to the hotel a little earlier than usual. When we got back to the room my fever had dropped and my headache got slightly better. The runs to the bathroom were still in full effect. I immediately showered and jumped into bed to get a good night rest. I’m praying that my fever doesn’t come back and that tomorrow I feel much better. All signs are pointing that I will wake up feeling so much better than I did this morning. Thanks for everyone who has been praying for me. Time to get some rest!

Good Night!

@ChrisLopezMiami

Our Day Off - Day 6 

Every morning I wake up to silence. What I mean by that is, my roommate Taylor Wilkerson, has put me on to sleeping to “White Noise” (an app that plays sounds of your choice while you are sleeping). So far during this trip, we go to sleep listening to the ocean waves and when the sound turns off and silence occurs, we wake up! The first night I literally thought this idea was insane. However, it most certainly works. As soon as noise stops we are UP! Apparently this is a thing and I am super behind on it.

At breakfast we ate really fast because we had to be back in the city by 10:30AM for church. Traffic is so bad here that it took us about 3 hours to get there. Service started off with their team leading us in worship. Then they went onto introducing our team and allowing Pastor Linda to preach a message. Pura Ramous, who is on the worship team at our church led one song (Broken Vessels) right before Pastor Linda’s inspiring message on “Making Room for A Miracle.” Her message put so much of our trip into perspective.

After Church, we went across the street to have an amazing lunch at Mike’s Burgers. It’s an American owned diner with burgers, fries, milkshakes, and more. When you are eating the same food for 6 days straight one nice American meal can really go a long way. Once lunch was over, we headed on down to the local malls to do some shopping and then made our way to the Russian market. The Russian market was like their version of chinatown. I was able to get some cool things from there that I’m excited to bring back with me.

Later in the day, we visited the S-21 Prison museum. For those that don’t know back in 1975, Cambodia’s government was overthrown and it became a communist monarchy. Millions were killed and kicked out of the city of Phenom Phenn. The first class of people who were targeted were the educated. Babies, children, doctors, lawyers, moms and dads - basically everyone who was not in the new chain of power was tortured and killed. They would first put you in, what was once a Highschool, the S-21 prison and dehumanized everyone. Then they would take you to the killing fields and kill you. The killing fields was a few miles from the prison. While visiting the prison we got to see how real this really was. You can read about it or google it all day but until you stand in the actual place where these people’s last days were spent, you will really never understand such a genocide. Generations of culture and family were erased. Since then, this city has done a great job in rebuilding everything that was taken and destroyed. It’s still a work in progress everyday here in Cambodia.

For dinner we went to a restaurant that our interpreter, Kimmy, recommended us. I ordered some pad thai with shrimp that was so delicious. As I finished eating, I looked down to the right of my leg and I kid you not there was the biggest black rat I have ever seen in my life. I screamed so loud, like a girl, and jumped out of my chair. Everyone laughed and didn’t understand until they saw that big guy run under the table. It was a frenzy! All the sudden the food I ate didn’t seem so delicious anymore. I wanted out of that restaurant as soon as we could leave.

After a long day in the city, we drove all the way back to our hotel in Takeo Provence. The drive was about an hour and a half because traffic wasn’t that bad. When we arrived the hotel I got of the van and I began to notice that I had chills running up my entire body. Now, I know my own body and just know that this is the sign of a what could be a fever. I am currently writing this journal from the toilet. I pray that I didn’t eat anything bad or better yet catch any crazy sickness. In just a few I will walk on over to the nurses two doors down from me and have them check me out. Till then, I’ll keep you posted!

Good Night from Cambodia and Good Morning America.

