Imagine. Then Act!

Imagine never feeling safe.  Imagine never having that place where you totally relax and feel completely secure.  For most of us, thankfully, this is merely a mental exercise.  But for many impoverished girls and women in Cambodia, it’s a daily reality.

Last summer, my daughter and I had the opportunity to travel to Cambodia with CGI and a group from Grace Church.  The stories from that trip are many and my observations are probably similar to most others. Yes, I was appalled at the pervasiveness of human trafficking.  Yes, I was overwhelmed by the extreme and rampant poverty, and experiencing that poverty first hand was truly indescribable. However, after being home for several months and reflecting on my time there, one thing made a lasting impression: the total absence of a safe environment.

Particularly when you’re a child, you should have that “safe place”. Unfortunately, the children of Cambodia don’t have such a safe place and too frequently don’t have people to protect them.  It is so difficult to convey in words their living conditions.  Their homes would not qualify as such by our standards.  Their walls are made from salvaged pieces of wood, metal, and cloth that have been pieced together. There is no security or sense of safety.  Generally, anyone at any time has access to these children.  Add to this the violence and criminal activity that pervades these poverty-stricken areas and you start to get a feel for the world they live in.

The question becomes – what can we do? Most of us were fortunate enough to be born in the United States where we have safety nets to assist those in poverty, an imperfect but great legal system, and a culture that arguably supports the family.  These girls and women were not.  CGI promotes change in the best possible way.  It empowers the girls and women through training, education, and spiritual development.  I met these girls and women, and saw the real difference CGI has made in their lives. The women in CGI’s programs are coming to realize that they have the ability to control their lives and that they are special and valued.

So…. NOW imagine. Imagine the differences that could be made in so many lives if we all made it a priority to assist these girls and women in whatever ways God may lead us.  The possibilities, like His love and grace, are limitless.

Julie and her daughter with Tavi in Cambodia

Julie and her daughter with Tavi in Cambodia

By Julie Payne

Imprint Project Kicks Off!

Learning to sew on first day of Imprint Project

Learning to sew on first day of Imprint Project

This week kicks off the Imprint Project! We are so excited about this new program, for so many reasons.

The Imprint Project is new, but the concept is based off one of CGI’s original programs called CGI Daughters. In this program, formerly-trafficked and at-risk girls in Cambodia learned sewing skills and practical life skills while living in a type of “safe house.”

The Imprint Project is a bit different. We wanted a more holistic approach, one that includes contact with the families of each participant. One of the biggest challenges to overcoming the pull toward the sex industry is making sure young girls aren’t feeling pressure from their families to earn quick money. The Imprint Project will allow more involvement in the day-to-day circumstances of participants’ families by employing social workers to check in. This will build trust between CGI and the families of each girl in our program, giving them greater support and chances for success. All of the girls in the current—and very first—class of the Imprint Project are formerly trafficked.

A lot of hard work has gone into developing the curriculum. Like CGI Daughters, the Imprint Project will teach sewing skills and the girls will produce the Imprint Collection, which is a clothing line you can purchase through The program is also intensely mentor-based, with focus on spiritual formation and practical life skills. We believe that hope and freedom come not just from vocational skills, but by knowing how to make good choices in life and ultimately, by knowing Jesus.

Please pray with us for the Imprint Project and this first group of girls who are part of it. May God continue to give opportunities to reach into the hearts and lives of those with a dark past.

By Caroline Mosey