Familiar Faces

Before getting to our normal blog update below, we wanted to acknowledge the loss of Sok, a young husband and father who passed away several days ago due to leukemia. Although we are thankful that Sok is finally free from suffering, this is a difficult time for his family, the Sak Saum community, and the church as a whole. We would appreciate you joining with us in prayers for all those he leaves behind.

Last week we said goodbye to a team from IHSI founders’ home church in upstate New York. Not only were they from a church near and dear to our heart, but the Hanson’s and other staff have known these particular team members personally since their childhood! Needless to say, it was very special to have them here in Cambodia with In His Steps, seeing them in action with us in ministry.

While they were here, the team participated in everything from children’s ministry and English classes to helping sandbag a dock at Sak Saum community housing and hauling gravel to bolster the road at our Center. They taught at church and youth group services, built developmental toys for kids in Sak Saum nurseries, visited the elderly and sick in our community, did a VBS for children, played sports with local youth, and built lots of relationships along the way!

It was wonderful to have friends with us on outreach, and we are looking forward to seeing them again! Having people with a passion to serve is a blessing to Cambodia and to the communities we work in. We hope you’ll enjoy the photos of Gospel Community teams’ outreach in the gallery below.

If your church or organization is thinking about bringing a group to Cambodia to minister with In His Steps, now is the time to apply for 2015 team outreaches! Our calendar is filling up fast, so don’t miss this chance to contact us and learn more now. Simply email us with your team questions at teams@ihsionline.org, and we’ll contact you again soon to discuss outreach possibilities with you!

Looking forward to hearing from you,

In His Steps

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!

DSC_4973.jpg

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.”
DSC_4966.jpg

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

 

Health Check Surprise

When our founders Eric and Ginny Hanson realized they needed to leave Cambodia this month in order to renew their visas, it seemed like a perfect time to visit neighboring Thailand for some health tests for Ginny. Little did they know that this trip was to become significant in ways they could not imagine! 

When the Hansons arrived and began scheduling appointments for Ginny, she suggested that Eric take this opportunity to do a full health check. Although he was feeling fine, he agreed, and soon a full day of tests was underway. All was going smoothly until a doctor came in and stopped the cardiac stress test, stating that there were abnormalities that needed to be checked by a cardiologist.

Naturally, the Hansons were beginning to feel concerned as they were led in to meet with the cardiologist. He informed them that a CT-scan was needed to look into Eric's heart further and determine the cause of the abnormalities. 

What the test results revealed was both shocking and frightening: a nearly blocked artery, which could without warning lead to a heart attack. This was not news that anyone expected. In fact, the week before Eric had been conducting business as usual in Cambodia, even helping lift heavy wooden beams for playground construction with a visiting team!

The following day, the procedures began: angioplasty to break up the blockage in Eric's artery and a stent inserted to keep the artery open. After several hours, two failed stent attempts before a third successful one, and many prayers from friends and loved ones, Eric emerged from the operating room. The problem that had been caught by "coincidence" (or rather, God's plan all along) had been corrected.

Please keep Eric in your prayers, that there would be no further complications and that the Hansons' insurance provider would cooperate with them in order to help cover the costs of his treatment and two remaining follow-up checkups. We at In His Steps are all so thankful that this potentially life-threatening problem was discovered, and in a place where it could be dealt with as quickly and safely as possible. The God we serve is faithful.

 - In His Steps

 

May Update

Hansons’ Travel Update

Recently, our founders Eric and Ginny Hanson were in the U.S., completing our NGO annual tax returns and doing some stateside ministry. They always keep very busy when they are “home”, and this trip was no exception! Just a few of the highlights of their time in the U.S. were:

Ginny sharing at Woodman Valley Chapel, CO

Ginny sharing at Woodman Valley Chapel, CO

  • Speaking at Boulder Street Church and Woodman Valley Chapel
  • A three-day conference in Rockford Illinois, where Ginny was able to share about human trafficking and showcase products from our Sak Saum ministry
  • Planning outreach opportunities with future volunteers and church groups coming to Cambodia in 2014
  • Meeting with partners in ministry and brainstorming about some exciting new projects

The Hanson's love to share about what God is doing in Cambodia, and are  gifted teachers and deliverance ministers. They are often requested to speak across the U.S.  and parts of Asia. If you are interested in booking the Hansons for a seminar, conference, or other speaking engagement, please email them at erich@ihsionline.org/ginnyh@ihsionline.org.

Other News

  • IHSI loves having visitors and volunteers, and in May alone we have two volunteers (one from the U.S. and one from Russia) and two different American teams! We are excited to share with them our vision for ministry and provide opportunities for them to bless Cambodia. Teaching children and youth, working in Sak Saum, training Cambodians in new skills, and constructing a playground are just a few of the volunteer activities taking place this month! Stay tuned to our Facebook page in the coming weeks to see photos of the new playground and more.

  • Nearly ten people received Jesus as their Savior this past Sunday! God is stirring hearts towards Himself, and we are honored to be a part. Please keep the new believers in your prayers, that they would be rooted deeply in God’s love as they grow in their newfound faith.

Until next week,

In His Steps