Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | February 3, 2014

The Devil’s Schemes

Poipet, Cambodia

A common fear among children in Poipet is that someone might take them away from their homes, do bad things to them, and never let them return home. At least that is what a thousand kids shared with our team when we led a Vacation Bible School at the Imparting Smiles Children’s Center in September 2012. The kids in Poipet know that bad people in this area harm kids, but they do not necessarily know the schemes used by these bad people.

One of the most disturbing developments in Poipet in recent years is the gambling mecca that has been built between the Cambodian and Thai border crossings. An estimated 40,000-plus poor people cross the border from Cambodia into Thailand every day in search of work. Some of these parents do not make it home before the border closing, leaving their kids to fend for themselves — easy pickings for human traffickers.

While driving through this area once again, Steve Hyde, our ministry partner, pointed out a new playground for kids. This beautiful play area is located across the street from a casino and immediately next to a strip joint and a brothel. Since this is the only play area of its kind in the entire area, it attracts kids like moths to a flame. Kids hang out there while waiting for their parents to return from Thailand. Bad people also hang out there.

Play Gear
This week, our men’s team is working with Steve to continue work on a project that will offer a safer alternative to the kids and parents of the area. We are installing more than a dozen new units of play and exercise equipment around the pond at The Hope Center. Our prayer is that this area will become more popular than the play area next to the strip joint and brothel. The dream is to make it a safe and friendly place for the people of the area to enjoy.

Our men worked hard today, in the heat, to move the various components into place and begin the process of installing the equipment. We have lots of work to do in the next few days but are highly motivated by a desire to foil the devil’s schemes in Poipet. This is only one small part of a bigger strategy to bring the good news of the gospel to a dark and desperate place. The Hope Center is the city strategically set on a hill in this area, working to illumine the darkness.


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