A Mountie, an Architect, and Cambodian Trauma Survivors
Marti Wibbels, MS, LMHC
Our guest blogger this week is Scott Stober, an architect who has designed housing, banks, schools, colleges, and churches for 30 years. Now retired from his architecture firm, he continues allowing God’s creativity to motivate him to help people in his own community and around the world, using his building skills to help trauma survivors live in safety and hope.
Scott writes, “One of my passions is connecting people’s gifts and talents with the ministry God has for them. Often, we can’t see how God can use us. My ‘poster child’ for this idea is a man from Canada whom I met while I was in Cambodia designing a facility for women rescued from trafficking. In Canada, Brian was a Royal Canadian Mounted Police investigator and weapons specialist who was often brought in on high profile crimes. God brought him to Cambodia on an abuse case which involved five Cambodian children. His talents allowed him to bring the abuser to justice and find four of these five children in their native country. I am not sure how one even goes about doing that, but he was the perfect person with the perfect gifts to accomplish it.
But God didn’t stop there, because He never wastes our experiences but ties them all together for a bigger purpose. After falling in love with the people and the culture, Brian is now director of a ministry in Cambodia (Ratanak International), helping rescue women, men, girls, and boys from trafficking. God is using Brian and his unique gifting and specialized skills (which most would wonder how God could ever use in ministry) to help shattered lives heal and regain wholeness. If God can use an investigator/weapons specialist, or an architect/pastor to minister to people, then he can use you and your unique giftedness, too!
My work on Brian’s Cambodia project was motivated by the desire to help those who are working to stop human trafficking. It was my first project with a group called Engineering Ministries International and when I saw their description of the project, I knew I had to go. As I learned about this project and Cambodia, I realized that not only are these women experiencing massive trauma, but the entire country is in a state of trauma from the Khmer Rouge genocide in the late 70’s, when 25% of the country’s population was murdered. It was sobering to visit the mass graves or ‘Killing Fields,' as they are called. Since that trip, I have returned to Cambodia twice. Once for the grand opening of Ratanak’s building and then again to design additional buildings for other ministries.
I have also had the privilege of participating in two other EMI projects in India. I am particularly drawn to those projects which are helping the oppressed and impoverished. When I am not designing buildings with EMI, I am serving my local church part-time as the executive pastor. Of course, one of the executive pastor’s duties is to manage our large building. Funny how God lined up this position just for me in my ‘retirement.’”