@ChrisLopezMiami

Day 5 in Cambodia…

Top of The Mountain

Woke up today realizing that we are half way through our mission trip. Honestly, I am really enjoying it here in Cambodia so much. Today we enjoyed a nice breakfast at the hotel followed by a powerful encouragement by Pastor Linda. She spoke to us about how
God doesn’t put labels on us and that everything that we have ever done has led up to this point. She encouraged us to not hold back and be aware of everything that is happening around us. We are individually here by a divine appointment and we can impact someone’s life so much. She closed with allowing Dan Murphy to discuss how what we are doing here is going to cause a ripple affect that can go on for generations. This devotion was extremely motiving and really made me feel proud of what is happening all around me.

When we arrived at Teen challenge we jumped right into working on walls for the Pig House. We all took park in lay bricks down until it was lunch time. After lunch we worked on adding rock and more sand to the bathroom floors for the biogas digester. We applied water to help with the compacting process for then foundation. Instead of just hanging around for the rest of the day to wait for it dry and compact, we decided to do something spontaneous. In front of Teen Challenge Cambodia, sits a huge mountain. On top of this mountain are ancient Buddhist temples built thousands of years ago. It was very easy to persuade to everyone to go. All the children and teachers from Teen Challenge wanted to go too.

So as one big happy family in Christ we all hiked up the mountain. Going up was about a 10 minute walk up a flight of what seemed like a never ending staircase. Mind you, I was wearing very heavy construction boots, jeans and a long sleeve shirt. It was a challenge but completely worth it! When we got to the top, it felt like an entirely different world. Everything was very ancient and monks of all ages were walking around. The views from the top, over looking all of Cambodia, were breath taking! One of the highlights for me was seeing a baboon which I was corrected is not a monkey.

While on top of the mountain, I had a moment to reflect how far God has brought me. No matter how low at times we can feel or get, God always creates a path. It may take many steps to get to where you want to be but along as you have faith God will get you there - no matter how high the mountain may seem. My heart is currently overwhelming with love. I have been giving so much of it but also receiving it in double. I’m so grateful and humbled to not only feel loved but to be love.

After taking some amazing pictures of the temples and amazing views, we headed back to Teen Challenge Cambodia. We enjoyed a great dinner with everyone and ended the night just like the previous night with prayer, dancing and worship. I’m back at the hotel exhausted from our day. We have a day off tomorrow but also have a 6AM call time. We are going to go church back in the city and then spend the afternoon visiting different places. Struggling to keep my eyes open…

Goodnight from Cambodia!

@ChrisLopezMiami

The Bridge is Built

Day 4

Every morning I wake up and still can’t get used to the fact that back at home its yesterday. Everyday I place one phone call in the morning and night to my Mom. As I am starting my day she is ending her and vise versa. Thank you FaceTime Audio! This morning we didn’t have breakfast as usual at the hotel. We had breakfast at Teen Challenge to help expedite the starting of our work day.

Before we left the hotel, we received a phone call from the Women of Hope team, whom are currently back in the city loving on women who have been rescued from sex trafficking as well as feeding the homeless. One of our nurses on that team informed us that they had a little girl in their custody who had a really bad infection caused by a third degree burn that took place earlier in the week. They requested that some of the other nurses traveling with us head over there with more medical supplies to possibly help treat the helpless little girl.

When we arrived at Teen Challenge we all had breakfast together and one by one walked in a prayer circle around the pond. We pray for protection, unity and anything we had on our hearts. Pastor Linda and the nurses left to meet up with the other women shortly after. The rest of us jumped back into constructing the bathroom and Pig House. As we were arriving at Teen Challenge we noticed the infamous sand truck that we had prepared the roadway for yesterday, had arrived. However, the road way we spent hours and hours constructing yesterday was a fail. The truck sunk and the sand was dumbed on the side of the pond. In short, this now makes it more difficult and time consuming for us to shovel and dump the sand.

One thing I’ll point out about missions trips is that not everything goes according to plan. I think that one of the miss conceptions is that nothing can possibly go wrong when your doing the work of God. We must never forget the enemy is always at play too. We must also remind our selves that certain things happen for a reason and we can’t really get upset, especially when on a mission trip. You just got to have faith and learn how to go with it!

