Blessing Children

"It is more blessed to give than to receive."

Acts 20:35

Last week a huge shipment arrived on our doorstep – over 600 book bags, t-shirts, hats, and water bottles! A Singaporean friend from a recent team had contacted us and asked if she could send some gifts for children in Saang, and of course we said yes. It was exciting to open the boxes and see so many colorful items to share in the community.

At our Saturday children’s program alone, we were able to bless nearly 200 children! This donation was perfect timing since many in Saang are gearing up for the new school year, which starts in October. Father’s House children enjoyed receiving their new gifts as well, and began using them right away!

We love when God connects us to people that want to sow into Cambodia, whether it be through prayer, service on outreach, financial support, or donations such as the one we received last week. If you’d like to get involved in how God is using In His Steps in Cambodia, click here to learn more!

Teamwork - A Photo Update

Each year, we host teams from the US and other countries for short-term outreaches. Having teams is both challenging and energizing: it’s extra work for all of us, but often brings a breath of fresh air into the labor of love that we are busy with year-round!

These past few months have been packed with several teams visiting in quick succession. Multiple groups from Colorado Hong Kong, and Singapore all came with different backgrounds and skills but one shared goal: to bless Cambodians and share God’s love. They did everything from teaching English and preaching in church to helping with youth programs and taking children on a trip to the zoo!

If your church or group is interested in doing team outreach with IHSI, click here to learn more. Below are some photos of our most recent teams making new friends, doing ministry, and having fun!

A Helping Hand

Today we want to share a little about a church member named Khom (pictured at right). Khom is has been attending Gospel Community Church Saang for many months, and has been a Christian for several years. She travels quite a distance to attend, yet is wearing a cheerful smile each Sunday when she arrives.

Recently, Khom told us that thanks to her micro-enterprise business sewing fabric flowers for Sak Saum, she had been able to save enough money to purchase all the materials to rebuild her small house. She was living in dilapidated conditions with her two sons, and wanted to know if we would consider helping her by paying for the labor costs to construct the new building.

In His Steps believes there is a big difference between a handout and a helping hand. We love to sow into people when we see true desire to grow and change. It was clear to us that Khom was not looking for a handout: she had worked hard to save money for materials and simply was asking for our help to complete her goal. So it was easy for us to say yes to her request, and give her the small sum of money that was needed.

Over the weekend, her little house was completed, and we wanted to see it firsthand. So this morning, Eric and some of our leadership team drove out to the rural village where Khom lives. Her new home is now a place where she and her sons can feel safe, with new tin walls and a lockable door (many provincial homes merely have a curtain!).

Our team spent some time fellowshipping with Khom, listening to her share more of her testimony. She faces persecution from her neighbors, and has often felt the sting of their unkind words and attitudes towards her as a result of her decision to follow Christ. Pastor Pheaktra and the others encouraged her to keep persevering and to respond in love to those that revile her.

Pray for Khom, that she would feel confident that God knows her needs and will never leave her or forsake her. The testimony of her trust and His provision will speak louder                                                     to her hostile neighbors than any argument ever could.

Khom's rebuilt house before the front door was installed.

Highlighting Health

Recently we had a small team visit, including one of our dear friends and some new friends as well. While they were here, they taught at Gospel Community Church, youth group, staff meetings, and our Pastors’ Fellowship, as well as providing valuable medical expertise and teaching.

Transient

Martha, a GP from upstate New York, taught several women’s health seminars at our Center and with other local churches, reaching over 120 women and girls. Superstition and ignorance surround the topic of women’s health in Cambodia, so it was wonderful to have many from Sak Saum and the Saang community receive this teaching!

At each seminar, simple lessons were given and many questions and concerns were answered. All those who attended received hygiene products and undergarments, and more importantly, were empowered to understand their bodies and make better health decisions for themselves! In addition to teaching seminars, Martha also did examinations and consultations with women in our programs, again answering questions and addressing individual concerns.

We loved having the opportunity to work with Martha in providing health education to women on this important topic! Individuals with specialized skill sets (medical or otherwise) can be a great blessing to the communities we work in. If you are interested in applying your skills through ministry with In His Steps, we hope you’ll click here to learn more!

The Gift of Children

Transient

Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Psalm 127:3

These last few months have been exciting times for Gospel Community Church Saang! We’ve been seeing a lot of new faces in our services, had several salvations, were able to do some outreaches with other local pastors, and are seeing great growth in our youth-aged members as they help with different areas of church ministry. Since we also recently had two more births among church member’s families, we have even more reasons to celebrate!

Last year, we held our first baby dedication where families and guardians publicly committed to raise their children in God’s ways. Considering the recent additions to our church body, it seemed right to have another dedication service this past week! Before beginning our dedication, we shared with our congregation the significance of this event, and for those who have only recently begun attending we know that this was a message they had never heard before.

Here in Cambodia, children are often seen either as a burden or a source of income. Consequently, family structure has been molded by patterns of dysfunction and exploitation. As Christians we agree with God that children are gifts to be treasured, loved, and raised according to biblical principles. Baby dedications give us a chance to reaffirm this.

As each parent publicly committed to raise their children to love and know God, church members stood and promised they would do their part to help bring this goal to fruition. It was a special time, and we hope to have many more such dedications as Gospel Community Church Saang continues to grow! 

Transient