June News

Visitors and Volunteers

During the spring and summer months we often host short-term teams and volunteers that come with a desire to serve Cambodia and bless the community here. In His Steps has been blessed with many friends from around the world, and have had visitors from places near and far: the U.S., Canada, Germany, Norway, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, and more!

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Last month, a friend of a friend came to Cambodia for two weeks, a volunteer from Russia. While visiting us Yulia got to experience ministry in Saang and help with our literacy program, English classes, visit our Sak Saum ministry, children’s programs, and youth group. She also spent time with the children in Father’s House, was a part of our church services, and built relationship with staff member Aly by “shadowing” her throughout each day. It was great for staff and those in our programs to meet this new friend, and judging from a recent email we think she enjoyed her time here as well:

“...I came back to Russia 2 weeks ago, [and] today I was able to share with my church about Cambodia and your beautiful ministry…I would like one more time to thank you for accepting me, for giving me chance to feel like a part of your family!!! I really felt this [and] I will be praying for you... your ministry, your people and Cambodia. Thank you very much.”
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Yulia is by no means the first visitor to mention feeling like part of the In His Steps family. Family is one of our highest values as a ministry, and each person working with us is loved and valued for who they are, no matter how long or short their time with us is. And sometimes, those who have come to visit find that God begins to stir a calling to ministry (whether in Cambodia or elsewhere). That’s what happened to Rhiannon, a former intern who has just come back from a visit home, this time as a full-fledged staff member. Read her most recent blog post here.

If you or your church/organization is interested volunteering with In His Steps in Cambodia, learn more on our outreach page!

Other News

  • Although Father’s Day is not a particularly recognized holiday in Cambodia, just like on Mothers’ Day our church chose to celebrate parents through songs, dramas, and a message of encouragement and exhortation. It was a sweet and meaningful service, with a fun children’s dance, a drama about forgiveness between generations, a great lesson from Ginny on the value and calling of fathers, and an original song written by boys in our Loaves and Fish/Father’s House programs (video below).
  • Since forming our very first Gospel Community Church Saang soccer team, we have been enjoying seeing young men in the church working hard to hone their skills and growing in team unity and sportsmanship. So far the GCCS team has won 3 out of 4 games this season!
  • Cambodia has a major election coming up next month. Please keep the nation in your prayers, that wisdom, truth, and justice would be the hallmarks of the entire election process.

- In His Steps

 

Playground Update

If you were to turn onto the little dirt road in Saang that leads to our Center, it wouldn’t be long before you’d begin to hear loud shrieks of laughter and excited shouting filling the air. Past the wooden stilt houses of our neighbors and a group of boys playing volleyball nearby, you’d turn to find ten, twenty, or even more children running and climbing all over our brand-new playground!  

This new playspace has been a dream of ours for several years: a safe place for children in the neighborhood  to enjoy and a great way for us to engage and connect with them. This dream became a reality through partnering with Compassion Acts and Blood-n-Fire ministries in the U.S., who raised funds and sent a team over this past month to construct the new playspace.

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As home to the only reading room, the only free literacy and English classes, and now the only playground in the area, we are so excited to offer these opportunities for both fun and education. Safe play is a gift to this region, which for years has been known for trafficking people and producing criminals. Who knows how much danger, temptation, and abuse these children are avoiding simply by coming to our Center rather than staying at home unsupervised or wandering in the streets?

It is a joy to observe the happiness of each child who swings on a swing, rides a slide, climbs the monkey bars, or simply plays in the sand. Along the way, they will be learning important skills like teamwork, sharing, following directions, and taking care of community resources. We believe that this playground is going to be a great blessing to families in Saang for many years to come!

-In His Steps

Hot Dogs for Jesus

It’s been a busy month for In His Steps: opening the Kairos Training Center, children in our programs starting the new school year, visitors passing through, and much more. With all the busyness, we thought it would be fun to have a party for local kids and share some hot dogs with them!

After sending word to the neighborhood that all children were invited for lunch on Wednesday, we wondered whether the recent holiday of Pchum Ben might negatively affect attendance. We needn’t have worried: an hour before the program started, our Center was already inundated with kids flocking in from the surrounding area!

Our staff and a great team of volunteers and Father’s House kids pitched in to prepare trays full of food and pass everything out. Over 220 children came, and after a short lesson from staff, received hot dogs, drinks, and snacks. The air was filled with a happy commotion as they and their friends enjoyed their hot dogs, a first for many!

We love kids: they are the future of Cambodia and a blessing from God. Please join us in praying for the children of Saang district, that they would grow to know Him through the small and seemingly simple acts of love that He has called us to.

- In His Steps

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!

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Growth in Changing Times

Although it’s only March, this year is already bringing much change to us here at In His Steps! We are growing, and with growth come new responsibilities, new strategies and new steps along the way as we work to accomplish the goals God has given us as a ministry.

Change can be uncomfortable, but we believe that God has good things in store as we journey through this time of transition. As we move forward, one of the things that God has provided for is a project that we have been hoping to begin for some time: the construction of a new multi-purpose building on our Foundation Center land!

Due to the volume of people attending our English classes, church services, children’s programs and other activities, we frequently end up holding these events outdoors for lack of space. That works great during more temperate months of the year, but is a challenge during Cambodia’s long rainy season and scorching hot season. That’s why we’re so excited about this new building, which should be completed this summer just as rainy season makes its entrance!

We’re thankful to be able to partner with Pearl Alliance in this new project, and are prayerfully looking forward to using this building to bless many more members of the Saang community.

Please pray with us for:

  •  Safety and peace at the construction site
  •  Salvation for the laborers involved
  •  Good fruit in the lives of all that we reach through the use of this new building

Stay tuned for photo updates in the coming months!