Yesterday was an important day for In His Steps: ministry leaders met with officials from the Cambodian Ministry of Social Affairs (MOSA) to discuss the building project and the future of our safehouse. Although our plans have already been approved, it's required to have the actual site and progress observed by MOSA workers. It's great to see the local government holding organizations to accountability! Corruption is a big problem even among many NGO's, and we want the community to know that we keep our word.
Meeting with MOSA allowed us to share with them our vision for the safehouse in greater clarity and explain the heart behind what we are doing in Saang. You could tell that many of those who attended the meeting were surprised by our views on how to break the cycle of trafficking. A common approach to dealing with at-risk children is to segregate them from the community in orphanages, but at In His Steps we believe it is important to work with whole families whenever possible.
The safehouse will not just be a home for orphans, but a place of refuge for any at-risk child. While nurturing and caring for each one, we will also work to break the cycle of abuse within the home through building relationships with their families and modeling ways to change. Education alone is not enough: hearts and minds need healing to bring this about. Advocating for healthy families is both intervention and prevention!
As we explained more about our vision for the safehouse, the MOSA workers shared that what we were saying closely mirrors many of the underlying goals of the Ministry of Social Affairs! It's encouraging to hear that we are on the right track and have the blessing of local authorities. By collaborating with MOSA, we have an excellent opportunity to model change and raise standards within Cambodia.
Children are the key to influencing culture, and we are so blessed to have the opportunity to reach this and future generations with the love of God. Please pray with us that the safehouse would be place where his presence is felt and healing can begin.