Meet Our Volunteers

Meet Lani:

“The day before our medical team went to the boat villages in Cambodia, we all introduced ourselves and brought forth our goals that we would like to accomplish on this trip. Mine was that I would be able to serve the villages and gain insight and experience in the medical field. Although I gained some experiences in triage and working in the pharmacy, the most important attribute I gained was loving the people and children of Cambodia. I realized that this medical missions trip was not for any of my future benefits but for the individuals that we saw each day at the clinic. My heart longed to serve them and put a smile on their faces.

Jordan International Aid helped me find my calling in life and it is to serve humanity through giving, volunteering, and one day medicine. I pray that God continues to bless Cambodia and JIA to continue doing work in the places that need it. As children of God we are called to help our brothers and sisters around the world. To serve others is the most rewarding attribute of this medical missions trip. Thank you Jordan International and thank you to the team that was there! It was hard to be away around the holidays but it was all worth it!”

– Lani Nguyen, Student at George Fox University

Meet Debbie:

“I didn’t realize until a day after I took this video that some of the children were calling out my name when they recognized me waving at them from the bus window. I taught two or three classes my name the day before when they surrounded me asking me how old I was, if I was married or why I didn’t have kids (after I told them I’m 29, LOL). I told them I’m in law school and they loved it. All of them wanted to be lawyers, except for a few who wanted to be pilots or doctors.

But yes being the sentimental wuss that I am I totally cried when I first heard they were shouting my name. Sometimes I still do, I admit! I listen and watch the clip whenever I miss them and so that I won’t forget about everything I hope to do for them in the years to come. I just bought them a volleyball net with poles and a ball that I’m sending by mail because they asked for one!

Before Kenya, I admit that I was suffering a sort of spiritual malaise. I was beginning to feel dissatisfied with law school and personal issues were bringing me a lot of anxiety. But after seeing how sweet and brave they are and realizing how much I want to help them, there was no longer any room in my heart for apathy or disillusionment. I feel called to help the people in Africa. Starting with Kenya and starting with the school.”

– Debbie Hernandez, Law student at Thurgood Marshall of Law

Meet Vanessa:

“It’s true, there is absolutely no way to be able to express in words our experience in Cambodia. These beautiful people captured my heart from day 1. I never knew that strangers could make such an impact on a person’s life. While there are many stories I could tell you and so many moments that would impact you I will share something that seemed so simple to me yet so unforgettable. Leaving Cambodia had to be one of the most emotional goodbye’s I’ve experienced. On my way back to America and the days and weeks following my return I kept asking myself “why was it so hard?” Why was it so difficult to leave a group of people that I only knew for a few days, hardly spoke to (because of the language barrier) and the reality being that I may never see them again. You see, I went over there to share the love of Christ but the truth is, the people of Cambodia showed me the love of Christ in so many ways that I had never seen before. The love they have for each other and the joy that they carry is a beautiful reflection of who God is. It was as if God let me see His love for humanity thru them. I came back to America determined to show that love in my community. I’m so grateful for the vision of JIA and the opportunity they give us to serve with the heartbeat of Jesus.”

– Vanessa Cardenas, JIA Volunteer

Meet Jessica:

“The first question that people asked me after I got back from Cambodia was “How was it? Tell me all about it!” Though I’ve been asked that question over a dozen times, I still can’t find the right answer to that question to really express the emotions I felt as we took the one hour boat ride to the floating village or the first time I felt a Cambodian infant lean against my chest as I was holding him.

The truth is I fell in love with the country, not for the beautiful waterfalls or temples, but the pure good and heart of these people. Hopefully through the story I’m about to share, it will illustrate a glimpse of my experience. On the last day of our clinic at the floating village, I decided to buy a bag of packaged pound cakes for the kids that we had been seeing over the past few days. ┬áThere was one little boy that had volunteered to be a part of the skit we were putting on for them. By himself he stood in front of 90 other children in the floating school as Vanessa spoke about how a little boy was fearless because he had Jesus in his life. After the skit, I decided to share with him one of the packaged cakes as an incentive for volunteering. Right as I handed it to him, a swarm of kids surrounded him in awe. His friends started teasing him, asking to see what it was and if they could have some. This cake was really small, in America it would be like the size of a twinkie. Without any hesitation, he opened up the packages and divided it equally among all the kids around him so that everyone received an equal portion. This story is a perfect example of what the people are like. They have almost nothing, the food is scarce as fish is their only source of protein. The children, women, and men are malnourished. On average they weigh 10-15 pounds lighter than an average American their same age. Yet, they still have the want and the instinct to give all that they’ve got. It doesn’t matter if he only received one bite of that whole cake, he felt more fulfilled within to share that joy with others. If you ever have the chance to visit this wonderful country you will realize whether it’s in Siam Reap, Cambodia or Kenya, Africa there’s an extreme sense of community you will not find in any of the developed countries. To me these people are not unfortunate, they are more fortunate than we are because in the US we have become isolated from our communities.”

– Jessica Pan, Student at University of California, Davis

Meet Aracely:

“Going to Cambodia has forever changed my life. It has changed me in so many ways. It has given me spiritual eyes and made me a better person. The people of Cambodia have given me so much more than I could ever give them. I’m humbled before God for choosing me to be a vessel. As a Nurse, it gives me a great satisfaction to know that we could make a difference in someone’s life. For example, there was a little boy at the lake with a horrible bone/systemic infection. I’m so glad that we were able to transfer him to a hospital and save his life! Thank you Lord for JIA and the opportunity to serve others and spread the love of Christ!”

– Aracely Lieras, RN