Dare to Dream

dreamWhatIfEmailHead

When Jesus started His ministry here on earth, He said, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor” (Luke 4:18).  As followers of Jesus, I believe we are called to continue this work.  By God’s grace, CGI has been able to continue to proclaim Good News over the past year.

  • We saw 16 young women, who in the past faced the horrors of human trafficking and absolute poverty, experience the love of God and graduate from our Culinary Training Center and Imprint Project. They and their families now have hope for a brighter and healthier future.
  • We saw our byTavi team grow to 40 seamstresses, equipping and empowering more women with dignity and the ability to provide for their families and protect their children. They also studied God’s Word together every week.
  • We saw 14 students in our cgiKids program advance to their next elementary grade level, helping to ensure they stay in school and receive a valuable education.
  • In the midst of all our work, Jesus was proclaimed and made known in Cambodia!

Our year-end appeal typically focuses on current programs and the funding needed to sustain them.  This year is no different.  We still have those needs, and your gift will continue to help us maintain excellence in what God has already called us to do.

But, what if God is calling us to do more?

  • What if we could expand our Culinary Training Center to also include hotel, hospitality and tourism training?
  • What if we could double the number of students in our Culinary Training Center and Imprint Project?
  • What if we could empower more women and protect more children by expanding our byTavi workshop?
  • What if we could help more villages, schools, students and families through the cgiKids program, allowing us to have a greater impact in the name of Jesus?

This year we want to designate 10% of your year-end gift to a ‘dream fund.’  These resources will be set aside for the next steps that we believe God will reveal to us.  As we discern His plans to expand the work of CGI, we want to be a people that can say YES without hesitation!  Will you dare to dream and pray about the possibilities that God has in store for CGI, the Cambodian people and you?  We desire for you to experience the joy of generosity and watch God make an eternal impact with your resources in partnership with CGI!

Year-end gifts can be made here or mailed to CGI at 3830 E. Southport Rd. Suite A2, Indianapolis, IN 46237.  CGI appreciates your continued prayers and support.

May God Bless You!

Sincerely,

Nathan Cecil

Executive Director

CGI Day of Prayer 2015

Please join us as we go before the Lord to seek His guidance in all that CGI does in the U.S. and Cambodia. Below you will find a list of suggested prayers– feel free to use this as a guide for your prayer time. Thank you for going before the Lord on behalf of CGI!

 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6)

Prayer Requests – CGI USA Team

  • Pray that as an organization, CGI would not be overcome by evil, but rather would overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:12)
  • Pray against the evil one and the spiritual forces the come against CGI as an organization and against the individuals who work at CGI, volunteer at CGI, donate to CGI, or support the ministry in some other way. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Eph 6:12).
  • Pray for the mission and vision of CGI – that we would humble ourselves and seek the leading of the Lord in all we do. Pray that we would continue to be effective in empowering those in need, protecting the vulnerable, and most importantly sharing the Good News of Jesus with all those we serve and come in contact with.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)

  • Praise God for the generous donors who, through their stewardship of resources entrusted to them by God, give to the work of CGI and partner with us in God’s work around the world.
  • Pray for those who serve as faithful volunteers with CGI. Without them we would be lost!  They help with many things including byTavi events, fundraising events, processing byTavi products, cleaning our office space, and hosting byTavi trunk shows just to name a few.
  • Pray for CGI’s board of directors who voluntarily serve and help lead the mission and vision of CGI. There are 9 board members:  Jeffrey, Matt, Jeremy, Paul, Joyce, Jeff, Lynette, Sonja and Carmen.
  • Pray for the U.S. staff of CGI that we would be wise, discerning and diligent in the work we do on behalf of those we serve. Staff members include:  Nathan, Whitney, Kristen, Hali, Lindsey, Nicole, Carrie, Andraea, and Jaime.
  • Pray for the U.S. missionaries who are faithfully serving in Cambodia with CGI, sharing the love of Jesus. These include Alan, Katy (children Jonah & Elim), Ryana, and Alison.
  • Pray for Ryana who is currently in the U.S. mourning the sudden and unexpected loss of her grandmother Beverly. Beverly was an amazing Godly woman who supported Ryana in all she did and had actually been to Cambodia twice and developed relationships with CGI students and staff while serving there with Ryana.
  • Pray for the ministries that CGI partners with, many of whom work to rescue young women from human trafficking and help them begin to heal. These ministries include Rapha House, Destiny Rescue, Agape, Mother’s Heart, and International Justice Mission.
  • Pray for the new byTavi Boutique in Franklin, IN. That it would be successful from a business perspective with lots of customers and monthly sales, but also that it would be a light in that community and a place where people sense God and get a glimpse of what He is doing in this world and possibly be moved to join in the work beyond buying a byTavi product (i.e. volunteer, donate, advocate, etc).

