Introducing Derek and Marley Vida

Plodding step by painful step down a dusty dirt road, a young Cambodian boy looked up at the full moon and cried out, “God, if You’re out there, I need Your help to find my family.” Cambodia was in the murderous clutches of the Khmer Rouge regime, and young Sovath had risked his life to flee from a work camp to find his family. One day, as Sovath was near the point of collapse from malnutrition and dysentery, his cousin recognized him, took him back to her village and nursed him back to health. Eventually, he was smuggled out of Cambodia to a refugee camp on the Thai border where he learned about the loving God who had protected him that day and led him back to his family. That boy is my father.

Since I was 17 years old, I have felt God calling me to return to my father’s people as a missionary. With this in mind, I studied nursing at Southern Adventist University. There I met Derek, a graphic-design major who also had a background in Bible work and evangelism through years of SOULS and canvassing. At the very beginning of our relationship, I told Derek of my sense of calling to missions, and that I would only consider dating someone who had a heart for missions as well. Thankfully, God called Derek, too, and he has just as much of a passion for going to Cambodia and spreading the gospel as I do. He has already experienced some of the hardships and sacrifices of being a missionary, and the joys of bringing people to Christ. He truly looks forward to the hard but rewarding work of missionary life.

After more than a year of marriage, Derek and I decided it was time to start investigating where God wanted us to go. After a whirlwind of events and much prayer, we are overjoyed to be filling a position that has been a matter of prayer for about 10 years. We will be partnering with the Greenfields at the AFM Pnong Project in Cambodia to assist with the school, offer basic medical care and health education, and evangelize among the Pnong people.

This is a dream come true for Derek and me! I am so thankful that God has trusted us with the work of giving unreached Cambodians the chance to learn about the loving, forgiving God who died to save them. It is an honor to be able to return to my father’s country and use the blessings God has given us to enable more of God’s children to know Him.

We hope you will join us on our journey through your prayers and support. “Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous works among all the peoples!” (Ps. 96:3).

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