The Optometry Project is dedicated to providing glasses to all our children and staff with vision problems. We also aim to train Cambodian staff in the skill of measuring eyes in order to guarantee the sustainability of this project. Several young women who grew up in one of our church homes have been trained by an ophthalmologist. They serve in our Medical Clinic and provincial church homes.
As of 2010, we are equipped to test for Hepatitis B as well as other diseases. With help from a generous donor coupled with a grant, all of the children and staff will be tested and treated if ill. Transmitted through blood and highly contagious, Hep B is a growing problem in Cambodia, due to lack of awareness, limited health care services and the cost of testing and vaccinations. Testing will also be offered to the local church communities, providing an example of the love and care that Christ has for the sick and hurting of the world.
Dentists, dental assistants, hygienists and dental students generously donate their time, skill and equipment to provide world class dental care to our children and staff. These generous professionals are truly putting beautiful smiles on the faces of Cambodian children. We are excited to now have our own full-time dentist. Dr. Ratha, who grew up in our home, completed dental school and now has a busy daily schedule at our clinic.
Medical Outreach Teams are not the only way that we offer medical care. We currently employ a full-time Cambodian doctor as part of our staff. Dr. Lina is responsible for overseeing the medical care of all our children and staff. He regularly treats the desperate and needy throughout Cambodia. A permanent medical clinic was constructed at the National Training Center in 2008. This clinic offers a wide range of free medical services both to the community and to all our children and staff. The clinic demonstrates the love of God to the community that we serve.
Medical Outreach Teams
Medical personnel from around the world assist us by serving on Medical Outreach Teams. These teams of licensed doctors, nurses, paramedics and EMTs travel to remote locations all around Cambodia and partner with local Foursquare pastors and churches setting up clinics where they offer free medical exams and medicine to the community. These teams are able to show entire communities the love of God.
Wells and Water Filters
Although a large portion of Cambodia is under water six months out of the year, it is extremely difficult to find consistent supplies of clean water. To address this constant need, we, in cooperation with other organizations, is drilling wells and installing water filters to care for our orphans, widows and the local communities around our churches.
There are hundreds of thousands of acres of rice that must be harvested in Cambodia. Seasonal labor used to be abundant throughout Cambodia, but now it is close to impossible to find due to the growth of the labor force at garment factories. We harvest about 500 acres of rice each year to feed the orphans. But, when crops sit in water un-harvested for weeks, there is great economic loss due to rats, insects and rotting. Combine harvesters are the answer. They can do the work of 1,000 men in one day. The net revenue from these potential harvests would fund the planting of 100 new churches.
We own a rice mill and a rice farm in the Northwest part of Cambodia. Housing and training facilities for 30 to 40 staff have been constructed at the rice farm and nearby at our Balang church home. As 80% of all Cambodian adults are associated with rice farming, and the practices have changed little in hundreds of years, the plan is to train 20 young rice extension agents to carry modern rice technology to the farmers of Cambodia, along with the good news of Jesus Christ. Once learned, this talent can take Cambodian average rice production per year from 2.5 metric tons per hectare to as much as 30 tons per hectare with a three crop system.
Rice Seed Production
A key component for us is the production of good quality rice seed. This past Spring, we launched the “Harvest of Gold”, certified rice seed, brand. We’re convinced it is the best seed in the country. The farmers need it, but the question remains, “Will they buy it?” We are determined to try.
Gardens provide the homes with food, teach the children about agriculture and provide a micro-enterprise that supports additional projects within the church and community.
Christmas and Easter Celebrations
Christmas is by far the largest Christian event in Cambodia. In 1998, it was impossible to buy a Christmas tree in Cambodia. Now, due to the influence of the church, the stores in Phnom Penh decorate with all the styles of those in the west, even though most here still do not know what it signifies. Curiosity has caused thousands of non-believers to seek out events which explain the meaning of the day Jesus Christ was born. Every year, Christmas turns out to be our most fruitful evangelistic period.
Easter has been largely neglected as a Christian holiday due to the crucifixion and suffering of Jesus Christ. It has been too close to the pain brought by the Pol Pot genocide. However, in 2011, we decided it was time to emphasize the resurrection and turn Easter into a huge celebration. Since then, more than 50,000 people have come to Christ through the Easter services held around the country.
Our church in Cambodia is the largest Christian denomination in the country. Yet, we have never held mass crusades. Virtually every person comes to Christ through a personal relationship with someone who cares about them enough to help them meet some kind of personal need.
We have been sending pastors into prisons around Cambodia for the past four years and the response is phenomenal. Prisons in rural areas are especially neglected. Since most prisoners are illiterate, the the pastors have introduced the Lord through a comic book format and the Proclaimer, a solar powered audible Bible, which plays the Bible in two translations.