Prayer Requests – From the CGI Phnom Penh Team

byTavi

  • Pray for the wisdom and good health for Nary, Mouy, Sreymao, Mala, Sokchea, March, Seangly, and Chantoo who administrate the program and lead the byTavi women.
  • Pray for Sreymao and her baby, pray for a healthy delivery.
  • Pray for all the women who participate in the byTavi program to have good health.
  • Pray that all the women of the byTavi program and their family to open their heart to know Christ.
  • Pray for the protection over the staff and the ladies of the byTavi program
  • Pray for the new byTavi administrator, Vireak, for his work with byTavi

The Imprint Project

  • Pray that the 12 young women who are participating in The Imprint Project and their families will come to know Christ
  • Pray for the staff at Imprint Project, especially Norin who will be returning to work soon from maternity leave and Pisei who is now on maternity leave.
  • Pray for students to have more wisdom to understand the lessons faster.
  • Pray for wisdom and patience over the staff to lead and work with the girls
  • Pray for the participants and staff to have good relationship to one another.
  • Pray for 2 students who recently left – that they would be safe and return to the program and finish their training.

cgiKids

  • Pray for the 15 students who are participating in cgiKids program and their family will come to know Christ
  • Pray for Sreyleak as she teaches these students and meets with their families.
  • Pray for other ways that we can connect with this community.

Phnom Penh and USA Office

  • Pray for Alan and Katy Beringer as they are traveling over the next few weeks.
  • Pray for Seiha (Co-director) as she continues to lead the staff in Phnom Penh.
  • Pray for Seiha as she will start school in November.
  • Pray for the CGI Cambodia Office Staff – Somnang, and Sopheany
  • Pray for our US Staff – Nathan, Whitney, Kristen, Hali, Lindsey, Jaime, Nicole, Carrie and Andraea to have wisdom, strength, and health.

General about CGI

  • Pray for the volunteers without whom we could not exist.
  • Pray for the increase of the products selling
  • Pray for all the supporters that God will double the blessings to them

General about Cambodia

  • Pray for Cambodia’s government, leaders, and political issues.
  • Pray for all the people affected by human trafficking in Cambodia
  • Pray for peace in Cambodia and around the world.
  • Pray for a safe Pchum Ben holiday for our staff and participants.

 

Prayer Requests – From the CGI Battambang Team

CTC Staff:

  • Pray for wisdom and patience for all the teachers when they teach
  • Pray for our social workers who work directly with the participants
  • Wisdom to work with the participants and their families
  • Safety when they go to do home visit
  • Pray for unity among staff
  • Pray for two staff who are non-Christian. Pray that they will learn and know more about Jesus when they are among us and come to believe and have faith in Jesus.
  • Pray for their health
  • Pray for the encouragement and self-motivation for staff, so that they will thrive in doing God’s work through CGI
  • We need an English teacher. Please pray that God would bring us the right person.
  • Pray for Alison and Connor as they will go back to U.S. in November to get married.
  • Pray for Ryana as she is in the U.S. mourning the loss of her grandmother.

