MOUNT VERNON — Fifteen months of child sponsorship finally led to a face-to-face meeting between Jim Beroth and his sponsored child in Cambodia this past June. An eight-day trip to Cambodia through the Asia’s Hope program took Beroth on an unforgettable trip, one which touched his heart in a special way.
“It was amazing,” said Beroth about his experience of visiting his sponsored child. “We had been writing and corresponding. Everyone that’s had a sponsored child ... you just don’t know until you go over there. You don’t get that connection until you’re really with them.”
Beroth, a resident of Mount Vernon, learned about Asia’s Hope through attending Crossroads Community Church in Mansfield which actively participates in the child sponsor program. “Their mission is to rescue children from the streets and jungles,” said Beroth of Asia’s Hope. Orphaned children from Cambodia, Thailand and India are taken in through the program where they are given a chance at a brighter future. They are able to enjoy the benefits of living in a secure campus built around their unique, developmental needs. Individuals and organizations provide financial sponsorship for the children who live in the Battambang, Cambodia, campus of Asia’s Hope.
“The whole idea is to provide them with a home and their needs and to raise them as Christians,” said Beroth, adding that about 1 percent of people in Cambodia are Christian with 95 percent being Buddhist. “It’s a third-world country,” said Beroth, explaining the widespread poverty left in the country after the Vietnam War. “But it is emerging now.” Villages in the country reportedly have no running water. Many do not have electricity; and with those that do, it can be rather intermittent. Beroth said that 70 percent of the population does not have access to safe drinking water, and 80 percent do not have flush toilets.
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