Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | February 2, 2014

Gaining Insight Onsite

Poipet, Cambodia

Three flights and two layovers after leaving Houston, the CityGates men’s group arrived in Siem Reap a little road weary but happy to finally be in Cambodia. I am especially glad to be here with this band of brothers who have met together for the past six years. These guys know how to uphold one another through prayer and accountability and they also know how to serve others.

CityGates in Cambodia
The CityGates guys did not hesitate when presented with the opportunity to join Steve Hyde, our ministry partner, to continue work on The Hope Center. Our missions ministry has a strategic partnership with Steve to reach out to impoverished women and children in the city of Poipet — a dangerous place along Cambodia’s western border where the strong prey on the weak.

After arriving in Poipet, Steve introduced our men to the realities of life for those who call this hot-spot of human trafficking and depravity their home. As we drove through the area, we oriented the team to the hopelessness that keeps the poor here in a desperate daze. Our men asked lots of insightful questions that betrayed their troubled hearts. We discussed how human trafficking and injustice are the symptoms of a worldview that diminishes the sanctity of human life.

Something happens when we travel to places like Poipet to serve people in need — our perspective deepens. There is an insight that only comes from being onsite. It’s one thing to read about human trafficking and injustice but quite another to actually see the faces of individuals touched by these kinds of realities. The weak and vulnerable are, after all, human beings created in God’s image and deserving of respect. No one has the right to take advantage of or to abuse the weak in order to profit from them.

Over the next several days our team will work to help create a safe green zone or family park area at The Hope Center. A part of The Hope Center strategy is to develop a campus where the poor can safely enjoy time with their children and be exposed to practical expressions of our life-affirming biblical worldview. Our men will also have the opportunity to visit the homes of the poorest of the poor in the Poipet slums. Every day will present our team with new opportunities to deepen our understanding of why Jesus would be in places like this and why we should be here as well

Thanks for following our adventure and for praying for our team as we serve the interests of God’s kingdom in this difficult place.


  1. So glad to see you guys made it. Looking forward to hearing more of your trip and the lives that are touched – both lives that live in Cambodia and those that traveled from Houston. Sure wish I was there. Please know that CityGates Houston is praying for CityGates Cambodia this week.

    • Thanks, Mike. All the guys send their regards. We wish you were here and are praying for you to feel better quickly.

  2. In my prayers.

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