Today’s agenda was to start with the wall construction of the Pig House and creating the plumbing for the bathroom / biogas digester. The labor I engaged on today was laying bricks down to create the wall for the pig house. It was my first time and I was hesitant to accept the challenge. We all did different things today and didn’t really rotate like we did in previous days. We all stayed to what we were assigned to the entire day.

In the midst of what was completed today, a very important component in this entire trip was finally accomplished. In the words of the construction team leader, Dan Murphy, “the bridge between our hearts and the people at Teen Challenge Cambodia was built.” In Cambodia people are very intimidated and shy towards Americans. Today we engaged like never before with them. We learned so much about them. Personal stories about their lives as well as their testimonies. It was remarkable how open they were with each and every one of us after a few days of us loving on them. We came here with a reminder that God is Love therefore we need to Love on them every moment we get. I realized today that in just 5 days I have to say bye to these amazing boys and men. I can already see myself dropping some tears. I have created some real connections with some of the kids. Especially after learning some of their personal stories and their up bringing.

After dinner, the mutual love was felt all around us. All together, we turned on music, danced, prayed and ended an amazing day worshiping. As we left, everyone say goodbye with big hugs and even some of little boys were drawn to give us a little kiss on the cheek. The love that God has filled in us has poured all over. Another successful day and another night I go to sleep with a smile from ear to ear.

The happiness is real my friends!

@ChrisLopezMiami

Our 3rd full day in Cambodia…

Today, I popped out of bed, ready to take on the day. Call time today was at 7AM, not to mention the heavy labor of work from the previous day. Our new hotel is very peaceful and very needed after our very long days, in which we learned this morning, also has great breakfast. They set up all the food buffet style, in which, consisted of rice, fried rice, spaghetti, chicken, bread and fruit. I honestly have never had so much rice in my life and I come from a Cuban family. Not complaining, just saying!

After breakfast we had a moment of devotions and Pastor Linda as well as Dan Murphy gave our encouragement for the day. Almost everyone of us didn’t even realize it was September 11th. You tend to kind of lose track of what day it is let alone the actual date. We were reminded that we are a day ahead of the U.S.A. and paid tribute to those lives were taken and the heroes of 9/11. Right before we left the hotel, to head to Teen Challenge, I posted my blog from the day before because we were having wifi issues. The women of hope team said their good byes to us as they are splitting up from the group for the next three days to go back into the city to visit girls who are victims of sex trafficking. We prayed them out and are super excited for what they are about to embark on for the next 3 days.

On my way to Teen Challenge today, I had a moment where I realized that everything I tend to worry about back at home isn’t worth stressing over. When you are 30,000 miles away from home those problems seem to silent themselves. God is giving me a break from that life to discover a new life. A life where true happiness can be found. One thing we have all grasped from the children at Teen Challenge is that they are all so happy and contempt with what they have. Yet we have so much more and are never contempt with what we have. This speaks to all of us in so many ways. This thought and kind of perspective can only manifest into a new life.

When we arrived at Teen Challenge for our 3rd full day. We began to work on creating a road way in preparation for the trucks that are dropping supply off for us tomorrow. The foundation around in the area that we are constructing is very muddy full of clay and cow manure. All jokes side when you walk it almost feels like quick sand. Let just say a few people’s shoes got sucked right off their feet. Therefore, we spent most of the day applying sand and rocks to the ground to create a sturdy roadway. Then, we made our way to start a future project, which will be left for another team to come back in November of this year to finish, for the new Pig House. We are providing 15 new pigs to Teen Challenge but we most importantly have to have a house to put them all in. We began creating the perimeter of the house by digging and apply cement.

