In August 2017, Matt and Bethany Mowad retired from the Navy after 23 years and moved to Chiang Mai, Thailand where they serve with Cadence International.
Matt describes his recent trip to Cambodia:
Back in 2012, my wife and I took an exploratory missions trip to Cambodia with Paul Bradley. During that time, Cadence Armed Forces Ministry was just completing a one room sewing center (think garage) in a village outside the base. Its purpose was to provide sewing training and employment for the spouses of Cambodian military to help support their families.
Six year later, I returned to the sewing center with my Cambodian partner, Sareth. I was excited to find Cambodian military active duty, spouses and relatives hard at work creating amazing products to be sold locally and in the States. More importantly, I learned that before they start their work, these beautiful women have a bible study, fellowship and prayer.
I met the sewing center’s director, Sohka and her husband Soeum, an Army Communications Officer. Sohka is a combat veteran herself and proudly showed me her military photos when she fought the last remnants of the Khmer Rouge. As Sareth and I were about to leave, Sohka and her family asked if I could stay longer and teach them a Bible lesson. As a brand new missionary trying to figure out how to live in Southeast Asia, this was a very special moment for me! It felt like the first time I had “the deck” driving a Navy ship or my first flying mission, leading a crew of ten men hunting submarines.
We studied “The Faith of the Centurion” from Matthew 8 together and discussed practicing servant leadership at work and in our homes. I know moments like these are routine for many missionaries, but for me, this one was part of an enormous story. A story that started before I knew Christ. In 1987, when I was 14 years old, I met Paul Bradley, a youth pastor at Bible Fellowship Church (now ENCOUNTER) in Ventura. It was through the youth ministry that I made a decision to follow Jesus and now, 30 years later, I’m serving with Paul and the Cadence Team!
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