Miracles, healings and new believers
We have always been a Spirit-filled organization. Cambodian believers have no stigma regarding being filled with the Holy Spirit and are fearless in the face of spiritual opposition. Virtually every Cambodian believes in spiritual realities. However, they simply do not know who is in charge. When Spirit-filled Christians confront demonic entities, miracles happen. Cambodia has seen every miracle in the book of Acts. Six people have been certified as raised from the dead, blind eyes have been opened, deaf ears now hear and the lame walk. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.
Our network of churches have ongoing baptism events all throughout the year. Most events are held on a district level and take place in a local river or pond. When outside funding is available, baptisms are held at the beach and also include a trip to the Royal Palace.
Pastoral Leadership Conference
Every spring, thousands of Foursquare pastors and leaders from all over Cambodia come together for a week of teaching, training and encouragement in the faith. This week is designed to build up the leadership of the church so that these leaders can in turn build the church in Cambodia.
The Foursquare Youth are taking the country by storm. Our children are growing up and as they do, they are turning their generation to Christ. At least once a month, a group of youth travel to a rural church and hold a youth evangelism crusade or a music concert with testimonies and a call for new believers. They are bringing thousands of youth to Christ, baptizing them in water and in the Holy Spirit. Cambodia is coming to Christ, and our youth are leading them!
Most marriages are arranged in Cambodia. Very little is taught on the subject prior to the wedding and a lot of misconceptions come with that program. We have partnered with New Life Church from Washington State in the US to present an annual marriage conference. The results are exceptions.
Proclaimers (Faith comes by hearing)
Many Cambodians, especially the older generation, are audible learners. The “Proclaimer” dramatized audio Bible, available in two versions, is used in many locations around the country. The unit is solar powered, but may also be run by a power cord or batteries. Several pastors, who are illiterate, use the proclaimers in their preaching.
The amazing growth of the Foursquare Church in Cambodia has created a great need for pastoral training. These churches have responded to this challenge by establishing a comprehensive “Training All Pastors” program. Every month key leaders meet together for a week of intensive training. Then, they travel around the country passing on what they have learned by conducting training sessions for the rural pastors and church members. They are also known for their miraculous healings and deliverance ministry.
With us, everything begins with, stays with and ultimately ends with the church. Every effort in our holistic outreach has one purpose: to build the church of Jesus Christ in Cambodia. Beginning with one congregation in 1999, we have added nearly 500 churches each year. We have witnessed, experienced and partnered with Cambodians who want to see a God of action.
The National Training Center at Chom Chao
The National Training Center is a miracle in and of itself. It was built with the anonymous donation of a Buddhist woman who gave $600,000 knowing that its primary purpose was to lead people to Christ. The center has served to train pastors, caregivers, doctors, computer techniciaans, English instructors, classical performers and artisans, auto and tractor mechanics, as well as fish production and incubator manufacturing. It is the site of our clinic which ahs cared for the medical and dental needs of thousands. And, the center is home to our Women’s Dormitory, which provides a safe haven for women working in the local garment factories.
Cambodia suffers a major lack of public recreation. Parks and playgrounds are virtually non-existent. In most towns, the streets become playgrounds. We have found that providing safe, supervised playgrounds at our homes build relationships with children in the community. Through these relationships, many families come to know Christ.
Food and clothing distribution
We are committed to caring for orphans, separated children, widows, the poor and those in crisis situations. Partnering with organizations as Church of Glad Tidings, Gleanings for the Hungry, Children’s Hunger Fund, Mission of Mercy, Stop Hunger Now and Home of English, we are able to care for the kids in our homes and effectively conduct outreach to those in need without destroying the local economy.
We do not regard ourselves as a disaster relief organization. However, we also do not regard ourselves as a orphan rescue organization. We view ourselves as the church in action. When disasters happen, people have needs and Jesus responds. In 2013, a flood devastated the rice harvest leaving many destitute. We, with the help of Reach Now, Feed My Starving Children and Gleanings for the Hungry, supplied many areas with relief aide.
Traditional Crafts, Music and Dance
Cambodia has an ancient performing arts heritage. Today, traditional music and dance are still highly valued in society. Many of our children are known as some of the best dancers in the whole of the country. Utilizing both traditional dance and music, the children choreograph various bible stories and evangelistic messages. They are always eager to travel and perform for events and outreach opportunities.
Children at the National Training Center in Phnom Penh also have the opportunity to learn traditional Cambodian weaving and textiles development as well as a valued trade. A variety of handcrafts such as scarves, purses and dolls are made by the children and staff. They are sold to help support the church orphan homes.
We have raised in excess of 15,000 kids throughout the years. Like children in any family, they do not get disowned when they turn 18. We do everything we can to secure scholarships, university educations and technical training programs to place every young adult into productive service in Cambodian society. Our children have become doctors, nurses, lawyers, accountants, pastors, mechanics, artists and skilled farmers among many other rewarding professions.
Each summer, orphans and separated children from all over Cambodia attend three months of instrument and vocal training sessions at the National Training Center. After successfully completing the program, each student receives an instrument to take home with them. The program is geared to equip each music student with the necessary tools and preparation to lead praise and worship in their home church.