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

4 Causes of Human Trafficking

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Through our mission, Center for Global Impact seeks to bring the Good News of Jesus to those in the grip of poverty and bondage through education, vocational training and business development. Primarily working in Cambodia, many of those we serve are victims of — or vulnerable to — human trafficking.

-CGI Mission Statement

What causes human trafficking?

Human trafficking varies from country to country, but it usually preys on vulnerable situations.
People in vulnerable and precarious situations are looking for a way out and in their desperation can fall prey to human traffickers. We see these in multiple different circumstances.

The following four scenarios are examples of the conditions and/or realities people may be fleeing.

1. Leaving a place of poverty to gain wealth

Many victims want to get out of their situation so they risk everything to leave the place that sees them mired in poverty. This gives the human traffickers bait to lure victims to move to a different country.

Traffickers lie, promising jobs and stability in order to recruit their victims.  Upon their arrival to another state or region, captors take control. More often than not, they are held in places where victims did not to want to make their home.

*The practice of entrusting poor children to more affluent friends or relatives may create vulnerability. Some parents sell their children, not just for money, but in hope that their children may escape poverty and have a better life with more opportunities.

2. Political conditions

Political instability, militarism, generalized violence or civil unrest can result in an increase in trafficking as well. The destabilization and scattering of populations increase their vulnerability to unfair treatment and abuse via trafficking and forced labor.

3. War

Armed conflicts can lead to massive forced displacements of people. War creates large numbers of orphans and street children who are especially vulnerable to trafficking. Their families have either passed away or are fighting a war, complicating child-rearing.

4. Social and Cultural practices

Many societies and cultures devalue, abuse and exploit women and girls, creating perilous living conditions for these women.  With little opportunities of upward mobility and with little value placed on women and girls, they are more vulnerable to human trafficking.


We see a broken world and recognize a need for Jesus to intervene in so many lives.  At CGI, we 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 relationship with Jesus Christ.

How can you fight human trafficking from your home? Check out one of our earlier blogs for a few beginning steps.





United Nations Office Of Drugs and Crime – https://www.unodc.org/documents/human-trafficking/Toolkit-files/08-58296_tool_9-2.pdf

3 Ways to Fight Human Trafficking From Your Home


1. Become Educated

A great way to start is to read a book about human trafficking.

Learning with a community is beneficial and there are strength in numbers. Establish a book club, talk with your Sunday school class or your small group about reading or watching a movie on human trafficking.

3 Books we would recommend about human trafficking:

1. Terrify No More by Gary Haugen
2. Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas Kristof and Cheryl WuDunn
3.  Not For Sale: The Return of the Global Slave Trade by David Batstone

Another way to become educated is to click through a few websites of organizations that are involved daily in fighting trafficking.
Click through this digital booklet— You will learn the “story behind every barcode.” Are you wearing something that could have been made by a slave?
Or here: Slaveryfootprint Does your lifestyle impact people in a negative way?

We can make an extraordinary difference in the lives of those suffering simply by becoming aware of human trafficking and changing habits in our lives, right here at home!

2. Get Involved

You have been blessed with unique skills and gifts that you can use to empower the poor and protect the innocent. There are plenty of opportunities to get involved with the fight right at home. We encourage you not to do it alone either. There are plenty of organizations that are in need of help. Choose one that best fits you and your group of friends!

Here are a couple that we have partnered with and know they are doing great things!

Purchased–  Local organization. Purchased realized that not much was being done to fight sex trafficking locally, so they narrowed their focus to Indiana. Since that time, they launched curriculum that they take into schools and churches in an attempt to educate and raise awareness. Get Involved…

Destiny Rescue–  It is a grassroots, internationally recognized, Christian based, non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing children from human trafficking and sexual exploitation. They help rescue the sexually exploited and enslaved, restore the abused, protect the vulnerable, empower the poor and are a voice for those that can’t speak up for themselves. Get Involved…

Center for Global Impact has some was to get involved as well. Learn More!

