October Roundup

This month has flown by like a whirlwind, with so much going on in many different areas of ministry!

India Trip

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IHSI founders/directors Eric and Ginny recently went for a weeklong trip to Bangalore, India. They were able to spend time with Gopi and Marites Kumar, who will be joining our team of staff early next year! They also got to meet with several Christian organizations, glean helpful ideas from them, and experience some of the culture of the region while they were there.

India has been on Ginny’s heart for many years, and we feel that it is a place where the IHSI/Sak Saum model of ministry could be replicated in the future. This is one of several other countries in the region that IHSI envisions ministering to in the future, in addition to the work that has already been planted and thriving in Cambodia. As God reveals more we look forward to what He has in store for IHSI/Sak Saum in India!

New Staff

We recently welcomed our newest Khmer staff member to the IHSI team! Meet Kiri, a young man who has been a part of the GCCS youth group and soccer team for some time now. We’ve known him since before he was a Christian, and have seen much good fruit in his life as he has grown up over the past couple of years. Kiri has a sister in the Sak Saum program and his half-sister is Aly, our youth pastor/children’s program director.

We’re excited to have Kiri join our ministry family, and he is doing a great job as he shadows other staff and gives general assistance at our Center. We look forward to great things as he learns to use his time and talents to bless his nation!

Teaching Safety

This month we did a fun but informative class for the men and women of Sak Saum. What was the topic? One of extreme relevance here in Cambodia: moto driving safety! Everyone who attended enjoyed seeing the “do’s and don’ts” of driving taught by Eric, with plenty of on-the-spot demonstrations to drive each point home. We love sharing practical life skills with our community!

Visitors

Last week we hosted two visitors from Mission Community Church in Arizona. MCC has been very instrumental in our latest expansions and we are thankful to have them as ministry partners and friends. It was great to meet Sheli and Audrey, have them see the ministry, and learn from them during the time they were here.

Staff Training

This is the third year that our staff have attended the Global Leadership Summit, a great opportunity for them to hear renowned Christian men and women teach on a variety of leadership-related topics, all translated into the Khmer language! This year several Sak Saum leaders were able to attend in addition to IHSI core staff. Everyone felt blessed by what they learned and is excited to apply and share with others!

International Ministry

The Hansons are now in the US for 6 weeks and will be visiting 5 states: speaking, meeting with board members, and raising awareness. Please keep their travels, health, and meetings in your prayers!

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!

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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