Merry Christmas! We hope you have a great holiday with family and loved ones. Here in Cambodia, we celebrate a little differently than in the West, since most Cambodians do not even know the meaning of Christmas. We feel that this time of year is a great opportunity to bless the communities we are in and teach the true significance of Christmas: the birth of Jesus Christ.
This past Sunday, we held a Christmas program at our Saang Foundation Center. The program began in prayer by Pastor Pheaktra, and was MC’d by Solomon (one of our staff teachers) and a young woman from our youth group. It was an almost 4-hour program, including dance, worship, drama, and the message of Christmas.
- Sak Saum, our program for at-risk and trafficked women, performed a beautiful skit, song, and dance telling of how God has brought them out of dark and difficult situations into a place of hope and new life.
Our intern Daniel and some of the young men in his breakdance class debuted their new dance group, “Souljuz Crew”. It was exciting for their friends and family to see them use their talent and new skills to glorify God. Interest in his class is growing and now many more youth in the area are signing up!
- Solomon and a group of youth led a time of worship, and the youth also performed a dance.
- Children sponsored by our Loaves and Fish program danced, and some also participated with other youth in a drama telling the story of Jesus’ birth.
- Following the drama, Eric and Pastor Pheaktra spoke, sharing the significance of Jesus’ birth and the meaning of Christmas.
- Through a free prize draw, we gave away 2 bicycles, 5 moto helmets, 22 cases of noodles, 2 electric fans, 3 small gas stoves, 5 water filters, 2 rice pots, 50 tee shirts, 20 sarongs, Sak Saum bags, and more! This was a great blessing to the community. Many of the prizes went to children, which very exciting!
Although we have done other Christmas events in the past, this year’s outreach was by far the largest event In His Steps has ever hosted. We invited 2,000 people, and over 1,800 attended! People in Saang have never seen such a large event, and are still talking about all that happened. We invited local government leaders, and were excited that many of them came. They seemed very impressed with the program and what we are doing in the community.
Our staff and volunteers all did a great job making sure that things ran smoothly. Many members of our youth group volunteered as ushers, parking attendants, and security guards. We know that our efforts were blessed: throughout the day there were no disturbances, thefts, or injuries! This is incredible, considering the number of people who attended. We were amazed by the success of the program and God’s faithfulness to the people of Cambodia as he uses us to minister to them. Please pray that the message of hope they heard will touch their hearts and lead to more salvations and transformed lives in the community!
In His Steps