Reaksmey’s Story

On behalf of Reaksmey, Sinuon, Director of Phnom Penh Operations, shares her story. Because she tells the story beautifully, we did not change many of Sinuon’s words and phrases.

From Kampong Cham province on Cambodia’s east side, close to Vietnam,  Reaksmey turned 15-year-old for this year and studied at grade 8 when she was home. She has two siblings and her father died when she was really young age. Reaksmey was not able to receive love or care from her biological father like other kids. She had to look after younger siblings since she was really small kid.

Her mother had another man, her stepfather, that destroyed her life.

The girl, who under 15-years-old, has faced so much broken life journey.  Her stepfather raped her and threatened to kill her if she told to others. She was so much scared and lives in the darkness life and keeps this abuse of her stepfather until she was pregnant.

The relatives and community security have known about this abuse by her stepfather and they have saved her life from this painful and dark situation. He was arrested and sent to the prison for these bad things.

Reaksmey was two months pregnant and decided to keep this baby until the day she gave birth.

She has been taken out from her province to live in Phnom Penh city by one organization that partners with Center for Global Impact. Because she was too young, she couldn’t give a birth to her baby like other women did so the doctors needed to have cesarean section for this girl. That was another bad and scared experience in her life.

She said, “I suffered a lot whenever I saw the wounds from the surgery of my delivery. It has kept me reminded of a painful situation and made me think about my past darkness of life.” The doctor told me the scar would stay with me for about two or three years. I still not being confident to see the wound until the day I had joined with Imprint Project.”

Reaksmey joined with Imprint Project after she has given birth to her baby in 2019 July.

During this time, she lost self-esteem, didn’t want to talk to anyone, wanted to be alone and we did not even see a smile from her. She wasn’t confident to stand in front of the mirror to look at herself and was so much scared of all the men.

The Imprint Project Team has tried the best to build a relationship and show her about our love, care. We are here to support and help her always.

The Imprint Project Team has been with her in individual meetings 3 to 4 per month. Somehow it was just sit down and listen to her broken things that she was passing through and sometimes she has just cried out and didn’t really say anything. She has just wished to have someone that she can trust and stay close to her.

We have been practicing this about half year when she had started healing little by little and has now accepted God to be her personal life Savior.

God has been healing this beautiful girl after she had accepted Him to be her Father. Reaksmey has started to show a beautiful smile to other people with more confidence. She has asked and prayed: “Teacher I wants my life to be brave and strong person once again, but I’m so much shy and so afraid to start it. I really don’t know what  I should do?”

The Imprint staff has supported and helped her with some ways. She has tried to read the textbook that we call the Daily Bread and is more confident to speak it out and share during every morning devotion. Little by little the miracle has been working and changed her life day by day.

She has also worked really hard with the sewing training in the Imprint Project as she wants to be a real tailor.

There were many obstacles during the training such as forgetting the lessons as well many trouble issues of her life background that it wasn’t easy for her to forget it or move forward. However, she has never missed class or give up with her studies. She was the one that was patience and working hard for the studies. As a result she had become the top one in the class. She has often spent her free time to create her own designs and make the clothes for herself, for CGI staff and also for the customers that CGI’s partners with during the training.

After one-year training with the Imprint Project, her dream has become true.

She passed all the exams and successfully received a graduation certificate from Center for Global Impact. On the graduation day she had been shared to all the teachers, staff, participants and Center for Global Impact partner during this special day that without the Center for Global Impact support and help she couldn’t stand here. She would living in the darkness life, hopeless and won’t have a chance to learn the things that she likes. Without Center for Global Impact, she won’t have today.

Reaksmey graduated from Imprint Project program the end of July 2020.

Due to her age, most of the business tailor shops do not accept staff who are under 18 year. Center for Global Impact wants to support and keep blessing Reaksmey. CGI wants to help the vulnerable and victims of human trafficking by providing education, health care, food, support for the living, vocational skill and providing employment.  Center for Global Impact decided to support her by providing a work that now she can make face masks to donate to countries during this pandemic. She is so happy that she is able to make the masks as she can bless them with this beautiful way by making the mask from her. She has enjoyed being with Center for Global Impact, the place she could call family and the place that has given her new hope in life and bright future.

Reaksmey has believed that in the future that she will be able to be a good tailor with her own small tailor shop in her hometown that could look after her kid and work with her mother. She has also wished that in the future she would use her sewing skill that she had learned from Imprint Project to help and teach another people with this knowledge or skills.