CTC Participants:

  • Pray for wisdom while they study in our program
  • Pray for perseverance as they are going through the program until they finish
  • Pray for their health
  • Pray for their home lives, so that their families will not abuse them physically, mentally and emotionally
  • Pray that their families will support and encourage them to finish the program
  • Pray that their families will see the changes in their children’s lives
  • Pray that the participants will experience love and learn and know Jesus while they go through their journey with CGI
  • Please pray for hope and healing for their future when they finish the program
  • Pray for the heart and life transforming through the work that we are doing both staff and participants

Green Mango and Red Chili:

  • Please pray for our businesses that both of them will run well and be sustainable for the future
  • We are still looking for a Khmer Manager for the restaurant. Please pray that God will bring the right person for the job
  • Please pray for the restaurant staff that they will be working together in unity and continue learning and improving their skills through their job
  • Pray for wisdom and strength while they are working and know how to avoid wastage
  • Pray that we will be able to have a sustainable income to support the businesses and the operation in Battambang in the future

Overall:

  • Pray for staff and participant as the go home over Pchum Ben holiday.
  • Pray for their safety while they travel to places
  • There will be a spiritual warfare happen at their home. Please pray that they will stay strong in their believe and trusting that God has power over all the evils and spirits that try to attack them in the different way
  • Pray for their time with family.
  • Pray that their families will see the differences and see Jesus in them.
  • Pray that they will return back to work on time and safe
  • Pray for a new project (Hospitality training) that we are planning for CGI Battamabang.
  • Pray for vision, wisdom and discernment from God among the leadership team
  • Pray for the right timing, right staff and new participants
  • Pray that the plan will work out and the CGI leadership and Board will help cast vision and plan strategically.
  • Pray that many lives will be transformed by this potential new project

 

Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.  Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits; who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed…..Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will.  Praise the Lord, all his works everywhere in his dominion. Praise the Lord, my soul. 

Psalm 103:1-6, 21-22

 

Cambodia: 10 Facts About Our Mission Field

DSC_7213

Cambodia is a beautiful country. We have been blessed to be a part of it and to get to know the community within it, full of wonderful people. As a part of this ministry, we thought you would like to know a little more about the country itself. So, here are 10 important facts about Cambodia- to allow you to step into their culture and see a piece of the past and present.

1. Cambodia has been through many name changes.

Whenever a new government has come to power, the country’s name has changed.  

Here is a breakdown of name changes:

The Kingdom of Cambodia: 1953-1970 (ruled by a monarchy)
The Khmer Republic: 1970-1975 (ruled by President Lon Nol’s government)
Democratic Kampuchea: 1975-1979 (under Pol Pot’s terrible Khmer Rouge regime)
The People’s Republic of Kampuchea: 1979-1989 (under the rule of the Vietnamese sponsored government)
The State of Cambodia: 1989-1993 (under the United Nations Transitional Assembly)
The Kingdom of Cambodia: 1993-present (under the restored constitutional monarchy)

2.  Cambodia has a very young population

A compelling fact about Cambodia is that it has a very young population with 68% of its people are between the age of 15-30! There is a small percentage of people over the age of 50. The unfortunate reasoning is because of Khmer Rouge genocide in the late 70’s.

3. Cambodia is the only flag in the world featuring a building

The building, of course, is the country’s famous world wonder: Angkor Wat. It is the main reason tourists travel to Cambodia. It is the world’s largest religious building and considered one of the wonders of the world.

4.  Birthdays are not traditionally celebrated in Cambodia

Traditionally, birthdays are not celebrated in Cambodia particularly in the rural areas. Recently, the youth have started celebrating birthdays because of western cultural influences. Many of the girls CGI works with, don’t know their birthdays.

It’s interesting to believe that older people may not even know their exact birth date. 

5. Cambodia has seen much sorrow over the years

During the four-year rule of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge (1975-1979), one-fifth of Cambodia’s population was killed.  These people were mostly the educated, priests, and monks.

