An Answered Prayer And A Blessed Little Girl

 A few months ago we posted about Sokchea, a young girl with cerebral palsy in our area who we have been ministering to for about 7 months now. We shared that we were praying that someone with a background in physical therapy would be able to come and work with Sokchea, and also train our staff how to help her grow strong and more independent. That prayer was answered last week when not one but two lovely ladies from the U.S. came and spent a very busy seven days doing above and beyond what we could have hoped for!

After connecting with a friend of our Sak Saum ministryand hearing about Sokchea’s situation, Jennifer, a physical therapist, and Jen, her co-worker (who is also pursuing her degree in P.T.) took time out of their busy lives to make thejourney over to Cambodia. When Sokchea met them and was told they were to be her “exercise teachers” for a week, her eyes lit up and she smiled in response. Little did she know that not only would she be exercisingshe would experience whole new world of physical motion and stimulation that she could never have imagined.

Touching new textures, feeling the weight of her own bodyagainst her joints, learning more natural ways toaccomplish certain motions, batting at toys and a drum, practicing activating muscles in all areas of her bodySokchea had more variety in a week than she probably hashad in her entire life! Naturally, some aspects of what she was experiencing proved challenging in both physical and psychological ways. Yet there were many moments each day where she responded with interest, excitement, and even joy.

Jennifer and Jen gave a crash course in physical therapy for several of our church and Sak Saum staff, explaining the reasoning behind the many techniques they employed and helping them practice, first on each other and eventually with Sokchea herself. We feel so thankful that not only would Jennifer and Jen take the time to pour into her with love and their God-given abilities, but that they would also invest in our staff by providing a daunting amount ofteaching so well in such a short time!

It was such an incredible blessing for Sokchea to have this time with trained professionals, and even in such a short time we already see her moving differently, responding in new ways, even seemingly trying to vocalize more. In fact, when it was time for goodbyes, she rolled over and supported herself on her elbow for a moment without help.This is amazing progress for her! As we help her practice what she has been learning we are looking forward to many more moments of personal triumph for her.

Please join us in praying:

- That Sokchea will continue to progress as we implement what we have learned, and that having these new opportunities for her body’s development would also awaken more hope and more healing in her heart.

- That Jennifer and Jen would eventually be able to return to Cambodia to work with Sokchea again and provide even more training for staff

That those around her in her home and neighborhood would have their eyes opened more fully to the treasure that Sokchea is and the compassion and faithfulness of God as He expresses them to her in these practical ways.

- In His Steps

News in August

Greetings everyone! These past few weeks have marked some important steps forward for both Sak Saum and our work in Saang, so we would like to share the news with you.

For the last few months, we have been going through the process of applying to the Cambodian Ministry of Social Affairs for a three-year approval of our Loaves and Fish and Foundation Center ministries. We are very happy to have received this approval this past Thursday! Although we already have permission to work in the Saang District, the three-year agreement is a great blessing to us. It will allow us to expand ministry and reach more people in Kandal Province. It makes it easier for international and national staff to receive visas for travel. And it also establishes Sarith (our national director) and other Cambodian staff as leaders and forerunners of future ministry.

We had been told that it was very difficult for NGO’s to be approved, and that the process would take much longer. Instead, with little hassle and no long wait, God answered our prayers and our application was accepted! While we were meeting with the Cambodian Secretary of State for the signing ceremony, he had nothing but positive and encouraging things to say about our ministry. In fact, the ceremony was filmed and aired during a government news program on TV that evening!

Clearly, God is moving in amazing ways here. New doors have also been opening for Sak Saum in the areas of marketing products and supporting the girls. Opportunities that we could never have orchestrated on our own have seemingly fallen into our laps! We know that in reality they are falling from heaven. God is enlarging our reach in so many areas and we believe this is a result of submitting to authority and letting God work in his ways instead of ours. 

We are excited to see so many signs of God’s favor and confirmation of the goals we have been working towards. We appreciate your prayers that he would continue to bless In His Steps and the people we reach here in Cambodia.

In Christ,


Without Walls

In this update we want to tell you about something we are building in Saang: not a building of concrete and wood and nails, but rather of faith and obedience to what God is speaking. In fact, our hope is that it will actually be “a building without walls!”

For some time now, we have seen that our Foundation Center in Saang will become a church. But this is the year that seems right to begin the church-planting process. No pun intended, this is a big step for In His Steps!

Since early spring, we have been working on the necessary applications with the government and a local Christian network (the Evangelical Fellowship of Cambodia) to officially establish the church. Although we have been told that it may take some time for our government application to be accepted, we believe that in the right time God will make a way.

Meanwhile, we have begun holding weekly Sunday services at the Foundation Center. Local Christians have shown great interest: attendance has been good and the foundation that is being laid is strong. We will continue to teach and disciple those who will be church leaders, raising them up in their giftings so they can minister effectively.

When we say we want our church to be without walls, we mean that it should be much more than a “Christian club”. Our prayer is for a church made from and ministering to the community: an established group of local believers that reaches out to everyone they meet with the love of Christ. That’s why it will be named “Gospel Community Church.

Why is it not enough for NGO’s (non-governmental organizations) such as In His Steps to minister in Saang? Why is it necessary for a church to be planted? We believe God’s heart is to raise up the Cambodian Church, not just in Saang but across the nation. There may be a time when God calls IHSI to a different village, province, or even country, but with a strong church already in place, ministry to the community doesn’t have to stop. God is faithful and he wants to be faithful to the hurting and those in need through his global Church, including the church in Saang. 

We’d appreciate your prayers for the planting of Gospel Community Church of Saang, that it would truly be a light to the community that is rooted and grounded in Christ!

God bless,