The original InnerCHANGE Cambodia team members arrives in Phnom Penh in the fall of 1994. Since then, team members have faced their share of challenges and set-backs — sickness, military coup and unrest, wrestling with inadequate responses to the myriad needs, and corruption endemic to Cambodia.
These are all struggles that the current team are still learning to navigate, but they have also been tremendously blessed by individual spiritual growth and an increasingly healthy community of InnerCHANGE missionaries. They have learned to better love and encourage each other, to laugh at ourselves and cry with those they have the privilege of serving, and to better recognize God's fingerprints on their neighbors' lives. They persist in serving, learning, and growing in a context of poverty in its many forms.
Today, the team seeks to express God's Kingdom through two amazing ministries:
Therapy Training Loving Care
After the Him family moved into their Kampot home, neighbors were amazed at how they banded together for daily physical therapy and a loving home environment for their two disabled children. Soon neighbors came asking to join in, as they too have children with disabilities. Overwhelmed by unexpected need, Jennifer and Heap began Therapy Training Loving Care (TTLC) as a direct response to their neighbors' need for support. Today, sixteen children with varying levels of ability and disability come to TTLC for intensive physical therapy and a loving, restorative environment.
For many families simply trying to survive, caring for disabled family members is a great burden; few have the time, resources, or skills to do so. Initially, the Him's refused to take the burden on themselves and only took on families who were willing to send at least one family member to partner in the physical therapy sessions. This helped build skills in each family and ensured that the child, previously neglected, got a wonderful Kingdom-injection of love and direct physical contact with mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, nephews and nieces, uncles and aunties. Today, TTLC now employs several staff to work with the children and some families pay for their children to come while they work.
Community-Based Care for Those Living with HIV-Aids
The Sunrise project in Kampong Cham began ten years ago as a response to the high number of people dying from opportunistic infections due to HIV/AIDS before ARV drugs were readily available. Since then, it has grown into a hospice/rehabilitation center for people living with AIDS and other life-threatening diseases, a home-based care program, a volunteer program, and training in peace-building and conflict resolution skills. They work with families and individuals in the local prison, hospital, local orphanage, and schools. Sunrise is run completely by local Khmer staff.
Other ministry initiatives include:
- Supporting the Shining Light holistic ministry training program for rural pastors
- Story-telling to enrich people's lives with Scripture stories
- Supporting community activists with active nonviolence training and listening workshops
- Coming alongside key church leaders in their regular travels around the Cambodian country-side
- Ministering to neighbors in Boueng Tra Bek, a small and poor garment factory neighborhood in Phnom Penh
- And many more...