  • Host a Trunk Show or Fashion Show, raising awareness of byTavi purses and clothing
  • Volunteer your time at our office in Greenwood, Indiana
  • Create your own awareness event in your community
  • Host a sponsorship weekend at your church to financially invest in the future of these women

3. Pray

Pray for victims of human trafficking and everyone involved. Pray that God may liberate those that do not have a choice. May their lives and spirits be free.

Pray for the lives of the survivors. May they heal spiritually, emotionally and physically. As they return to their community, may they be safe from worry and disappear.

And lastly, pray for CGI and our families, as we work with our friends in Cambodia, may come to know the true hope of Jesus Christ.

Want to get involved with CGI? We are passionate about bringing the Good News of Jesus to those in the grip of poverty and bondage. Please contact us if you would like to know more and get involved: contact@centerforglobalimpact.org.

Top 3 Highlights of My Cambodia Trip.


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]



Paving the way for The Imprint Project in 2015

Since CGI first began in 2008, our byTavi project has been at the core of our ministry’s mission. It’s one tangible way we’re able to empower the poor, protect the vulnerable and share the Gospel with at-risk women in Cambodia.

It is because of people like you who have supported byTavi through volunteer efforts and/or product purchase that over 40 women along with their children & families have been kept safe and experienced hope. The byTavi project continues to grow, allowing us to reach new Cambodians every year!

It is because of the unwavering dedication and support of our byTavi network that we come to you with our greatest need for 2015: your sponsorship of the Imprint Project.

11052502_956662127697832_7309372606120734359_oThe Imprint Project is a reintegration program for previously trafficked and at-risk girls. Our goal is to create opportunities through the skill of sewing, giving them employment options other than returning to the sex trade. The Imprint Project staffs social workers and Bible teachers to help the young women heal from a past of violence and slavery so they may see the light of Jesus. It is a holistic approach to changing these young women’s future and hearts. The Imprint Project is younger than byTavi, and we want to see the same success and hope spring from this project as we see from byTavi each year. Our first class of Imprint students just graduated in March, and we’re poised to welcome our second class, beginning in July.

Previous students of this program are now byTavi seamstresses that make the products you have seen or even purchased.

We want to invite you in on the ground level. We have 12 students available to sponsor at $250 per girl for 18
months. This is a total cost of $54,000. This sponsorship will go towards:

  • Individually focused social workers and counselors
  • Student stipends for basic living needs and family support
  • Seamstress instructors, teaching facilities and sewing materials

Will you consider becoming a monthly sponsor or making a financial gift by April 30th to fund these 12 students?

We know if anyone can help us reach this goal, it’s our faithful network of byTavi supporters! A gift of any amount is appreciated. Please send us an email at contact@centerforglobalimpact.org!

Achieving a Future: Nathan’s Update from Cambodia


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.


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

“Warehouse Angel”

Diana and SaraWarehouse Angel.

If I had a nickname for all of our advocates, Sara’s would be that. Sara has been serving CGI since the Fall of 2012. She came with a friend, and they would spend hours together in the warehouse organizing and re-organizing to support the CGI staff and the women in Cambodia.

We cannot tell you how many hours she’s invested, but her behind-the-scenes work sets a stable foundation for other advocates and staff members to take the products into the community. Sara says it best, “It is a fun volunteering job, but more than that, it is so meaningful to aid the ladies and girls who sew the beautiful products!  You will be part of the process in getting the items sold in order to make drastic life changes in these ladies’ and girls’ lives.  They not only receive training, education, salary, etc., but they hear about Jesus Christ!”

I love her greater vision. She knows what she enjoys doing, and it melds perfectly with the needs of the CGI warehouse. “I worked in clothing stores as a clerk while in high school and college,” she says. “They were such fun jobs, so I always looked forward to going to work. It is the same for me to go to CGI!  It is great to see what has just arrived from Cambodia, plus I can see my effort when I am done with the unpacking, tagging and hanging. It is very satisfying to know that I have helped in my way to empower the poor.”

