A Reason to Smile

Meet SreyCouch

Meet SreyCouch

This is SreyCouch, a lovely young woman in our community who has a special place in all our hearts. Since she first started coming to our Center nearly two years ago, she has grown in leaps and bounds as she studied English, became involved with youth group, gained a new circle of friends, and began a personal relationship with Jesus. 

SreyCouch has a difficult family situation and faces persecution both at home and at school. Yet she perseveres in loving those around her and helping the community through volunteering at our Center. SreyCouch serves on our church team ministering to the disabled in our congregation, and is a humble and willing helper with whatever needs to be done!

Despite having a beautiful personality and sweet spirit, it wasn't until recently that you would see SreyCouch with a big happy smile like in the photo at left. Why not? Because until last month, she suffered from severe dental damage, requiring extensive procedures that a family like hers simply couldn't consider providing. She was constantly embarrassed by her appearance, hiding her face whenever she would start to laugh or smile.

But all that's changed now, thanks to a series of procedures that have repaired the damage and restored her smile, allowing SreyCouch to radiate her sweet personality more than ever before! We are so thankful that a donor giving through out Sak Saum ministry was able to cover this cost. Though SreyCouch was always beautiful, she can now smile and laugh with a newfound confidence that is wonderful to see. 

It is so exciting to be a part of this simple yet life-changing blessing for SreyCouch! Please join us in praying for her and her family. And if you're interested in helping us sponsor more medical and dental care for individuals in our community, click here to give


Boxes of Blessings

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This morning we held a special children’s program for kids from impoverished families who live in a nearby village. We’ve been looking forward to giving out the Samaritan’s Purse OCC (Operation Christmas Child) shoeboxes we received this year, and after completing a children’s Bible study initiative from OCC with a core group of children, it was time to give out the gifts to a larger group!

The kids were clearly excited about the event, some of them arriving early by an hour or more. There were 85 of them, ranging from age 2-14 years old, with some of the littlest ones accompanied by parents or older siblings. While waiting for the program to being, they ran around outside and played at the playground in a frenzy of anticipation!

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After short lesson from Solomon came the main event: giving out the shoeboxes from OCC. It is always fun to see the looks on children’s faces as they open presents and discover everything from toys and school supplies to toothbrushes and new clothes! Many of them carefully surveyed the items in their box one by one with delight, before placing them neatly back inside for safe-keeping. Most of these children have few personal possessions, and even the simplest of gifts is treasured! 

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We are thankful for Samaritan’s Purse and their giving to our
community and many others. Please join us in praying that the children who received a shoebox today would feel blessed, would begin to attend church, and that they and their families would come to know Christ as they experience His love.

-    In His Steps

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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

 

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

Sunday School in Saang

At our church in Saang, many of the new members have just received Christ and are learning for the very first time what it means to be part of God’s Kingdom. Many are friends and relatives of those in Sak Saum and other programs, drawn by the effective testimony of changed lives.

As more young couples and new mothers become a part of our church family, we are seeing a new generation of children in need of a solid Christian foundation. Since their parents are not yet mature in their faith, we are constantly looking for ways to minister to every part of the family unit and build it as a whole. That’s why we are so excited about our newest Sunday School program for 6-12 year olds!

Jessica and volunteers from Sak Saum are spearheading this new class, teaching simple lessons from the Bible and helping the children learn how to behave in a classroom. Fun crafts and activities reinforce their learning while teaching creativity and teamwork!

Parents and their kids are excited to have this new opportunity for learning and fun, and in our first week we had eleven children attend. We pray that each student who receives this love, care, and training would become deeply grounded in Christ. The building blocks put in place today will be the foundation of tomorrow's leaders!

- In His Steps

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