More than Vocational Training

Being a sponsor of a student in CGI’s Culinary Training Center or Imprint Project is more than just training an at-risk young woman with a marketable skill. CGI desires to invest holistically in each student, meeting them where they are academically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Below you can have a glimpse into the students’ curriculum over the past few months. Please pray that they will continue to learn and come to know Christ as their Savior.
Life Skills & Spiritual Formation
  • Nutrition, exercise & sanitation143Cambodia 2015
  • Emotional health & stress management
  • Proper health care & disease prevention
  • Family & child development
  • Motivation, positive behavior & team work
  • Healthy relationship & conflict resolution
  • Qualities of a good leader
  • Jesus’ character & healings
  • Creation
Math, Khmer and English
  • Reading & writing stories
  • Division & multiplication
  • Fractions & decimals
  • Time, measurements & weights
  • Written & telephone communication
  • English tenses & questions
  • English songs like “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”
Vocational Training – Imprint Project:
  • Traditional Khmer clothing
  • Formal wear
  • Sewing byTavi bags, such as Rice Tote & Urban Crossbody
Vocational Training – Culinary Training Center:
  • Bakery items
  • Meats & soups
  • Smoothies & coffee
  • Taking orders in English
  • Computer skills

We praise God everyday for our current sponsors! Thank you for giving sacrificially so that these young women may have brighter futures.

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If you are interested in learning more about these programs or sponsoring a student, please email whitney@centerforglobalimpact.org.

A Moment of Praise

On his recent trip to Cambodia, Nathan, CGI’s Executive Director, experienced a praise-filled moment…

“One of my favorite moments from this trip was when we took the Culinary Training Center staff and students out for a nice dinner at a place in Battambang called Bamboo.  We enjoyed lots of good food together and it was fun to just spend time laughing and enjoying each others company.  At the end of dinner one of the culinary students began singing a song they learned in English class.  This particular student comes from an area nearby the city where her family survives by picking trash at the local dump.  The staff tells me that she has really bloomed since joining the program and her fun-loving personality is often on display.  She has come to realize the opportunity she has to break the cycle of poverty for her and her family.  And even more, she is coming to learn about the good news of Jesus that can be heard in the words of the song she leads everyone in after dinner that night – ‘My God is so big, so strong and so mighty, there’s nothing my God can not do!’ “

Thank you for your partnership with CGI and helping make these moments possible.

If you are not a current partner but are interested in sponsoring a student, please contact Whitney at whitney@centerforglobalimpact.org

Top 3 Highlights of My Cambodia Trip.

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My two weeks of travel in Cambodia came to an end a couple of weeks ago.  It was      great to be home and reunited with my family.  But I do already miss being with the  CGI staff & participants in Cambodia.  It was a great trip and fruitful in many ways.  I  really enjoyed spending time with everyone there and deepening our relationships as a  team.  I thought about what I would consider my top three highlights from the trip  and I decided to share them with you.  So here goes–

1)    The Culinary Training Center graduation ceremony was incredible.  If you received my last update you recall I shared how wonderful this ceremony was.  The eight girls who completed their training in our 3rd culinary training class graduated on March 12th.  Several of their family & friends came to see the girls receive their certificates of completion.  Through the smiles and the tears of joy, you could see this great accomplishment meant a lot to not only the girls graduating but also their families.  The 70+ people in attendance got to eat lots of food the girls had prepared for everyone to show off their cooking skills.  Best of all, prayers and the Good News of Jesus was a central part of the ceremony.

IMG_37342)    A big focus of this trip was to figure out what to do with the Culinary Training Center & Green Mango location.  We learned a few months ago that our lease on the current property could not be renewed long-term.  Thus we were looking at a new property to move to.  The new property was a former school and is twice as big as our current property for less monthly rent.  This new location has great potential and we believe it is also in a better location for restaurant customers.  There are obvious build-out costs and operational issues for which to consider and plan.  We are trusting that God will provide the needed financial resources and leadership staff to make the move a reality.  Please pray that we would have wisdom & clear discernment in this decision.

3)    Before I left for this trip I had the idea of sharing about how Jesus is the light of the world with the CGI staff & participants in Cambodia.   And so I purchased several small LED flashlights and I prepared a ‘light of the world’ devotion and took them with me. I had several opportunities to share them with everyone there.  I explained how Scripture tells us that Jesus is the light of the world.  And how light always overcomes darkness.  We looked at the invitation from Jesus to follow Him, and if we do we can walk in the light instead of the darkness.  And the coolest part – like Jesus – we become the light of the world too!  I explained how we let our light shine by doing good works that point people to Jesus, the one true God.  I gave everyone a flashlight and explained how it is powered by the battery which gives it the ability to shine.  And as followers of Jesus we are powered by the Holy Spirit which enables us to shine.  And I told them to think of Jesus every time they used that flashlight, how He is the light of the world and how they too can be a light in this dark world if they choose to follow Him.  I also told them that is why CGI exists – to share the light of Jesus!