It’s women like Sara that make CGI’s work in Cambodia not only possible, but successful. Lives are being changed by the hours that she spends every week. CGI and the women in Cambodia are blessed by Sara. Thank you!

Interested in getting involved? Contact Lindsey, byTavi Advocate Coordinator, at lindsey@centerforglobalimpact.org



The Heart of an Advocate

IMG_6065Volunteer doesn’t accurately describe those that choose to serve CGI without expecting anything in return.

Advocate may be a better word when you think about how their hours spent truly impact the ladies in Cambodia who are trying to make a better life for themselves.

Today we want to thank one of those advocates, Tonja Talley. She has been an advocate for CGI for four years now, and has spent countless evenings and weekends selling byTavi products and sharing the stories of the ladies in Cambodia. She, like all of our advocates, continues to give a voice to the women in Cambodia and a market to sell their creations so they can keep their children healthy, protected, and educated.

So why does she choose to do what she does? Hear from Tonja’s heart:

What keeps you volunteering with CGI?  

Jesus Christ and His teachings. The Holy Spirit continues to show me where there is injustice, one must stand against it. Where there is suffering, one must be the hands and feet of our Lord. Where there is opportunity for good, one must seize it. As go our words, so must our actions.

What’s your favorite part about volunteering with CGI?

Gathering in fellowship to assist others gives me great joy. Whether telling the story of Tavi at a byTavi event, handing out food samples at the convention center from the Green Mango Cafe & Bakery menu, or teaching teenagers to model the Imprint Collection, I rejoice in how the CGI mission seeks to empower ladies of all ages in Cambodia, and yet the mission is also empowering women here in the United States.

Thank you, Tonja, and all of our byTavi Advocates. Please know that you are truly making a difference and CGI is blessed to have you as part of the team!

Interested in getting involved? Contact Lindsey, byTavi Advocate Coordinator, at lindsey@centerforglobalimpact.org

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.

Wearing Despair

Photo: Luc Forsyth for IndustriAll Global Union

Photo: Luc Forsyth for IndustriAll Global Union

Are our shopping habits hurting people on the other side of the world?

This is a question that more and more Westerners are thinking about. While most of us would never be supportive of slave-like work conditions in theory, the issue becomes blurry when it presents in the form of our clothes. We don’t sense the burden when we’re clicking through clothes online (Wow! $10 maxi dress….score!) or stocking up on school uniforms for our kids at places that won’t break the bank. In many ways, we feel that we’re being good stewards of our resources when we shop for the best prices on clothing. And yet….

The issue is complex. How are these clothes so affordable? At what cost? Often, clothes are cheap when the labor is cheap, and “the labor” is a multitude of human beings spending grueling days in garment factories. Often in SE Asia. Often in Cambodia.

We read and hear horrifying reports of workers fainting and dying in these working conditions, overextending themselves in every way to make enough money to survive and support their families. We don’t see this. It doesn’t often make headlines here in the U.S. What we see is an inbox flooded with subject lines like “Clearance Sale!” and “Spring Must-Haves!” at prices our wallets agree with. And yet…

There are stories like this. And this. What can we do with these stories? How can we stop this from happening to our brothers and sisters halfway around the world? We can shop responsibly. It isn’t as tricky as it sounds, either. As actress Ashley Judd famously declared, “I don’t want to wear someone else’s despair.” We don’t want to, either.

Consider the source of your clothes, and opt to support workers paid living wages and afforded good working conditions. Our byTavi line is the perfect place to shop, because not only are our seamstresses paid fair trade wages, they’re being cared for on a spiritual and emotional level as well.

Let’s use our dollars to lift others out of poverty rather than driving them deeper into it.