Sean Webb describes interterm abroad; medical mission in Cambodia opens eyes

For the first couple weeks of January, I left the Kansas winter behind and traveled with 13 other people from around the United States to Cambodia to do medical missions.

My plan was to learn as much about medicine as I could, but my plan was not God’s plan. What I experienced taught me so much more about people, about hardship and about poverty.<br/>

One day, we walked into a neighborhood where the few people who live there are extremely impoverished. Their houses were made of whatever materials they could find, like broken boards and leftover wood scraps.

What shocked me the most was what the walls were made of.<br/>

Many walls in the neighborhood were made from cutting giant poster advertisements, probably from the trash, and hanging them from the wooden frame of the house.

There were many times when I realized that the jeans I wore were worth more than some of the neighborhoods I was walking through.

This is a level of poverty most Americans can’t imagine, because even the poorest Americans have access to a soup kitchen or welfare. These people don’t have those luxuries, yet they welcomed us with smiles.

The aspect of my experience that touched me the most was working with the girls at Rapha House.

Rapha House is an organization that serves as a safe house for girls who have been rescued from the evils of sexual and labor trafficking. Girls as young as five years old are sold to men, sometimes by their own parents, to be sexually abused and exploited.

These girls have been through situations tougher than any I can dream up. They had their hopes, dreams and chance to succeed taken away from them by people who saw their young bodies as dollar signs.<br/>

Now, through the work of Rapha House and the training and love it provides, these girls have their hope back.

They have the opportunity to succeed in life without being a slave.<br/>

And they can dream.

They can set their goals in the clouds and run after them with everything they have.<br/>

Most of us have had the chance to hear the words, “you can be whatever you want to be,” since the time we could walk.

Believe it or not, there are people who never get to hear those words. <br/>

We have all the opportunities we could ever dream of, and we take that for granted.<br/>

Cambodia reminded me of what I have and that even when life doesn’t go the way I want it to, there are people with struggles much greater than my own.

Even at my worst, I am blessed beyond measure.

And I’m willing to bet