Every time I have been to Cambodia I have a moment (usually many moments) where I stop and ask myself – “How did I end up here?”  This trip the answer was crystal clear.  I ended up in Cambodia because that is where Jesus led me.  CGI is there to do good works in the name of Jesus.  We shine the light of Christ in Cambodia through the programs we operate and relationships we build.  To God be the glory!

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” [Matthew 5:14-16]

 

-Nathan

Achieving a Future: Nathan’s Update from Cambodia

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Greetings from Battambang, Cambodia!  I’m about halfway through my two weeks here in Cambodia and it has been a great trip thus far.  Today was especially incredible as I was able to see and take part in the Culinary Training Center (CTC) graduation ceremony. 

Eight girls graduated and many of their family and relatives were in attendance. Several of the girls were overwhelmed with emotion upon receiving their certificate. I must admit that I was too as I watched and listened and imagined what the girls must be feeling with achieving this accomplishment.

I am delighted to say the mission of CGI has been fulfilled!  It was a beautiful culmination of 18 months of hard work, effort and energy.  We have been able to empower these young girls with skills and two of them have already found good paying jobs as chefs for another ministry (YWAM) cooking for 100+ people every day.  We have protected these vulnerable girls from what could have been a very unhealthy and dangerous future.  And best of all, we have shared the Good News of Jesus Christ with them as they have learned about a God who loves them – AND, their parents and relatives have now heard the Good News too!

But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? (Romans 10:14)

The girls cooked a bunch of food and everyone – family and friends included – had lots to eat after the ceremony.  At one point during lunch I told Paul that I think this is the abundant life that Jesus promises us in John 10:10. It was a day that I wished I could bottle up and give to our supporters, church partners, volunteers, staff, board members, or anyone…to show them what God is doing through CGI in this beautiful country and the difference their support is truly making in the world.

A new class of 12 new girls has started and, Lord willing, they too will be empowered and protected…but most importantly they will hear the Good News of Jesus and experience His love like the students who have gone before them.

This day has left me feeling humbled and blessed.

-Nathan

Learn more about Center for Global Impact’s: CTC!

4th CTC Class Officially Starts!

CTCblogOn Monday, the fourth Culinary Training Center class started their 18-month journey in Battambang!

This class is comprised of 14 at-risk girls who will learn not only culinary skills, but also English, Khmer, Math, Bible, Life Skills and Work-Readiness. Each girl received a bike to commute to/from the Culinary Training Center.

The 14 girls in the program were selected with the help of our partner organizations World Vision, SALT and Rapha House. This is an exciting time as they begin a program that will change the direction of their lives and open up doors for them, both now and in the future. We’re reminded as we see photos of these girls in their learning environment that it was YOUR generosity that helped get them here. We hope you feel the excitement and hope that we feel today!

Please pray for a fruitful 18 months for these precious women.

The Princess Club

IMG_0750Most of you are familiar with our Culinary Training Center (CTC) and our resident culinary instructor, Ryana DeArmond. Not only does Ryana train our CTC students vocationally, but she is also a wonderful friend and mentor to them as well. Her roommate is also involved with the students in a super cool avenue called the Princess Club. The Princess Club is a wonderful program that teaches girls their worth as daughters of Christ, and our CTC students are getting another opportunity to hear the beautiful truth about their lives and the hope they have as Kingdom daughters.

Recently, the Princess Club met to have their photos taken. Often, Cambodians will dress to the nines and have “glamour shots” taken, and the students were able to participate in a fun-filled photo shoot. We’re thankful they had a chance to see how beautiful they are, but more importantly, the truth they’re learning about the beautiful way their Creator sees them.

 

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!

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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

GALA

Open for Business!

OpeningThe Red Chili is officially open for business!

After many months renovating the lower level of a 3-story space and transforming it into a Mexican grill, CGI’s second restaurant is now up and running! Chef Ryana DeArmond has been working hard to develop the concept and menu, which features burritos, nachos and salads that can be customized with a variety of meats, salsas and toppings. With tourism on the rise in Cambodia, this is a great time to embark on new and innovative restaurant ventures. This will also serve as a wonderful venue for advanced training and employment for graduates of our CTC program. God has been so good to open this door!

The grand opening followed an initial “soft opening” a few days prior, and turnout was positive! The opening featured fun contests, a photo booth for customers and of course, lots of delicious Mexican food. Please continue to support the Red Chili through prayer, sponsorships and social media support!opening2