Bubbling Over

IMG_4621There’s nothing we love more than seeing the smiles and giggles of the precious girls in our Culinary Training Center program. Chef Ryana sent us these photos of the girls whipping up some bubble tea, a hot new menu item of the Red Chili menu!

At the Red Chili Mexican Grill in Battambang, these girls are not living in fear of tomorrow. They aren’t worried about where their next meal will come from, how they will ever find a legitimate and healthy way to earn a living, or what their future holds anymore. They’ve been empowered and encouraged to use their gifts, and the darkness is being chased away.

Thanks for being a part of these smiles!



Pchum Ben

One of the annual Buddhist traditions in Cambodia is called Pchum Ben, or “Ancestor’s Day.” As Cambodia prepares to enter into Pchum Ben, we would like to ask that you cover this time in prayer in the coming days.

Pchum Ben is thought to be a period when the ghosts of deceased ancestors are in close proximity with the Cambodian people. This highly spiritual festival is filled with intensity, as the living offer food offerings for deceased relatives at the temples. Tradition states that the gates of hell are opened during these days and spirits come forth to receive the food before returning to their suffering. It’s also believed that relatives who are in purgatory or reincarnated can receive food offerings as well. These days are spiritually heavy and often center around the exchange of karma, and our hope is that the truth of Jesus can outshine this darkness and weight.

Would you join us in the coming week and pray for protection of the girls in our CGI programs? The Imprint students are currently learning about the life of Jesus in their Bible studies, and the contrast of this message with what they will see in Cambodia during this time is sure to be stark. Many will face pressure from family member to make food offerings at the temples. Please pray that the girls in our programs, our staff in Cambodia and everyone in the country would feel the presence of a God who is sovereign over life and death.

Courtesy of Wallpho.com

Courtesy of Wallpho.com

Help Us Reach Our Fund-A-Need Goal!

thermometerWe extended an invitation at Saturday’s gala to help CGI fund current and important needs. Our greatest need right now is for additional staffing in Cambodia. While programs like byTavi, Imprint, cgiKids and the Culinary Training Center are the avenues we use to fight poverty and human trafficking, it is truly all about PEOPLE. We want to invest in Cambodian staff (social workers, teachers, mentors, support staff, etc) who can be equipped and empowered to serve their fellow Cambodians! And as a result, more Cambodians will hear about and experience the love of Jesus, women will gain skills that enable them to provide for their families in healthy ways and trafficking will no longer be the future of more young girls.

Will you help us continue our work of advancing the Kingdom of God in the Kingdom of Cambodia?

Our goal is $30,000.

Currently, we have raised $13,971 and we still hope to reach our goal in the next week! This is a great time to give to our ministry because every dollar given is matched, doubling your investment. We have the potential to invest $60,000 into the futures of at-risk women! Can you help us reach our goal?

Give online THIS WEEK and maximize your gifts!

2014 Gala

We want to thank each of you from the bottom of our hearts for all you do to support the mission of CGI. This year’s fundraising gala was amazing and inspiring, and we LOVED sharing the latest from Cambodia with you on this special night. In case you missed it….here’s a peek at the video that was shown at the gala.

Take a look and see how God is working mightily to bring light into the darkness in the Kingdom of Cambodia.

Khmer Rouge Revisited

littleboywalkingCambodia is a beautiful country with a complex and very dark history. Recent history, actually.

In the 1970’s, the country suffered an all-out genocide at the hands of the brutal Khmer Rouge regime. These leaders wanted to create an “agricultural utopia” and forced people to work in rural collectives, killing anyone who appeared to be educated or counter to their vision. It’s estimated that over a million innocent Cambodians were executed during this brief period. The effect on the country and the lives of its inhabitants is profound.

Last week, two former Khmer Rouge leaders, now in their eighties, were convicted of their crimes against humanity in a UN-backed tribunal.They were both sentenced to life in prison. Despite the painfully drawn-out and overdue trial, many survivors of the Khmer Rouge era see this as a victory and step toward justice.

This devastating era is one of the many puzzle pieces that helps us to understand the reality of modern-day Cambodia. Thank you for joining with us in our effort to bring the abundant love and compassion of Jesus to these people.


By Caroline Mosey

Empowered to Dream

DSC_0087An excerpt from Culinary Training Center Chef Ryana DeArmond in Cambodia:

One afternoon in between lunch and dinner the CTC girls are all huddled up, deep in discussion. Then one leaves the huddle and goes outside for a minute. She returns to inform the group, “It works.” Another leaves the group and goes upstairs, comes back and reports the same thing. By this point they have figured out I am watching.
“Chef, how much does the Wi-Fi cost?”
 they ask.

Our Internet for the restaurant costs the same amount that some of them make a month. Knowing this, I don’t want to tell them. I defer by asking “Why?”
“We want to have Wi-Fi at our home.” It is rare for Cambodians to have Internet in their homes. There are tons of Internet cafes where you pay $0.25 an hour. “We saw a sign we can get unlimited Internet for $12 a month.”
My first thought was great, then you won’t need to be on the Internet at work. Then it hit me, how much their lives have changed since I met them 2 years ago. They have gone from taking their weekly stipends to buy rice for the family or pay for their younger brother to go to school, to now having a sort of income that internet is a consideration.

“Why were you all going outside and upstairs?” I ask.

“We wanted to see how far away we can be and the Wi-Fi still work.”

They continue to say they think two of them could share since their homes are so close together. Then the light bulb turns on. One student explains they can charge other people in the area to used their Wi-Fi. If they can find 6 people to pay $2 then they get Internet for free. The other girls start naming people they can ask to be in their Wi-Fi club.
I have no idea if they will follow through with this plan, yet this displays they have been empowered to have ideas, dreams, and goals.

