We at In His Steps love Saang (a rural area in Kandal province where much of our ministry takes place). We want the people of Saang to know that we are not an isolated "Christian club" that meets on Sundays: our staff and the people we reach are members of the community with a heart to serve and bless those around them. That's why we recently held "I Love Saang Cleanup Day".
On a sunny Saturday morning, we met to pick up trash and tidy up local streets. By 8 a.m. it was already scorching hot, but our Center was packed with young people and IHSI staff who had come to participate. After prayer and pep-talks from Eric and one of the commune leaders, we distributed supplies (bottles of water, gloves, face masks, garbage bags) and got to work! Divided into teams, over 200 people streamed out of the Center in different directions, targeting specific areas around the neighborhood.
Candy wrappers, shreds of cast-off rags, plastic bags, and more were cleared out from roadside ditches, shrubs, and even the dusty local volleyball court! There are no public garbage cans or dumpsters of any kind out in rural areas like Saang , so trash accumulates anywhere and everywhere. By the time each team was finished in their designated area, numerous bags of garbage were filled with no room to spare!
It was great to see local children and youth so eager to serve. Parents and neighbors were quick to voice their appreciation, and many were impressed that we are teaching kids about being responsible and giving back to their community. The local government was also very encouraging and seemed to appreciate our efforts.
Jesus always remembered to bless and care for others in practical ways, and it is this example that In His Steps is following. Please pray with us that hearts in the Saang community would be touched as we seek to serve as he did.