Tommy Downs

Tommy Downs

A Servant of Jesus Christ

Holiday in Cambodia


Got our visas

So Micah and I finally got our visas to Cambodia (because we managed to get an up-to-date tax receipt from our organization in Cambodia. But Micah had to leave Florida to go back home to West Virginia to get his motorcycle license. I was ready to fly out, but I was waiting on both Micah and Tori to be as well. It was a bit of waiting for me in Florida, but I got to meet the new staff members coming to Cambodia who were starting their ministry partnership development training (support raising).

I also got to do evangelism ministry with some people from Destiny Church around town; it was always a blast.


After a couple weeks, Micah and Tori were finally ready to fly out to Cambodia; so we booked our flights that Thursday for Sunday. That gave me time to find a Covid test, or so I thought. I didn’t get a test Friday because Matt wanted me to have the test taken less than 72 hours before my arrival in Cambodia which put the earliest I could take my test at 6:30am Saturday. Well Saturday I looked around and called some places but there was nowhere that would or could give me a PCR test within 24 hours that I could set an appointment for.

So I was going to try my luck and get to the Orlando Airport early and pray for the mercy of God to be able to do a walk-in for their overbooked rapid tests. However, at 3:00pm Caleb Harding showed up at the beach house and he knew where I could get a rapid PCR test. My hero.

I called the place up and got an appointment that night and Nathan drove me there and we went out to eat. The next day, Matt and Kim Beldin drove me back there to get my results; but alas the 6-8 hour covid test was still not done processing. I went back to the car defeated. So Kim went back in with me and played the “bad cop” to get me the test results. “Listen, the covid test is supposed to be 5-6 hours, it’s been 19. You guys can do a 30 minute covid test, so if you can’t get the results from the earlier test you’ll just have to give us a new one.” So they cancelled the old test and performed a new test on me and I did not have to pay the rate for a 30 minute covid test, thankfully.

Lice Troopers

After noticing that the name of the testing center was actually “Lice Troopers” I understood their lack of professionalism, but I also appreciated that they were able to get me an appointment and to fulfill all the requirements that I had for the medical certificate.


So I flew out to Los Angeles and grabbed my bags from the baggage claim and waited for Singapore airlines to open the check-in for my flight to Cambodia via Singapore. Tori arrived and we waited in line while we talked to a couple guys, one was a Greek Orthodox Christian and the other man was a Jewish traveler, good Greg and better Greg respectively according to good Greg. We shared about what we were doing and the necessity of knowing Jesus; better Greg insisted he was a good person and all that but if the plane goes down he’ll run to us and ask us how to get saved.

“You don’t know when you’re gonna die, don’t you wanna be ready now?” Asked Tori. But he didn’t want to, I wish he could know how much greater not only the next life is, but also this life is with Jesus.

Tori’s Covid test is rejected

So the attendants looked over Tori’s documentation and were not satisfied with her medical certificate, but they looked at my covid test and were quite happy with it; so they sent Tori to get a new Covid test quick while I watched her bags. Micah appeared and we explained the situation to him and he proceeded to make it through check-in.

Me, Micah, and Tori

After that, Micah watched Tori’s bags and I checked-in; they asked a lot of questions and I’m sure some of my answers were technically wrong, but they received it.

We eventually got a call from Tori on a stranger’s phone since she had no service for some reason: she had tried to catch a shuttle to urgent care but each one refused her, until finally a Christian couple helped her pick up her dropped papers and they helped her get to a quick covid testing area After a couple hours Tori returned, but she still didn’t have the results for her test. So we waited. Eventually we had to leave without her and she received her results 2 minutes after check-in closed. (But her certificate was wrong anyway.) So she stayed with that same Christian couple in LA, and Micah and I flew out. It was 16 hours of flight, from 11:20pm LA time to 6am in Singapore (we passed so many timezones that we wound up 13 hours in the future from my home in Iowa.)

Changi Singapore Airport

Changi Airport

We were quickly escorted through a path that was narrowly carved and separated from the rest of the airport to our fenced in waiting area. There we waited 9 hours or so for our flight to Phnom Penh Cambodia. The vending machine, the only option for food, automatically heated up TV dinners.

Landing in Cambodia

When we landed in Cambodia we went through a series of checks and tests and deposited our $2000 to cover our mandatory quarantine with our preferred Cambodian bank. We then got on our bus and headed towards our mystery hotel. We had hoped to be able to room together, but we were soon separated and living in different rooms in the 5 star Sokha Hotel.


It’s $75 a day, so that’s not too bad, but food is $10 a meal. The food is pretty good, on the 4th day I finally ordered some (not because I was hungry, but just out of curiosity). Apparently I never actually get hungry, especially if I’m stuck in a hotel using up minimal energy, that’s good to know. I feel good though.

I’ve been calling up my partners and video-chatting with them; it’s been great, it’s crazy that I can be on the other side of the world and still talk to people back home and see their faces. If I haven’t contacted you yet and you want to schedule a quarantine chat, let me know.


God worked out miracles to get me here to Cambodia and I still don’t quite believe it how things worked out. I’m gonna stay in the city renewing my visa and other things for a bit, then I’ll live in the north with Amy and Thanak and Samuel. I’ll start language school September 27th and will do that in the evenings after practicing and ministering in the mornings.

Oh, and also I’m coming back to America in December 2022 for a visit!

For the kingdom,

Tommy Downs