Hearts to Help Cambodian Kids

CGI Kids“Jesus loves the little children, All the children of the world. Red and yellow, black and  white, All are precious in His sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world.”

When Clare Herbert Woolston (1856-1927) penned these lyrics to a Civil War marching tune, she had no idea that children decades later would still be singing them. Nor would she fathom how CGI KIDS would someday take these words to heart. All she knew is that Jesus loves children and so should we. (Matthew 19:14)VBS Uniforms

When 75 kids during Fountaintown Christian Church’s Vacation Bible School (VBS) learned about their Cambodian counterparts, they wanted to help. They raised $1,800, some of which has already been used to purchase school uniforms. Costing $10 each, an estimated one-third of the families cannot afford the three-four uniforms required for each of their children to attend school.

DSC01176Having clean water to drink is also a huge need for families living in extreme poverty. Recently one hundred kids from Southside Bible Church’s VBS have helped by contributing money for 23 water filters.

When kids here break their piggy banks and ask for more chores to help kids in Cambodia, Jesus smiles. He may even be singing!

Meet Nary Mao

ImageIn June 2009 Nary joined byTavi as one of the three original seamstresses. As part of a brand-new CGI program, the women shared the same sewing machine to make pillow covers. Nary brought great talent and creativity to the group as they were empowered to provide a better life for themselves and their families.

Nary is now the head manager of byTavi. Overseeing a management team of two and 40 other seamstresses, she is also a valuable asset to the program’s business side. While incredibly busy, she still loves to sew. Her favorite item to make is the quilted hipster as she finds it quite useful in her own daily life.

Nary lives with her supportive husband, two children, and a niece. In her own words, her life is better now because she makes a good salary to help provide for her family. Nary’s free time is spent cooking, studying the Bible, and singing worship songs during church.

CGI is blessed that God has provided strong leaders like Nary to manage the byTavi team. Please pray for her as she grows in her confidence, leadership skills, and relationship with the Lord.

By Kristen Baynai

CGI’s Culinary Training Center’s Student Cook-Off

ImageAnd the winner is (drum roll, please!) Ong Em! Her smile was worth the 60-minute wait. Under the direction of Sonja Overhiser (acouplecooks.com), CGI’s current class of culinary students created a western dish in just one hour during Sonja’s March visit.

CGI’s Culinary Training Center, adjacent to Green Mango Cafe & Bakery in Battambang, Cambodia, sizzled with a whirlwind of knives and flame as the girls chopped and sautéed. Sonja, CGI Founder and President Chris Alexander and Resident Chef Ryana DeArmond judged the seven original entrees. In the end, fish and chips seasoned with corn and cilantro captured the grand prize.

The next day involved a shopping trip to the market where Em selected hot pink, platform shoes as her reward. Em’s flare for taste carried over into a stylish accessory. Fun and food—a great combination!

Watch the video for a quick snapshot of the CTC’s Student Cook-Off.Then order a cookbook, or perhaps a baker’s dozen, for yourself, friends, and family (myCGIstory.com).


Meet Joanna Goodwin!

ImageThe loving hands of 150+ state-side volunteers like Joanna Goodwin make CGI’s byTavi program possible. Raised in a Christian home, Joanna participated in mission work in Moscow, Russia and Honduras. Because of her love for God’s people, Joanna attended the 2011 North American Missionary Convention where she first encountered byTavi. She was so awed by the story behind the beautiful products that she was soon loaning out her personal purse to spread the word.

Within a year, Joanna hosted over 15 events and became one of byTavi’s most valuable sales representatives. Like many in the Bible, Joanna’s story isn’t one of an extraordinary woman with special training, but one of a God-loving, passionate mother of twins who fell in love with Tavi’s story. Since then she has blessed many women with her heart.

In March Joanna hosted byTavi staff Whitney Vance and Kristen Baynai in Atlanta for a weekend of shows and the opportunity to speak in her church, Galilee Christian Church. As relationships continue to grow in Georgia, byTavi is blessed by the love and support of Joanna (and husband Mark) and her parents John and Karen Dressler. Her friends Tonya Moore of Cornelia Christian Church and newly recruited byTavi Rep Samantha Depue have also been very influential in helping her spread the word. Please pray for Joanna as she moves forward with new partners and relationships in 2013. God is building byTavi all over the country, and we are so blessed by His work and those who work with Him.