‘If you want to do something, don’t hesitate to do it. Just trust in God and start with the small things. With creative ideas and being open to learn from other people, you will see good results!’
These are the encouraging words of 41-year-old Charya Sothea* from Cambodia. He’s married and has two children – and now, he gets to spend more time with them too.
He and his wife used to spend long hours working for the same company and didn’t have much time at home. They worshipped together at church on Sundays, but weren’t really more involved than that.
Then, one day, staff from Tearfund’s local partner, International Cooperation Cambodia (ICC), came to their church. They spoke about empowering people to transform their lives by building good relationships and sharing their knowledge, skills and ideas with each other.
The church could see the great value in this kind of thinking, and they chose Charya to be trained by ICC to take this work forward in their community.
As Charya describes it, the work gets people to ‘think more deeply on how to use resources, to be more creative...and to help to gather people [to do] things together…’
Sharing and caring
Through weekly meetings and Bible studies, the group members build their faith, encourage each other and share their knowledge. Charya himself learned about raising animals from other members in the group. This gave him and his wife the idea to start a small business raising chickens, ducks, geese and pigeons. Now they make an income selling eggs and chicken meat. This has given them a better standard of living and also means they can work for themselves, allowing them more time to look after their children.
Charya says that other church members have also found ways to increase their income through their involvement in the project. This is a great encouragement to him. He says it reminds him of the scripture that calls us to be salt and light – to be willing to share our experiences, ideas and knowledge to help improve the world around us.
- Thank God for Charya Sothea, his wife and all the members of their group. Pray that they will continue to inspire and encourage each other and see good results.
- Praise God for Tearfund’s partners in Cambodia and across the world. Pray that they will see more lives transformed and people empowered to live free from poverty.
- Lift up the church in Cambodia. Pray that it will continue to be used as an agent for change and community transformation.
*Name has been changed to protect identity