The Three Little Pigs

Once upon a time in Saang, we decided to throw a party for staff, the Sak Saum community, Father's House, Loaves and Fish, and some of our elderly church members.  But this was not just any party, it was a Khmer-style barbecue, with three hefty porkers roasted on spits since the wee hours of morning! 

Several hours prior to the break of dawn, staff and youth from our Father's House and Loaves and Fish programs were up, pounding long wooden sticks through the pigs and lighting fires in the coal pits they had dug the day before. By midday the smell of smoke and barbecue sauce had taken over the neighborhood, as Sak Saum began making a huge vat of rice and salads, pickles, and drinks were being assembled by others.

Chairs and tables were set up, music began to play, and soon the partygoers started to arrive! It wasn't long before the GCCS sanctuary was filled with hungry, happy people, joining together for a delicious feast as one big family.

When everyone had eaten, it was clear there were too many leftovers... which is why we decided to go on a little mini-outreach in our neighborhood! With "doggy bags" of mouthwatering pork and rice in hand, we were able to bring an impromptu dinner to 20 families that evening, telling them they are loved and inviting them to attend church and sign up for our educational programs. Some of those who received a meal told us that they had been lacking money to buy food, and that this was their first meal of the day. What a privilege to be a part of God's provision!

We love our ministry family, and are excited to see the many ways that love knits people together and strengthens the Body of Christ. We look forward to many more barbecues, but more importantly, the continued growth of the wonderful work that God is doing in Saang.

-IHSI

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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

 

Discipline: A Lifelong Practice

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Hebrews 12:11

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

Discipline isn't easy or fun, but Scripture tells us that the results often yield wonderful fruit. It’s a practice that is applied in our work, studies, personal development and our pursuit of God. Often, though, it can be difficult to apply and maintain. The battle that happens in our minds can lead us down a path of defeat and repetitive negative cycles or it can help us choose paths that lead to victory!

There are thirteen young men in Saang that are learning to be victorious together. The idea is to start cultivating discipline through physical training. Cambodians are often not used to physical exercise. They live arduously – rural life in Cambodia is full of challenges. However, they don't usually run, lift weights or do squats – it's hot here! This committed group is learning what it means to push their bodies beyond preconceived limits and go further then what they possibly imagined. Applying discipline in small doses builds a strong, realistic foundation with attainable goals. Whether it’s doing 5 pull-ups one day and pushing out 7 the next – it’s about training their minds and bodies to persevere. Why? Because we want to see young Cambodian men finish well the most important race they will ever do – their walk with God. 

That's why the group is also responsible for memorizing and following several key principles. Together, they hold each other accountable for knowing and practicing the following:

  1. Love God, Love Others
  2. Be Honest and Have Integrity
  3. Read Your Bible Every Day
  4. Respect Each Other and Your Teachers
  5. Be On Time
  6. Be Safe
  7. Try Your Hardest
  8. Don't Speak While Someone Else Is Speaking
  9. Don't Put Down Your Brothers

There is plenty of grunting, sweating, and solemn faces but the results are satisfying and fruitful. And, at the end of each session, a sense of accomplishment settles on everyone’s faces. 

This summer we plan to add some additional teaching to strengthen body and spirit. Look for more updates to come!

Small circles!

Jumping Jack time.

Benjamin using all his strength to keep that chair up!
Benjamin using all his strength to keep that chair up!

Keep those chairs high! Don't bend your arms!

Always end with prayer.

Always end with prayer.

2012–A Year in Review

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In His Steps was busier than ever this past year. We would like to invite you to take a glimpse into our review of 2012.

A few highlights include:

  • Registering IHSI's church plant with the Ministry of Cults and Religion
  • 12 young women successfully transitioned through the Sak Saum program
  • The opening of the KTC (Kairos Training Center)
  • Welcomed several visitors and teams from around the world

Please click here to download our full review. It's packed full of wonderful things that have transpired this past year.