Once 5PM hit we called it a day and all circled up the pavilion and heard a encouraging word by a young leader who traveled from Miami with us named Lacy Beach. Outside of Lacy Beach being one my closest friends on this trip she has decided to stay here in Cambodia for the next 4 months and extend her mission trip. She spoke so powerfully and inspired us all. Lacy is 19 years old and has been on 3 missions trips so far. Following her message we prayed for a teen challenge boy who is deaf and has had a painful past. His wish is to be able to hear, read and write. His story really caught my heart and put some of my wishes into perspective.

Dinner was held at Teen Challenge again tonight and the food was very similar to the night before. We enjoyed an amazing sunset after dinner and everyone seemed to be smiling for what God is doing within us. We departed at dark and headed back to the hotel. Once at the hotel I Immediately showered as my clothes were full of clay, cement and cow manure. A few of us played some cards and had some good laughs and now I sit under a tree in a certain spot where wifi is received. Just so I am able to send this post off. I once again appreciate those who are reading these posts. They are very personal as for they are more than just a blog for me but yet an open journal.

Keep us all in your prayers!

@ChrisLopezMiami

Time to get dirty…

Day 2 in Cambodia

Woke up this morning super energetic and ready for the day… I got a great night of sleep. Today was set to be a day primarily devoted to building the foundation of the floors of the bathroom for the biogas digester. It was also in the plans to move to another hotel out in the countryside closer to where we would be working for the duration of the trip. We all packed up our suit cases and stacked them in the 9 Dragon Hotel lobby. At breakfast everyone seemed to be eating the vegetable/chicken fried rice. Not your typical breakfast but after a few days of being here you kind of just start to go with it.

As we got ready to leave the hotel and head out, we had a quick daily team meeting to go over what the day would look like. We once again divided up into 3 different vans. Each van was a different team: construction team, bible college team and women of hope team. Van #3, the bible college team was in charge of going and checking us into our new hotel. Meanwhile, the other teams headed to the Teen Challenge camp to begin working on the biogas digester project.

When we arrived at Teen Challenge the children awaited us and ran up to us so happy to see us again. They immediately questioned us on where the 3rd van was. They even realized that certain girls were missing. It’s incredible how even with a language barrier how much they can still understand. As we approach the pavilion where we store our bags and eat, we noticed that they already were working on the biogas digester. These guys were ready to work that they just couldn’t wait for us to start. We put our bags down and jumped right in. Our construction team leader, Dan Murphy, gave us a great pep talk along with directions. He said that “we are not heroes we are help”. He also stated that it is a privilege to work with them and that we must work the way they work rather than the way that we might want to work.

Today’s project was to begin the progress of apply the foundation of the bathroom floors. We had multiple piles of sand that needed to be shoveled into wheel barrows then poured into small buckets then handed down an assembly line to where the buckets were poured out into holes about 10ft by 20ft and 3ft deep. Other groups were mixing rock sand and cement and were laying bricks down to start creating the base of the walls. It was something remarkable to not only be hands on with but to witness all these men and women of God doing his work. So many people determined to help shows so much love. We worked for about 7 hours straight in about 90 degrees. We even got rained on and continued to work throughout. Many of the girls couldn’t resist helping. When you are here doing God’s work your heart enables you to simply just want to do something. Everyone rotated taking turns doing different things. Wheeling the wheel barrow full of sand across a muddy ground was my biggest challenge. Shoveling the sand into buckets was a strength of mine for the day.

Through out the day I caught myself just amazed with everything that was happening around me. We are all hear with a common denominator and his name is Jesus. God is truly moving in all of us and the children and people of Cambodia are definitely grasping it. I’m excited to continue building the biogas digester and also creating personal relationships with all the Teen Challenge men.

After a long day of work, we had dinner at Teen Challenge. They cooked us up rice, vegetables, and chicken wings. We all were so greatly appreciated of their hospitality all around. Everyone was very exhausted an after a full meal, it was time to head to the new hotel. The new hotel is much closer to the Teen Challenge camp them our other hotel.

