CIY Engage gives you the opportunity to experience life change. See what God is doing through the ministry of Rapha International and how you can be the key to freedom for a young girl trapped in exploitation.
My name is Molly, and this is My Rapha Story.
I first heard about Rapha International in 2008 at CIY Move. God placed a burden on my heart for the issue of human trafficking, and I felt like He wanted me to go to Cambodia. I honestly didn’t know where Cambodia was or how a timid high school girl like me would go there. I thought for sure God had the wrong person.
Trying to be faithful, I applied for a mission trip to Cambodia two years in a row but continued to find excuses not to go. Finally, in 2012, I had the opportunity to go to Cambodia on a CIY Engage trip. I was still scared, but I decided to trust the Lord and go. It was an incredibly powerful and life-changing experience. The amount of hope and joy I saw was astonishing. Before the trip, I thought it was going to be very dark and heavy. Although there was still brokenness, I was able to see pieces of brokenness redeemed. Sweet young girls were able to dance, sing, laugh and play because of the hope and freedom that Rapha International helps provide. I saw how big and compassionate our God is. I also saw the faithfulness of many people already working to restore all those broken pieces. While God might not need me to move across the world, He does need me to be a voice for those who don’t have a voice in Cambodia.
Since that first trip, I’ve had the opportunity to speak at my church, share in several of my college classes, and have lots of coffee dates and conversations to talk about Rapha International and my experiences in Cambodia. Currently, I work for Encounter Campus Ministry at Illinois State and have gone back to Cambodia three times, leading teams of college students with CIY Engage. During each of my four trips, we ended up dancing in the rain with the girls at one of the aftercare campuses. I cherish those memories as little glimpses of heaven – each of us soaked from head to toe, not caring what we looked like or what anyone thought, dancing with absolute joy and freedom.
I’ve also seen so much growth at Rapha International as Kid’s Club expands and new aftercare campuses are being built. One of my favorite parts during trips to Cambodia have been the last night. I can’t help but tear up as we prepare to go home and launch a team of new advocates. As a 16-year-old in high school, doubtful that the Lord could use me, I never would have dreamed all that would come from that little whisper in my heart telling me to go to Cambodia.