Birthing centers help mothers in former Cambodia killing fields

by Joni B. Hannigan |

(Samaritan's Purse/SCREEN SHOT)

CAMBODIA (Christian Examiner) – With two new birthing centers where women can safely deliver their babies, Samaritan's Purse is working to restore the joy of motherhood in Cambodia.

It is a place where tens of women still die each year while giving birth, and nearly half of all children under five are severely nourished and stunted in growth because of severed malnutrition – reports Cissie Graham Lynch, in a special message recorded for Mother's Day.

Lynch is the daughter of Franklin Graham, president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and of Samaritan's Purse, an international Christian relief organization – and the wife of NFL football player free-agent Corey Lynch.

In her message Lynch speaks with Chan, whose daughter was just a month old when the woman was forced to flee into the jungle where dense vegetation cut into her bare feet.

The cries of her young children echo still.

"My husband was taken by the soldier," she said. "I never saw him again."

The Khmer Rouge, driven from Cambodia nearly four decades ago, left an evil legacy of brutally killing millions of Cambodians and wiping out generations of grandmothers, mothers, teachers, and doctors, Lynch reminds, destroying bonds between children and their parents.

"The threatened the young ones to spy on their parents," Chan said. "Soon, there was no love, only fear."

The result is that women are often afraid to become mothers.

Samaritan Purse has designated special maternal and childcare support in honor of Mother's Day – to improve obstetric care, teach essential nutrition, and increase access to quality healthcare. For more information, go online.