When we arrived at the new hotel, we all were taken back by how beautiful it was. I truly could feel that I was in Asia. After a long day on the fields a nice place to shower and sleep is everything to us. We are so grateful for our treat that has been making this trip smooth and organized.

Tomorrow is a new day and I can’t wait to get back out there. It’s incredible what God has put in us all. We are all so eager every morning to get back out there and do what we have all been called to do. I’m off to take a nice shower and rest the body and mentally prepare for tomorrow. Appreciate all who has sent me messages and sent me positive feedback. Love you all!

God bless!

@ChrisLopezMiami

Day One in Cambodia

We have officially survived the first full day in Cambodia. Our day started off with that “Free.99” breakfast at the restaurant attached to our hotel, 9 Dragon Restaurant. The popular choice for breakfast was a traditional Pho soup, however, I am slowly adapting to the food and chose an omelette cheese sand which. Everyone, including myself, was very satisfied with our breakfast. The entire team met after breakfast for a team meeting led by Pastor Linda as well as the captains for each team. Each team leader gave an encouraging word to set the tone for an incredible day.

We departed from our hotel in Phnom Penh into three different vans and made our way to the Teen Challenges camp located outside of the city in the countryside. The commute from our hotel to the camp was about 2 hours. During our ride there we got to really grasp the reality of this developing country. In just a few minutes driving down the road from our hotel I immediately realized that my perspective in life would be changed for ever after this trip. Everyone’s eyes were locked in on the scenery and culture happening all around us. No matter how many pictures or videos we all watched as a team prior to coming on this trip, nothing could truly prepare you for what we were witnessing first hand. The streets were full of traffic with hundreds of scooters and bikes. It was amazing how many people fit themselves onto these scooters as well as the amount of items they manage to transport. I caught my self, at various times, praying for people who seemed sick, poor, and lost. We even witnessed someone get hit by a car while driving their bike. For as much as it all seemed like something out of a movie this was truly real life and a typical day in Cambodia.

When we arrived at the Teen Challenges camp we were all eager to meet all the young men that we had heard and learned so much about. We all met under a pavilion near the dorms, which were built by some of the guys who came on a prior mission trip to Cambodia. We were greeted by big friendly smiles and lots of love. The children had already eaten lunch and insisted that we eat. Our lunch consisted of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, Pringles and a granola bar.

After our lunch / meet and greet, the children started to feel a little more comfortable with us and led us on tour around the camp. We were introduced to their pigs and cows and shown the fields full of their rice patties. We also were shown where the Bio Gas Digester will be installed. I got a better glimpse at what my job as far as being on the construction team looks like. I’m so pumped to begin working on this project for them that is going to be producing them a natural source of energy. In addition to the energy supply, these children will be able to shower with clean water and use the restroom using actual toilets. Their current situation is buckets of water and holes in the ground. What is so remarkable is that they all are so happy. They are so appreciated of what they have.

After the tour, we spent the rest of the day playing volleyball and soccer with all the kids. We loved on them and got to know them as much as we could because of the language barrier. I personally had a great connection with these two - ten year old boys named SaRuin and RaWi. SaRuin spoke great English because his Mom had received help when he was younger from Americans and was determined for her son to know English. Knowing English for this boy meant him building relationships with Americans. We as Americans help! Keep in mind this 10 year old boy educated me on all of this. I was completely blown away.

Overall, our day at Teen Challenges was so much fun. I am excited to be back tomorrow and see those big bright smiles and begin working on the Bio Gas Digester. Our first full day in Cambodia was pretty eventful. Tomorrow we have to be up a little earlier because we are moving to a hotel closer to the countryside so our commute every day isn’t 2+ hours. I am in awe with what God has already shown me and I can only imagine what he has in store for us all. My heart is open, my ears are listening and my eyes are wide awake for it all. Day 2 I am ready for you!

