Gifts for Father's House

Transient

Have you ever met a child that didn’t like getting a present? We certainly haven’t! Amid the day-to-day work of caring for the many individuals in our programs, we’re thankful for the generosity of believers worldwide who lend a hand by sending gifts, donating to our community-building projects, or even coming to visit in person through outreach teams. (Learn more ways to get involved by clicking here.)

A creative donor from the U.S. recently sent handmade blankets for Father’s House children, and each one was special and unique, just like our children. It was fun to watch their expressions as the children caught sight of the lively patterns and bold colors of their new blankets. We hope that their smiles will help brighten your day!

Transient

Honoring Parents

An emotional moment between father and daughter this past Sunday.

How did you celebrate Father’s Day? Here in Cambodia, the holiday is not nearly as well known as others (for example, the Queen Mother’s Birthday, which was yesterday). Cambodian culture places a high value on respecting parents and ancestors, but all too often this takes the form of gifts of money or offering sacrifices to idols on their behalf.

For many Cambodians, to honor their parents means to live in complete subservience to their parents’ wishes, in relationships more reminiscent of servant/master than child/parent. This unhealthy mindset has been modeled for generations and is deeply rooted in Khmer culture.

To truly honor someone from your heart means to revere them by recognizing their value. This is what honor means in Scripture when it tells us to honor our father and mother, and this is what we are trying to teach Cambodians who have for far too long seen honor wrongly defined as co-dependency or control.

Many in Saang have never heard of Father’s Day or Mother’s Day, which is why we choose to celebrate both of these special days in church. Below are some photos of this weekend’s Father’s Day service, where God as our Heavenly Father was honored in worship and earthly fathers were encouraged and blessed through songs, teaching, a drama, and small gifts. We pray that your Father’s Day was blessed!

- In His Steps

Equipping and Empowering the Next Generation

Transient

In the Western world, technology has become so ubiquitous that most of us can no longer imagine life without computers. Yet for most Cambodians, a computer is more of a mystery than a necessity. Generations have conducted business and done everything else in life without a keystroke or a double-click.

But Cambodia is changing rapidly, and the way that people do things is changing with it. Computer experience is now on par with English language skills as a key to job opportunities. It seems that every corner in Phnom Penh is touting computer classes, internet tutorials, and typing tutors. Yet for most Cambodians, the cost of a computer is more than their year's earnings, and those in rural areas rarely even see one!

We want the very best for children in our care, and know that in a changing world there are many things they must learn in order to thrive. As they express their hopes and dreams for their future, we have been looking for ways to equip them in the area of computer literacy. 

Through donations from many in the U.S., we are happy to announce that we are finally able to begin meeting this need through the installation of several computers at Father's House! This past week, Jacob and Eric have been busy finding desks, setting up hardware, and troubleshooting as we prepare for our very first computer classes for Father's House children. Not only will Father's House kids be learning computer skills, but our staff will receive more training as well. That way, they can teach others in the future when we have enough funds to set up a computer classroom for the community!

Our goal for Father's House children is to equip them to fulfill their destiny, whether as an accountant, farmer, doctor, or repairman. As they receive unconditional love from our staff, we want each child to know that they have a secure place in our hearts and God's, no matter what path in life they choose to take.

Just as we believe God's promise in Jeremiah 29:11 for hope and a good future, we believe it's our responsibility to prepare each child in our care for that future as best we can. From new computer classes and cooking lessons to homework help and Sunday School, we are committed to doing everything in our power to help them be successful at whatever their hands find to do in the future! 

A Day of Rejoicing

Today is a very special day; one that has been life-changing for some! Every week, In His Steps gathers for our Tuesday staff meeting, a time of worship, teaching, prayer, and fellowship. Since all of us are very busy and involved in many different parts of IHSI programs, we feel that it's important to regularly be with each other as a group. 

God often uses the times that we are together corporately to highlight something that's on His heart, both for our ministry and for individuals. This morning after worship, Eric shared about growing in God and walking in His love. As his message came to a close, Eric felt that he should ask if there was anyone who had not yet received salvation and would like to make that decision today. 

Why would there be non-Christians at our Christian ministry's staff meeting? Because in addition to our regular staff and leadership team, we include all of the women in our Sak Saum program every time we gather as a group. Whether it's a general meeting, community event, or even a staff member's birthday party, we do our best to include those who we are working to reach. What better way to model God's love and Kingdom-oriented living?

After Eric's invitation to start a new life with God, Ginny briefly shared her testimony. Several young women (including some orphaned children who are living at Sak Saum temporarily until our safehouse building is complete) raised their hands to accept Jesus. Others also responded by expressing their desire to go deeper in God and experience more of his love. Pheaktra (pastor of our church and Foundation Center director) explained how to receive salvation and we gathered around them to pray. There was both peace and excitement in the air as each girl invited Jesus into her heart! 

On this day, in a little country called Cambodia, four people made a decision that will transform their lives forever. As we at In His Steps rejoice on their behalf, we know that all the angels in heaven are rejoicing (Luke 15:10) with us! Please join us in praying for these young women as they begin their new journey with God.

- In His Steps