Government of Cambodia Presents Award to Positive Life Radio

Listeners Have Funded Rice Distributions for 14 Years

By: Kevin Waite

Kevin Krueger (left), general manager of Positive Life Radio Network, and Bobby Michaels (right), founder of Musicianaries International, lift a bag of rice for a Cambodian villager in 2008.

For 14 years, Positive Life Radio listeners have pledged financial support for the annual Rice for Cambodia Campaign. In recognition, the government of Cambodia has presented its third highest humanitarian award to Positive Life Radio.

“We are most grateful for your assistance over the years and with this medal of honor would like to acknowledge your work on behalf of the Cambodian people. There is great need, and we appreciate the substantial aid provided by nongovernmental organizations, including yours,” said Ith Sam Heng, minister, Cambodian Ministry of Social Affairs, during the May 7 presentation in Phnom Penh.

Ernest Beck, program director for Positive Life Radio, accepted the award on behalf of the radio network.

“I’ve never really interacted with anyone at that level of government before. It was quite formal,” Beck says. “Minister Heng gave a speech, which was graciously translated to English for the handful of us Americans there.”

“This award actually is a recognition of the people in our community,” says Kevin Krueger, general manager of Positive Life Radio. “They’re the ones whose generous spirit of giving has reached across the miles to help feed literally hundreds of thousands of people in a country that’s been marked by war, poverty and hunger.”

Awards also were presented in person to Setan Lee, president of TransformAsia, along with Lee Michaels, wife of the late Christian recording artist Bobby Michaels, and Jim McCandless, both with Musicianaries International. Over the years, Positive Life Radio has partnered with these organizations to provide humanitarian aid to the people of Cambodia.

“The story of the Rice for Cambodia Campaign begins with Bobby Michaels,” Krueger says. Positive Life Radio worked with Michaels on concerts around the Inland Northwest for a number of years in the 1990s. During this time, Michaels became increasingly involved with humanitarian work.

“One day, Bobby and I talked on the phone after a trip he’d taken to Cambodia,” Krueger recalls. “He spoke of the great need there. The story resonated with me, and we prayed about presenting the opportunity to Positive Life Radio listeners. In time, we moved forward with the project, and listeners responded with interest and financial gifts. The campaign grew from there.”

During the 14-year history of the Rice for Cambodia Campaign, Positive Life Radio listeners have donated more than $1.3 million, which has purchased in excess of 3,435 tons of rice. Each ton feeds about 40 families (four to six members each) for one month, so the campaign has provided enough rice to feed an estimated 687,000 people for one month.

One-hundred percent of the funds given during the on-air fundraiser go to buy rice and deliver it to distribution points. All overhead and management expenses are paid for with other donations.

“From the beginning, it’s been clear that God is behind this,” Krueger says. “The level of listener support is incredible and continues year after year. During this time, hundreds of thousands have been fed, and thousands have committed their lives to Jesus Christ. It’s really quite something. Very humbling to be a part of.”

Published May 20, 2013

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