Record Flooding in Cambodia

There are currently significant floods in both Battambang and Phnom Penh that are affecting CGI’s students and staff. Many across the country have been evacuated from their homes, roads and bridges have been washed away, and places of employment have been closed due to high waters and destruction.

Staff and students of CGI have also been affected. The photos shared are from one staff members home in Battambang. Flooding is also making it hard for staff and students to get to the CTC/Green Mango, and has been keeping customers away, although the new building is not itself suffering any flood-related damage – praise God! 

I would like to ask you for two things as you digest this news:

  • First, please pray for our friends and colleagues in Cambodia, especially for those who have experienced flooding and damage to their homes.
  • Second, if you would like to help by making a donation, we have set up an Emergency Relief fund to make it possible for you to help ease the burden of flood cleanup and provide relief for those affected by the flood.

Thank you very much for your prayers and help during this difficult time!

Sokhom’s Story

Sokhom’s* Story, an Imprint student (2017-2018).

Sokhom was born in a family with four children – all girls. Sokhom is the third daughter in her family. Her dad is a moto-taxi driver and construction worker; her mother is a factory worker. When Sokhom was 13 years old, in order to earn money to support her family, she went to work at a karaoke club where men go to drink, sing and be entertained by the hostesses. It was there that she was rescued by one of CGI’s partner organizations. Once rescued, she was encouraged to learn a vocation. She had always dreamed to be a tailor like her mother, so she chose to learn sewing. She enrolled in the Imprint Project program for one year to learn how to sew and take general education and life skills classes. She was very excited to get the chance to learn sewing with Center for Global Impact (CGI).

She worked hard toward her goal of becoming a tailor. There were many obstacles during her year, such as forgetting lessons, missing some classes due to her family’s needs and not having transportation to come to class. However, she never gave up on her studies. She was one of the smartest students in the sewing class. Sokhom often used her free time to create her own designs and made clothes for herself and family. After one year, her dream became true! She was able to pass her exams in all classes. She received her graduation certificate, as well as a $400.00 graduation gift from CGI to help her achieve her goal of being a tailor. Sokhom was a proud girl on the day of her graduation ceremony. Her parents came to celebrate her success and her mother was very happy for her.

She collected all the money she had to build a small shop near her house. Sokhom now owns a small tailor shop in her hometown which is about 45 minutes away from the city. However, she was nervous after she left the program because she wasn’t sure she could succeed in her sewing without help from the teachers. She often called the teachers and asked some questions regarding the clothes she was making.

After Sokhom’s shop had been open for about three months, Seiha (former CGI Phnom Penh Operations Director) and Chenda (Imprint Project Team Leader) went to visit Sokhom’s shop to show her their support. She now creates her own designs based on pictures from the internet and makes party dresses for rent. Her customers come to her shop to rent the dresses which cost $10 to rent. Some customers have asked her to make skirts, as well as to alter wedding dresses. She said that she often makes around $10/day income. Sometimes she also sells dresses for $50 (they cost about $25 to make). Sokhom said “I was very happy that I could have my own tailor shop even though it’s not big. I will save the money that I make every day to grow my shop and make more dresses for rent and to sell”. Her mother states that “I never dreamed of seeing her have this skill. We were poor and she did not get to study much. I’m so thankful for CGI who always help the poor, especially my daughter to have this skill”.

*Name and photo have been changed to protect the identity of the Imprint Project graduate. Sokhom is a Cambodian name that means “safe; happy”.

-Story originally submitted by Seiha, former CGI Phnom Penh Operation Director

A Letter From Seiha

Seiha, Director of Phnom Penh Operations

It’s been 5 years since I left my wonderful job and stepped out of my comfort zone to serve the Lord by working at CGI. I was excited that I could be a part of changing lives as I have always been passionate about helping women who have been trafficked or treated unfairly. Every day I pray for God’s wisdom, love, and guidance to help me do this job as I know I can’t do it alone. But because of CGI, these women have been brought out of the darkness and into the light. Seeing their transformation is what gives me the strength to continue with this work.

A student recently wrote me, “I grew up in a broken family. My mom was sad and sick until she passed away. Since I was born, I never received love from my father. I hated him!  When I first came to CGI, I did not think the teachers could love me because they are not my family. If my dad couldn’t love me, how could the teachers? But I have seen all the teachers truly love me and teach me from their heart. They never gave up on me, even though there were many times I couldn’t remember the lessons.

I can now read and write Khmer and sew beautiful clothes! Most importantly I learned about Jesus who loves me. I learned a verse in the Bible that says, ‘Love your parents’ and I began to pray and ask God to forgive me and help me forgive my dad. Someday I hope I can see my dad again and show him I love him because Jesus loves me first. I am thankful for the teachers at CGI who taught me a skill and about Jesus!”