Once that is unleashed the possibilities are endless of where they can go and what they can do.

By Ryana DeArmond

Want to support Chef Ryana financially? Click here!


Impact Gala

The invitations are out for this year’s Impact Gala and we couldn’t be more excited! (If you didn’t receive an invitation in your inbox, click here to be included on CGI’s email distribution list and don’t worry–you can always register via our website as well!)

This year’s theme is “A Tale of Two Kingdoms,” which represents the Kingdom of God breaking into the Kingdom of Cambodia. Each year we are seeing more and more evidence of this, as many of the women in our programs are hearing the Gospel and choosing to follow Jesus. It’s our joy to be able to share his hope in Cambodia, and also provide the tools and training needed to create a better life for them and their families. But to do this, we need your help. The gala is a GREAT event that not only brings together the people that share a heart for our mission, but also raises needed funds that allow us to continue and improve our programs.

We’re seeing young girls coming out of dangerous situations that have learned to sew and support themselves in the Imprint Project. Lunch is being provided now at the byTavi workshop. School uniforms are being made for the children in our Kien Svay Kids program, and the kids are showing improvement in their studies. A second restaurant has opened up in Battambang. Leadership training and retreats are being offered for our Cambodian staff. We are SO encouraged and we hope you are, too! And yet, there’s always more we dream of doing.

We hope you’ll attend this year’s gala on September 6th. The evening will be filled with inspiring stories, interactive experiences, great food, music, friendship and encouragement. We’d love for you to come and extend the invitation to others as well. See you there!

Register Now


Volunteers Matter!

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill

When the internationally acclaimed singer, Angélique Kidjo, is not wowing audiences with her music, she is often volunteering to help UNICEF advocate for children. As a Goodwill Ambassador, Ms. Kidjo travels to refugee camps and far-flung villages in some of the world’s poorest countries. On a recent trip she met a child soldier and a victim of rape and shared her music with them. “The moment I saw them smile I had won the battle against the solitary confinement they had put themselves in because of their trauma,” she said. “Volunteering matters to me because there are many things all of us can do every day to help others.” (United Nations Volunteers, unv.org) 

Ms. Kidjo is among the millions who volunteer worldwide every year. From the community health volunteer whose medical know-how reaches the most remote places, to the un-trained hand of a Believer passing out sandwiches to the homeless, volunteers are changing lives every day. There are more than 140 million volunteers in the world. Unfortunately, there are many many more who sit at home not sure where to even start.

At CGI, we pray that our volunteers not only know that they are changing lives in Cambodia, but that they can see God’s life-giving hands working through their own lives. We are not here just to feel better about ourselves or our communities, but we are here to see Jesus’ Great Commission coming to fruition. Join us today in Empowering the Poor, Protecting the Vulnerable, and Sharing the Gospel.

You can find more information by clicking here.

By Kristen Baynai



How to Pray for CGI in Cambodia

Here at CGI, we pour a lot of our time and effort into our programs in Cambodia. The Imprint Project, byTavi, CGI Kids and the Culinary Training Center are all designed to protect and invest in the poor and vulnerable. We’re so excited about these programs and the huge difference they continually make it the lives of the participants. But we know that God’s plans are always bigger than ours, and because of that, prayer is the greatest and most effective tool we have.

In light of this, we wanted to share specific prayer needs from Cambodia. We would be honored if you’d join us in interceding for the staff and participants there.

Culinary Training Center

-Pray for increased business at both the Green Mango and Red Chili restaurants.

-Pray for the staff and the girls who work and train at the restaurants. Many are facing difficult situations in their personal lives that sometimes affects their education and work experience.


-Pray for continued growth in sales for the products the women work so hard to create.

Imprint Project

-Pray for the emotional and spiritual health of the participants, particularly one young woman who has recently discovered health problems with a baby she is carrying. Cambodian doctors have encouraged her to abort and she is facing difficult decisions.

-Pray that the Holy Spirit would work inside the hearts of the participants as they begin to learn about Jesus in their Bible studies.

CGI Kids

-Pray for the children’s well-being as they enter into a 2 month summer break.

-Pray for staff member Srey Leak as she meets with the children often throughout the break, and for the health of her father.

Thank you for partnering with us in prayer.



Faith and Fashion

Nicole speaking at Ladies' Luncheon.

Nicole speaking at Ladies’ Luncheon.

When CGI’s designer Nicole Krajewski poured her heart out for the women in Cambodia at NACC’s Ladies Luncheon, there was not a dry eye in the house.

Let me say, I have been to Cambodia, experienced the stories, and she had me moved to tears. The work that she and CGI are doing in Cambodia is truly changing lives, both in Cambodia, and here in the U.S.
After Nicole shared her heart and the heart of CGI, the fun began. Before we knew it, Kristen Baynai had the whole crowd laughing as she introduced and described each of the 38 models donning the Imprint Collection, designed by Nicole, and sewn by the byTavi and Imprint women in Cambodia. These women were truly brave to strut their stuff in front of 1000 strangers! And, oh my, did they look amazing!


There’s no doubt that it was God’s divine hand that brought all these details together, to display the darkness present in Cambodia, and then the hope that Jesus has to offer. This hour and a half program raised over $15,000 for the women in Cambodia, which is generally the amount raised monthly.

CGI’s beautiful models!

We cannot express how blessed we are by Martha Brammer’s coordination of this event, and the whole North American Christian Convention staff. We would love the opportunity to host an event like this for your women’s ministry. Contact us at byTavi@centerforglobalimpact.org.

By Whitney Vance