Issues

Life of the Week: Couple plans to open Haven of Hope for pregnant mothers in Cambodia

Jerry-and-Wilma

Wilma and Jerry Mishler have been Christian missionaries to Cambodia for the last thirteen years. The ministry they oversee includes an orphanage and a children’s home, and it has 4,700 church groups that reach over 55,000 adults weekly, as well as more than 3,000 kids’ Bible clubs that serve over 50,000 children – many from remote villages – every week.

While the Mishlers remain hard at work in this ministry, Wilma has a new vision on her heart: serving the pregnant mothers of Cambodia. As a mother and grandmother herself, Wilma has cared about preborn children and their mothers for years. Now she sees a way that she can help them find care in Cambodia.

She explains that “this intense feeling for a safe place for young women to come to be able to carry their pregnancy full term is just screaming at me.”

Wilma wants to name this safe place “Haven of Hope.” And much like pregnancy care centers here in the United States, Haven of Hope will provide much-needed resources to pregnant mothers. The staff and volunteers will seek to meet the mothers’ physical, medical, emotional, and spiritual needs.

Some of the children served by the Mishlers' ministry

Some of the children served by the Mishlers’ ministry

The Mishlers’ vision highlights a special – and all-too-often hidden – part of the pro-life movement. Pro-lifers all around the world care about the well-being of women, specifically desiring to aid those who are poor or who may have other support needs. Contrary to what many abortions advocates claim, pro-lifers believe in caring for babies after birth, too, and also in caring for their mothers. A whole-life view is always best.

And this is exactly the view that the Mishlers want to bring to Cambodia. They desire to provide practical, on-the-ground support to women who need resources and who want to give life to their babies. Wilma explained “the main points of our goal for these precious young women:”

  • Provide a safe place for pregnant young women who want to give birth to their babies and not abort them. This could be a woman who was either were raped, involved in prostitution, not married, or abusive husbands who want to force them to have an abortion.
  • Provide good prenatal and delivery care at a reputable clinic
  • Provide good nutrition
  • Provide spiritual input into the women’s lives.
  • Provide counseling
  • Provide reintegration support for three months
  • Women who do not choose to keep their babies, the baby is integrated into a family member, put up for in-country native adoption, or raised at a future facility by our staff
  • Young women will be required to:
    • Participate in daily devotion & go to church
    • Help with chores around the home
    • Participate in educational development
    • Participate in skill training
    • Participate in training on how to raise your child
    • Participate in classes that teach women’s rights, children’s rights and how to avoid/report domestic violence
    • Be involved in counseling if needed
    • Be willing to do what she can do to reintegrate back into her family

Wilma is excited about the possibilities, celebrating yet another hopeful opportunity to minister to needy women and their children:

“God already knows how many babies will be spared an awful fate of being murdered, and also to be able to give hope, a hand up, and for women to be introduced to the Savior.”

The Mishlers have given detailed thought and planning to the Haven of Hope. Currently, they are in the States, trying to raise the needed funds to open this home for pregnant women. They plan on renting a building, instead of buying one, for several reasons. Wilma explains:

“Another reason we don’t want to build, besides that it is too expensive is that in Cambodia there are no zoning laws that they enforce. So you can build a nice facility and a year later someone builds a house where they decide to collect and sell garbage for a living. We have seen it happen. Or they build a brothel next to your place, we’ve seen that happen as well. This way we would have the flexibility to keep girls safe and move if we have to.”

If you are interested in helping to fund the Haven of Hope so it can open as soon as possible, you can send donations to:

Sunbeam  Kids International
PO BOX 576128
Modesto, CA 95357
(In the check memo, please put “Haven of Hope.”) You can find out more through the Mishlers’ website or contact them if you have specific questions about their work:

  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 209-232-8151

Wilma and Jerry would also love prayers as they work to care for pregnant women and their babies in Cambodia.

“Please pray for us as we continue to move forward that needs will be met. There certainly are enough ‘issues’ going on in the United States right now, and as believers we have to keep raising God’s standards against the darkness.”

Editor’s Note: To check out previous Life of the Week articles, go here:

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