I’m so grateful for all the supporters who give generously so we can share the love of God with these women.  Each day I witness so many lives changing through the work we do here; and that only happens because of you.

Thank you from Cambodia,

Seiha

Sopheak’s Before & After Story

Sopheak Lim is a quiet 19-year-old on the outside. But after a few minutes of listening to her speak, you sense the strong determination she has in her heart to serve God and create a brighter future.

After losing her father to tuberculosis when she was five, she also lost her mother and step-father to HIV four years later. She spent several years being shuffled between other family members in Thailand and Cambodia, and eventually wound up living with her uncle and aunt in Battambang, Cambodia in 2016.

Sopheak is a member of CGI’s current culinary class at the Green Mango Café and Bakery in Battambang. As part of the Culinary Training Center (CTC), Sopheak and seven other girls are learning to cook and bake, as well as how to run a restaurant. Sopheak’s favorite part of the program so far is learning to be a barista. She enjoys making coffee, espresso and especially smoothies. She really enjoys making (and drinking) avocado smoothies.

But more importantly than using the right ingredients in a smoothie, Sopheak and the students are learning about Jesus and His love.

Sopheak had a little knowledge of Jesus before joining the CTC program. But since joining more than a year ago, she has seen first-hand the power of His love. Lim’s younger sister, Vichaka, was part of the CTC program two years ago, and when Vichaka became ill, she needed hospital care. CGI helped take care of her medical needs.

“I really didn’t know much about God and how He works in the world,” explained Sopheak. “But I saw how CGI loved Vichaka and helped take care of her, and I realized this is how loving people live in the world.”

When Sopheak is asked about her favorite Bible story, she quickly points to Mark 2:1-5. With many people crowding around the house where Jesus was preaching, four men lowered a paralyzed man through the roof, so he could be healed by Jesus. Sopheak said she sees herself in the story as the man on the mat, but after he has been healed.

“I now know that I’m a daughter of God,” she explained. “I’ve been healed by Jesus, so I’m better than before.”

Sopheak and her fellow CTC students graduated May 24, 2019 and Sopheak dreams of one day partnering with her sister to open a western-style restaurant in Battambang.

“I want to thank CGI and everyone who has supported us and has helped teach us to cook, and about Jesus’ love,” Sopheak said. “Thanks for making this possible.”

And once she opens her restaurant, be sure to stop in for a smoothie. They will certainly be on the menu!

Help more young women, like Sopheak, have the opportunity to study at the Culinary Training Center.

CLICK HERE TO DONATE!

Written By: Charlie McAtee

Charlie McAtee is a member of CGI’s Board of Directors. He is a professional communications and public relations expert and is the owner of Charlie McAtee Communications. He  lives in New Palestine, Ind. with his wife (Dawn) of nearly 20 years, their two youngest children (Andrew and Audrey), and their dog (Dixie) and cat (Freedom).

Paying It Forward

The Culinary Training Center (CTC) is an 18-month training program that teaches kitchen and restaurant management skills to at-risk girls.

Located in Battambang, Cambodia, the CTC is complemented by a CGI-operated restaurant: The Green Mango Cafe and Bakery. In addition to a culinary education, students gain service experience in the restaurant and receive job placement assistance as they prepare to graduate.

Learning a valuable skill, like being a chef, empowers girls out of poverty and allows them to start creating a hope-filled future. It is a life-changing program that impacts not only the student, but their families and the communities in which they live, as people see first-hand the transformation that happens over the course of the program.

Recently, some of the graduates as well as CTC staff received a request to help train girls from another organization to make lattes, espressos, and other delicious coffee drinks. This was a huge honor for the staff and graduates of the CTC and an incredible opportunity to pass along not only their skill but also to empower others who come from backgrounds similar to their own.

At CGI we are so incredibly proud of these young women for “paying it forward” and helping other girls, much like them, find pathways out of poverty. We have seen many instances of the lives of our students being transformed by Christ through the CTC program and it is a tremendous blessing to see such work being duplicated! Praise God for this blessing, and we pray there are many more opportunities and moments like this to celebrate together.

Your monthly gifts to CGI are critical to the continuation of such programs. Thank you so very much for being part of the work being done in Cambodia!

 

Do you want to build a legacy of impact? When you donate, you provide vocational training opportunities, life skills classes and moments to share the Gospel.

CLICK HERE TO DONATE TODAY!

Dare to Dream

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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