Something New In Cambodia
Cambodia has become the 21st country I have visited and worked in over the last 14 years (15th country in the last 4 years). I do not share this information to brag or gloat, but only to share that it's only God! It is amazing to serve the Lord in this capacity. I also want to say "Thank You" for being a part of our ministry.
YouthHOPE has been in relationship with Legacy of Hope International (LOHI) for several years, but this is the first time we have had an opportunity to train pastors, youth pastors, and youth workers in their network.
My teammate Jesse and I spent several days pouring into and training 25 pastors, youth pastors, and youth workers from all over Cambodia. Often times we ask ourselves "were these the right people to attend?" That can be a difficult question to answer. I believe we were able to work with some high capacity leaders who will implement what they have learned to impact youth in Cambodia with the Gospel!
Our time in Cambodia was incredible. The leader of LOHI in Cambodia is a Filipino missionary named Sam. He and his family have served in Cambodia for nearly 20 years. They have assembled a team to minister to youth there. Many of these young people are either rescued out of trafficking situations or they are "at risk" of being involved in trafficking. LOHI is a blessing to this community!
Many of the conversations we had dealt with the fact that there had not been much youth ministry training in this region. In fact, most of the leaders who attended our training had no formal training in youth ministry or strategic planning. Youth ministry (and church ministry in general) was status quo. One statement I heard more than once was, “What we do is the way we do it because it's always been that way." After several days together, these leaders were no longer okay with this.
One of the greatest responses that we received about our training was from Megan, a missionary from South Africa who was serving in Cambodia with LOHI:
“To be honest, I received so much more than I expected from this training. It gave me new perspective, new ideas, and ways to work with youth! We as leaders should be an example to these young people, we should not just tell them what to do, but show them. We should not just give them advice and try to fix their problems, but listen to them, to let them open up. Sometimes youth just want someone who will listen to them and be there for them.
I am so amazed at how God works, that in my own country I never received this sort of training, then I fly halfway across the world to Cambodia and this is where I get the opportunity to have this training. What I love about this training is that you can apply it to youth from around the world, no matter where you are. By using the principles we learned about, we can reach youth from all over the globe.”
We believe youth in Cambodia will be positively impacted with the Gospel and life transformation will occur because of the renewed passion and desire these leaders now have. Pastor Sam shared with us there are many, many more leaders who need training. Our goal will be to continue to serve LOHI and leaders and Cambodia as the Lord opens doors for our team.