This week for our IN THE FIGHT FOR RAPHA, we'd like to introduce you to our long-time supporter and friend Katy Cundall:
I have been home from Cambodia for a week and I can't get that place off my mind. The sights, the smells, the food, but especially the people. I've always been a relational person so it has been easy for me to become very attached to the people I've met, and whom I now love so much - half a world away.
My involvement with Rapha House began in 2010. Our church, Vernal Christian Church, is a Rapha supporter. My daughter Kacee asked to go on the Rapha Awareness Trip - that's what she wanted for Christmas. I knew I wasn't going to let her go without me so I started making phone calls and telling people in our church about our trip. Before long we had several people who wanted to go so we arranged to have our own team. In February, 2012 we did the Awareness Trip and I was hooked! I remember walking into Kids Club and the grounds at the safe house and thinking, "Katy, you will never be the same again."
I loved the trip and knew it had really affected me but didn't know exactly how much until I got home. I knew I had to get back there, somehow. After a lot of tears, and many many prayers, it was worked out so I could return to Cambodia. I have never had such a strong feeling of needing to be somewhere, such an intense need to be back in Cambodia with Rapha House doing anything I could to serve there. I was so happy, and also scared to death. Mostly I was beyond thankful that I was going back!
In the summer of 2013 I went to Cambodia and worked at the safe house for 3 weeks. I returned the summer of 2014 for 3 weeks, and in the summer of 2015 I spent five weeks there. I have been an early childhood teacher for 26 years. All of those years prepared me to help at Rapha. My role at the safe house is to teach the English classes and work with the teachers. I model different ways to teach the lessons, writing ideas, group work, games, and teaching to different learning styles. We have so much fun!
I have also helped teach the preschool classes at Kids Club, my very favorite place! What a joy to spend my mornings surrounded by energetic preschoolers and my afternoons with sweet, beautiful girls! I also spend as much time as I can with the staff. I love them and am so humbled by their hearts and the work they do. They have become some of my very best friends!
I was blessed to attend the Rapha House Dedication Trip in March, 2016 and just last week my husband and I returned from serving for a couple of weeks with the wonderful Epperson team. After being such an amazing sender he finally got to go! My plan is to be back in Cambodia teaching again this summer.
I have a very generous church family that always donates money to help Rapha's education department. I also come from a wonderful small town with people that always support and donate. I have a good friend who holds 2 huge Rapha House fundraisers every year - a girls night out event in the spring and a 100 mile bike ride in the fall. Because of all these great people I am able to take a lot of supplies with me as well as purchase anything needed while there. We also try to send money to the headquarters in Joplin to help with education needs, and anything else that may come up.
My prayer is always that I will be able to help in some way, that I will encourage and serve and be a light in all I do. I never want to be a bother or be in the way. My biggest prayer is that God will be glorified in every way. In all I say and do my prayer is that I will honor and glorify God.
Of course, I receive way more than I give. I have gained some very dear friends that I love so much. I get to do a job that I love, teaching, both at home and in Cambodia. While there I get to be surrounded by people who serve God continually, every day, all day. Being in Cambodia can be hard. There are days that I struggle and feel completely emotionally drained. There are situations and experiences that I can't wrap my head, or my heart, around. But God is always present. And the good far outweighs the bad.
Rapha House is love. It is hope and it is healing. Rapha is a light in a very dark place. I smile when I think of all the precious lives that have been saved by Rapha. And my heart sinks when I think of what it would be like if Rapha House didn't exist. I am so thankful and humbled that I get to be a small part of this amazing ministry. So thankful that the staff trusts and allows me to work alongside them. Most of all I am beyond grateful that God put this big, beautiful burden on my heart! ♥️