Haggai leader Sophea* specializes in translation for one the largest Christian international organizations working to help vulnerable children overcome poverty. This organization operates in nearly 100 countries providing care to abandoned/orphaned children, displaced people, or people living in a crisis situation.
The ways that they provide care are through transformational development, emergency relief, promoting justice, partnering with churches, bringing public awareness, and being witnesses to Jesus Christ. The country that Sophea is from and works in is Cambodia.
Cambodia is recognized as a mostly rural country with a largely homogenous population when referring to ethnicity and religion. Throughout the country, Buddhism is widespread with 97.1% of the population identifying as such with only 0.3% identifying as Christians. Due to the lack of Christ followers in the region, Gospel poverty is very present throughout. The main mission of Sophea’s organization within Cambodia is to end violence amongst children. Due to the expanse of poverty, lack of education, and lack of awareness regarding exploitation, children are vulnerable to abuse, neglect, and other forms of violence. Violence against children in Cambodia is affecting three out of four children before they turn 18. The organization Sophea works for is focusing on prevention through positive community attitudes and behaviors and providing support to victims of abuse through community-based restorative care.
Through Sophea’s role in the organization, she is able to help others read and interpret the Bible. Her “mission, through God’s plan, is to build and strengthen the hearts and minds of the children she meets; teaching them to love each other and empowering them to equip each other through English classes, volunteering in other communities, and in learning what daily devotion truly means.” With her organization’s vision being surrounded around providing safety and the fullness of life to children through Jesus Christ, Sophea has felt “compelled to follow Jesus more and combine her work with God’s call for her life.”
Using the tools she gained through the Haggai Leader Experience, Sophea hopes that she can become a stronger follower of Jesus and be equipped as a good leader in her community and workplace.
The main two prayers Sophea’s organization is focusing on for Cambodia are: 1.) Appropriate legal representation among children who are currently tried in adult courts with limited access to rehabilitation or educational support; and 2.) The restoration of family livelihoods and children’s educational support amid continued post-pandemic consequences. Let us join them in prayer for a better present and future for our brothers and sisters in Cambodia.
Written by Sierra McKinnis
*Name changed for security.