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

Mid-Life Crisis


They say you only turn 40 once.  Well my once in a lifetime opportunity is just 17 days away.  I suppose I could look at it as my opportunity to have a mid-life crisis.  But instead, I want to take this once in a lifetime opportunity to try and raise money for the ministry I am blessed to be part of…and try to have some fun while doing so!  My goal is to raise $10,000 over the next 17 days leading up to my birthday on November 17th.  Will you help make this crazy goal a reality?!?

Here’s the challenge-  
Make a donation to CGI anytime from November 1 through November 17 and designate the donation in honor of “Nathan’s Mid-Life Crisis.”  Here’s the fun part, for different levels of donations, I will endure different levels of mid-life humiliation (all in good fun).
$40-$399 = I will take a shaving cream pie in the face
$400-$3,999 = Shaving cream pie in face + face sprayed off with garden hose
$4,000 & above = Shaving cream pie in face + face sprayed off with garden hose + fall backwards into baby pool full of ice water
For each donation, the donor will receive an emailed personal ‘thank you’ video from me enduring the appropriate level of mid-life humiliation.  I’m sure there’s a good chance some of the videos may even be posted on Facebook.
All this silliness is being done to continue to make an impact on the serious issues of extreme poverty and human trafficking, with the ultimate hope that those we serve here at CGI will come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
So join in the fun, donate, make me do stupid stuff…but most of all help bring hope in the name of Jesus to a broken world.
Almost 40,
Make on online donation HERE.  Be sure to put “Nathan’s Mid-Life Crisis” in the notes section.
Or mail a check to 3830 E. Southport Rd, Ste A2, Indianapolis, IN 46237 with a note designating it as “Nathan’s Mid-Life Crisis”.  Also include your email address so you can receive your Thank You Video.

“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

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.


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!

God’s Good Timing

IMG_0697Recently, Storm Chiropractic did an awesome thing: they hosted a Kids Wellness Day at their clinic and donated the proceeds to CGI Kids! What an amazing and creative way to use their business as a way to give back.

Fast forward to this week, when our Executive Director received an email from Cambodia. The email was from Seiha, the director of our Kien Svay Kids program in a very poor province in Cambodia. The children have flourished in this program and their grades in school have improved, they’ve developed greater confidence and have the opportunity to learn about Jesus. It’s a fantastic program that helps us to pour into the young Cambodian population and is a vital piece of our mission, which is to protect the vulnerable.

The letter from the director of Kien Svay Kids was an update about the children in the program, and some of their immediate needs. These needs ranged from sand to protect their facility from flooding during the upcoming rainy season, to small gifts the children will receive for doing great in school, to funding a Christmas party for the kids and their siblings and friends.

The requests totaled almost exactly the amount that Storm Chiropractic was able to donate. They were thrilled to learn their gift was able to be used to grant the requests of schoolchildren half a world away.

This was a beautiful illustration of God’s good timing. If you’ve been dreaming of a way to use your passions, skills or business to help others in need, don’t push those ideas away. Act on them! They may be the answer to someone else’s prayers.


Meet Lindsey Green!

Lindsey Green

Lindsey Green

Lindsey Green has recently become part of the CGI team! We were able to chat with her about her passions and how God is using her to battle against poverty and human trafficking. Read about Lindsey’s journey to making a difference and be inspired!

How did you first become passionate about CGI’s ministry?

Six years ago I was invited to attend a human trafficking awareness event where my friend was speaking. Her passion for human trafficking and heart for the people of Cambodia opened my eyes to the injustice happening to millions of women around the world. I could not get the stories she shared out of my head, the darkness was overwhelming and God began working in my heart to do something. I have been involved with CGI from the beginning by volunteering at events, traveling to Cambodia, interning and now working a part-time position.

What are some of the ways you get to use your gifts to help CGI?

Before starting at CGI I worked in the bridal and boutique industry where I developed a passion for fashion. I was able to learn about current trends, sizing and styling outfits. Working at CGI allows me to combine my passion for fashion and ending injustice. I hope to use these gifts to help CGI connect with retail centers and expand the byTavi and Imprint line. Upon graduating in December my degree will be in Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations and Pre-Theology. The communications and promotional skills I have learned are useful in representing CGI at events and through daily conversation.

What’s your favorite part about your new role?

Connecting with our event hosts and volunteers. I love our product! So it has been fun to share it and the stories behind it with others and see them get equally as excited about it.Through forming these relationships I discover each person’s passion for ending injustice. It is so encouraging to work with people who are equally as passionate about this ministry.

What advice do you have for people who want to get involved, but don’t know where to start?

If you want to get involved but don’t know where to start, examine the gifts God has given you. I guarantee CGI has a way for you to use them! If you like to share stories, host your own trunk show or present to your bible study. If you have a knack for organization, become an in-office volunteer. There are many more ways to get involved. Jump in and be prepared for the journey God will take you on. I never imagined I would have the opportunity to work for CGI but God made a clear path. You just have to be willing to follow.

Heartbreaking Injustice

Photo Credit: The Guardian

Photo Credit: The Guardian

An article that appeared in The Guardian tells the heartbreaking story of a young girl in Cambodia who had her virginity sold by her mother. As a staff, we read these things and can’t help but weep for the injustice and evil that permeates this dark aspect of Cambodian culture.

To us, it seems so black-and-white. But there are complexities stacked on top of complexities, and its hard for us to grasp the desperation that exists in the sex trade.

Despite stories like this, we know that redemption is possible anywhere. God can reach into these circumstances, no matter how hopeless they may seem. Please continue to pray for the vulnerable in Cambodia and for CGI as we continue to fight for their protection.



Prayers for the Beringers

The Beringers

The Beringers

Alan and Katy Berginer and their son Jonah will be returning this week to the US. Their furlough will extend through February as they visit with supporters, friends and family and also welcome their second son! They’ve shared with us a few prayer requests:

-Prayers for the CGI staff in Cambodia

-Prayers for safe travels back to the US

-Prayers that Jonah would sleep well on the flights

-Health and rest for their family

-Connecting well with family and friends

Thanks for lifting them up during this transition!