6. In Cambodia, the head is considered the highest part of the body and shouldn’t be touched- even if it is for good intentions.

7. Traditional Cambodian weddings are quite involved and can last for up to three days and three nights.

8. Phnom Penh is Cambodia’s largest city, and it’s capital. Roughly 20% of Cambodia resides here. 

9. Buddhism has been the state religion since 1989. About 93% of all Cambodians practice either Hinayana or Theravada Buddhism. Less than 1% of the population is Christian.

10. Center for Global Impact has been working in Cambodia for 7 years

CGI has had the privilege to walk alongside many families in Cambodia and share the Good News of Jesus. Ever since we were called to this mission, we hope to bring education and vocational training to women and families who have been effected by poverty. Our vision is to hope and pray for a future in which those we serve experience the freedom, dignity and fullness of life that comes when we enter into a relationship with Jesus Christ.

If you would like to receive more information about what we do, please contact us at contact@centerforglobalimpact.org!

Top 3 Highlights of My Cambodia Trip.

IMG_4165

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

The Imprint Project: The Experience of Growth

seedSprout2

What’s one word that you would use to describe the women in the Imprint Project?

“I would use the word “growing” because I see them growing from a girl who is young, immature, and know nothing about the sewing skill and now they are mature and care about their future and family.”

–Seiha, CGI Co-Director of Phnom Penh Operations

Growth.

A term rarely used or even thought about when someone’s life has been placed in a horrible situation. The only thought that may run through their mind is: “doing what I have to do to survive and provide”.  We have recognized that women in Cambodia don’t have many opportunities to grow in a certain skill that can raise them above poverty. This is why we chose to create the Imprint Project.

With their experience in the Imprint project, our goal is to provide:

LIFE SKILLS
teaching practical habits for a healthy lifestyle and vital skills for generating a stable income.

HOLISTIC APPROACH
social worker stays involved with each student as well as the student’s entire family

SPIRITUAL FORMATION
Spiritual formation and Bible studies are an integral part

“When they first started the project a year ago they were girls, now they have matured in many ways and are becoming adults.”

–Alan, CGI Cambodia

Stay tuned for an update on the next incoming class! We are excited to share their stories with you.

Hope and Love in Cambodia

photo-20Stephanie Maass is a friend of CGI and has traveled to Cambodia on more than one occasion to volunteer and encourage our Cambodian staff and program participants. She recently accompanied our Designer, Nicole, on a trip to Cambodia and these are the words she wrote when she returned. We are so encouraged by Stephanie’s beautiful insights and wanted to share them with you:

“I want you to know what I saw [at CGI Cambodia]. I saw girls who would now look you in the eye, hold their heads high, and not approach with slumped shoulders & eyes downcast. I received hugs instigated with wide-open arms and smiles. I saw local Cambodians who were encouraged and empowered to use their gifts and talents in leadership roles. I saw freedom to exchange ideas and creativity among the CGI staff, both Cambodian and American. I saw validation of design concepts, invitation of feedback, creative freedom to experiment and freedom to fail and try again.

I saw acceptance.

I saw people working together for the good of the work of CGI and The Kingdom itself. I heard laughter (I love all the giggles and signs of joy!). I saw camaraderie in the workshop. I saw leadership, teaching, and learning taking place. I saw relationships being established there and the Light that CGI represents being taken to the streets and marketplace. I saw people having table fellowship by the meals provided through CGI. I saw healing in the eyes of girls who need to know their identity as a daughter of the King of Kings. I saw dignity being restored. I saw dignity being harnessed, resulting in people walking in confidence. With my own two eyes, I saw HOPE.”

Here at CGI, we LOVE these stories of HOPE that give us the FAITH to keep moving forward. Happy (early) Valentine’s Day and thanks for loving these girls and giving them a hope so evident.

Merry Christmas from Phnom Penh!

xmas

CGI Staff in Phnom Penh

Merry Christmas!

