A Reason to Smile

Meet SreyCouch

Meet SreyCouch

This is SreyCouch, a lovely young woman in our community who has a special place in all our hearts. Since she first started coming to our Center nearly two years ago, she has grown in leaps and bounds as she studied English, became involved with youth group, gained a new circle of friends, and began a personal relationship with Jesus. 

SreyCouch has a difficult family situation and faces persecution both at home and at school. Yet she perseveres in loving those around her and helping the community through volunteering at our Center. SreyCouch serves on our church team ministering to the disabled in our congregation, and is a humble and willing helper with whatever needs to be done!

Despite having a beautiful personality and sweet spirit, it wasn't until recently that you would see SreyCouch with a big happy smile like in the photo at left. Why not? Because until last month, she suffered from severe dental damage, requiring extensive procedures that a family like hers simply couldn't consider providing. She was constantly embarrassed by her appearance, hiding her face whenever she would start to laugh or smile.

But all that's changed now, thanks to a series of procedures that have repaired the damage and restored her smile, allowing SreyCouch to radiate her sweet personality more than ever before! We are so thankful that a donor giving through out Sak Saum ministry was able to cover this cost. Though SreyCouch was always beautiful, she can now smile and laugh with a newfound confidence that is wonderful to see. 

It is so exciting to be a part of this simple yet life-changing blessing for SreyCouch! Please join us in praying for her and her family. And if you're interested in helping us sponsor more medical and dental care for individuals in our community, click here to give


Holiday Fun

Today we want to share with you some photos and video (below) from this year's Christmas Program, an outdoor event we hosted at our Center for nearly 2,500 people in our community. After much hard work and advance preparation by staff and volunteers from Sak Saum and the church, the air was filled with excitement and fun as we shared the Christmas story with people young and old through dance, drama, songs, and giving. The program ended with beautiful redemptive dance and drama, inviting those in attendance to consider that what Jesus has done for mankind goes far beyond his birth and brings salvation and hope to those who seek him!

We hope you enjoy this glimpse into our Christmas program, and that your new year is blessed!

Click the video above to view.

Music credits: "We Three Kings" R. Tists for Christmas

Literacy for Little Ones

Early this year, our staff encountered a family in a nearby village that needed literacy training help for their children. Difficult life circumstances had left this family focused on survival, not education, yet the children wanted to learn to read and write. They were shy and nervous about leaving their home to come study at our Center, so staff member Aly began visiting them daily along with older kids from Father’s House. Soon Aly had started a small new literacy class in that village, with three of this family’s children plus four others from neighboring houses!

Literacy training builds communities!

Literacy training builds communities!

After a little while, Aly also began introducing English phonics in addition to Khmer language. Each day she would carry a small whiteboard and some toys for the family’s baby to play with. A few youth from Gospel Community Church began volunteering each afternoon to help. Some outreach teams also visited the class, much to the interest of the neighbors!

Soon it was time to invite these children to come study at our Center, something that they had been quite fearful of before. But not anymore! They told Aly they were now so excited to come and to be able to learn more and make new friends. Just a few months of intentional kindness and teaching had helped them conquer their fear. The next day their little group of seven arrived at the Center all smiles and excitement, ready to study!

Now almost seven months after our staff first began visiting them, these children can read and write basic Khmer and are learning basic English as well. What a turnaround from where they were at the start of this year! Aly and our group of youth volunteers have done a great job sowing into these children. We pray this is the start of many good things to come for them and their families! 

- In His Steps

October Roundup

This month has flown by like a whirlwind, with so much going on in many different areas of ministry!

India Trip

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IHSI founders/directors Eric and Ginny recently went for a weeklong trip to Bangalore, India. They were able to spend time with Gopi and Marites Kumar, who will be joining our team of staff early next year! They also got to meet with several Christian organizations, glean helpful ideas from them, and experience some of the culture of the region while they were there.

India has been on Ginny’s heart for many years, and we feel that it is a place where the IHSI/Sak Saum model of ministry could be replicated in the future. This is one of several other countries in the region that IHSI envisions ministering to in the future, in addition to the work that has already been planted and thriving in Cambodia. As God reveals more we look forward to what He has in store for IHSI/Sak Saum in India!

New Staff

We recently welcomed our newest Khmer staff member to the IHSI team! Meet Kiri, a young man who has been a part of the GCCS youth group and soccer team for some time now. We’ve known him since before he was a Christian, and have seen much good fruit in his life as he has grown up over the past couple of years. Kiri has a sister in the Sak Saum program and his half-sister is Aly, our youth pastor/children’s program director.

We’re excited to have Kiri join our ministry family, and he is doing a great job as he shadows other staff and gives general assistance at our Center. We look forward to great things as he learns to use his time and talents to bless his nation!

Teaching Safety

This month we did a fun but informative class for the men and women of Sak Saum. What was the topic? One of extreme relevance here in Cambodia: moto driving safety! Everyone who attended enjoyed seeing the “do’s and don’ts” of driving taught by Eric, with plenty of on-the-spot demonstrations to drive each point home. We love sharing practical life skills with our community!

Visitors

Last week we hosted two visitors from Mission Community Church in Arizona. MCC has been very instrumental in our latest expansions and we are thankful to have them as ministry partners and friends. It was great to meet Sheli and Audrey, have them see the ministry, and learn from them during the time they were here.

Staff Training

This is the third year that our staff have attended the Global Leadership Summit, a great opportunity for them to hear renowned Christian men and women teach on a variety of leadership-related topics, all translated into the Khmer language! This year several Sak Saum leaders were able to attend in addition to IHSI core staff. Everyone felt blessed by what they learned and is excited to apply and share with others!

International Ministry

The Hansons are now in the US for 6 weeks and will be visiting 5 states: speaking, meeting with board members, and raising awareness. Please keep their travels, health, and meetings in your prayers!