Meet my Friend Brian – Cambodia

Brian McConaghy is a man with a burden for the people of Cambodia. In 1989, he visited South East Asia for the first time. As a Forensic Scientist for the RCMP and having grown up in the political turmoil of Northern Ireland in the 1970’s, Brian had seen a lot of the dark side of human nature. Yet, what he witnessed in the Cambodian Thai border refugee camps on that first trip, appalled him and changed his life forever.

Determined to take action, Brian founded Ratanak International, a charity dedicated to the restoration of post genocide Cambodia. This was the start of a long journey that has taken Brian and Ratanak through many challenging and rewarding times in their desire to be servants of the Khmer people.

One of the biggest challenges came in 2004 when Brian was asked by the RCMP to undertake an investigation of a Canadian pedophile. The perpetrator had been arrested for torturing locally prostituted women. Upon his is arrest videotapes had been seized depicting him abusing little Asian children. Brian’s assistance was needed to identify in which country these child victims were located.

For the first time, Brian was confronted by the faces of little girls, as young as 6, being assaulted on videotaped evidence. Despite feeling totally overwhelmed by the circumstances of these children, Brian was determined to respond. During this case he said:

“I am overwhelmed by the daily hell (a term I do not use lightly) experienced by these children and have no idea how they survive as long as they do. Yet, I am stubborn in my belief that here, there can be hope. I remain convinced that the penetrating light of Christ can punch holes even in this darkness. This is not a time to be passive — it is a time to roll up our sleeves and climb down into the muck at the bottom of the barrel — just as Christ would do.”

If you come to see Brian speak this year at Mission Fest, you will see how Christ has and is restoring the lives of these children, and in so doing, is bringing hope to Cambodia.

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