We want to express our deepest gratitude to each of you. Your support has made a world of difference in our ministry in 2014. We’ve been able to complete our first year of the Imprint Project, expand our Culinary Training Center and restaurants in Cambodia, invest in the lives and education of young children through Kien Svay Kids, expand our byTavi line and provide lunches for our byTavi staff, bring on additional team members in both the U.S. and Cambodia, educate hundreds of people on the issues of poverty and trafficking, share the Gospel with the beautiful people of Cambodia and so much more!

You’ve freely given of  your time, finances, talents and prayers to further our work in Cambodia, and we can’t thank you enough.

Merry Christmas from all of us at CGI.

 

Giving Tuesday

GT_baby1_2014-e1403115003540We all know what Black Friday and Cyber Monday are. They’re days when we scramble for good deals on holiday gifts (byTavi is having some GREAT deals this year, btw!). But have you heard about a new movement called Giving Tuesday? This is a day when we hit pause on the flurry of shopping and focus on the simple act of giving. Why? Because its good for the ones we give to, and its good for our own hearts.

So how does Giving Tuesday work? On December 2nd, CGI will join with the nation in letting our resources flow freely to those in need.

In our case, we will direct our funds to a very specific need: 12 at-risk girls in Cambodia who are preparing to enter the Culinary Training Center in Battambang. Our goal is to raise $54,000 to fully train this class of girls and gift them with a skill nobody can take away. Can you help?

We’re asking for $12 in honor of the 12 at-risk students. Just $12. Of course, larger donations are wonderful as well, but if we’re all willing to give a little, the end result can be a lot.

Join the #unselfie movement and plan to GIVE with all your hearts on Giving Tuesday, December 2nd!

Impoverished

IMG_1323Cambodia’s poverty can be overwhelming.

It’s overwhelming in a very different way than America’s poverty. There are poor families in both places, and no poverty is “less legitimate” than another. But poverty in Cambodia and other third-world countries often goes beyond what most poor in developed nations have experienced. In America, for example, the bottom 10% spend about 17% of their income on the food needed to survive. In Cambodia, however, most of the population spends nearly two-thirds of their income on food to survive. This level of poverty, where the majority of income is spent on daily needs, leads to a huge lack of nearly everything else. Homes have one room, food is bought at the market daily because refrigerators are a luxury, everything requiring electricity is unplugged completely when not in use. Clothes are washed by hand, and hung in the sun to dry. Showers are taken from buckets outside the house after a long day working for just enough money to buy food the next day.

The poor in America struggle for daily needs as well, but aid and assistance programs are in place that simply don’t exist in Cambodia. The poor in Cambodia live without what even the poor in America consider basic parts of life – electricity, food, running water, and clothes. The poor in Cambodia are on their own, and the chances that they’ll be able to break that out of that cycle are incredibly slim. Children can’t go to school because they need to work so the family can eat, and without an education, they’re stuck working for that same small daily wage, selling food on the street or fruit at the market. The Cambodian poor need somewhere to turn for help and stability, so that kids can go to school and families can eat.

To me, the most striking part of Cambodian poverty isn’t the degree to which they are impoverished. It’s the seeming permanence of their circumstances. Thankfully, we have an opportunity to help lift them out of their desperate situations through the programs that CGI has created, and there can be hope and change for even the poorest of the poor.

By Alison Gayer

Imprint Helping Kien Svay Kids

 

image-7-e1409319344829-225x300The girls in our Imprint Program have spent many months learning how to sew, and this month they were able to put their seamstress skills to use for a different cause (aside from the amazing Imprint Collection, of course!) 

They recently set to work sewing school uniforms for the children of Kien Svay Kids, a ministry of CGI that serves the school children in an impoverished province in Cambodia. The uniforms are complete and will be distributed to Kien Svay Kids in September when they return to school.

It’s beautiful to see one of CGI’s programs helping another!