Good Night and the bed bugs did not bite last night! 😉

@ChrisLopezMiami

Traveling to Cambodia 

Night 1 

I’ve always wanted to travel the world and today I have literally traveled around the entire globe in one day. The complete duration of traveling to our final destination was 28 hrs. Currently, I am laying in bed and the time is 1:30AM (Cambodian Time). It still all feels so surreal to be here. I had been praying for months for God to use me to do great things, in which he has, but a mission trip was something I’ve always wanted to be apart of. I couldn’t have asked for more of a blessing than to be in Cambodia with these amazing 28 men and women of God or whom I like to call “world changers”.

For those reading this that don’t know what I or my team are doing here in Cambodia, we are spending the next 10 days, spread out into three different teams, working together to build a Bio Gas Digester as well as minister to victims of sex trafficking. We all will have a part in making a difference in these children’s  and teenagers’ lives. I am on the construction team and will be hands on with the project of the Bio Gas Digester. 

Tomorrow morning we have complimentary breakfast provided for us at the hotel we are staying in, called 9 Dragon Hotel. We are very appreciated of the word complimentary or in the words of Pastor Linda “Free.99”! We then will be catching a 2 hour bus ride into the villages and will be visiting the Teen Challenges Camp, where the victims of sex trafficking currently live. Also where I will be doing majority of the mission work during my time in Cambodia. I have been told that my jobs may consist of various things but in all honestly I am pumped and ready to do what ever it is that is needed. I am extremely grateful and humbled to be here. All in all, I truly can’t wait to see how God individually uses each and every one of us to do his work here in Cambodia. 

Good night and hopefully the bed bugs don’t bite… 😉

@ChrisLopezMiami

Traveling to Cambodia

Night 1

I’ve always wanted to travel the world and today I have literally traveled around the entire globe in one day. The complete duration of traveling to our final destination was 28 hrs. Currently, I am laying in bed and the time is 1:30AM (Cambodian Time). It still all feels so surreal to be here. I had been praying for months for God to use me to do great things, in which he has, but a mission trip was something I’ve always wanted to be apart of. I couldn’t have asked for more of a blessing than to be in Cambodia with these amazing 28 men and women of God or whom I like to call “world changers”.

For those reading this that don’t know what I or my team are doing here in Cambodia, we are spending the next 10 days, spread out into three different teams, working together to build a Bio Gas Digester as well as minister to victims of sex trafficking. We all will have a part in making a difference in these children’s and teenagers’ lives. I am on the construction team and will be hands on with the project of the Bio Gas Digester.

Tomorrow morning we have complimentary breakfast provided for us at the hotel we are staying in, called 9 Dragon Hotel. We are very appreciated of the word complimentary or in the words of Pastor Linda “Free.99”! We then will be catching a 2 hour bus ride into the villages and will be visiting the Teen Challenges Camp, where the victims of sex trafficking currently live. Also where I will be doing majority of the mission work during my time in Cambodia. I have been told that my jobs may consist of various things but in all honestly I am pumped and ready to do what ever it is that is needed. I am extremely grateful and humbled to be here. All in all, I truly can’t wait to see how God individually uses each and every one of us to do his work here in Cambodia.

Good night and hopefully the bed bugs don’t bite… 😉

@ChrisLopezMiami

And it begins… God has called and we have answered. On my way to Cambodia with a bunch of world changers! 
Miami ✈️Chicago 🇰🇷 Korea 🌏 Cambodia (at Chicago O’Hare International)

And it begins… God has called and we have answered. On my way to Cambodia with a bunch of world changers!
Miami ✈️Chicago 🇰🇷 Korea 🌏 Cambodia (at Chicago O’Hare International)

#TBT - There are no limits on you unless you put them on yourself! (at Wynwood Walls)

#TBT - There are no limits on you unless you put them on yourself! (at Wynwood Walls)

It’s a beautiful morning…🎶

It’s a beautiful morning…🎶

Feels good to be 
back in #Miami! (at The Delano Hotel,Miami)

Feels good to be
back in #Miami! (at The Delano Hotel,Miami)