The fruit of that righteousness will be peace;
its effect will be quietness and confidence forever.
My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes,
in undisturbed places of rest.
As I continue to go around the world looking for support to keep working with the street children God has put in front of me, I am often reminded about how few things in their lives are permanent for them. Their families often relocate to different spots in and around town, they have no single place they call home. Their belongings may often be stolen or traded away for rice, drugs, or alcohol. Even their family members, some who should be so close to them, come and go.
It is knowing that the lives of these children can be so turbulent that we try so hard to make Crossing Cambodia a permanent fixture in their lives, a place of peace for them. We make sure that every day they can depend on us to pick them up for school. They know that every time they come to our center they will have a good meal to fill their stomachs. We want them to know that every time they come into our building that they will meet someone who knows their name and who loves them as a little brother or sister. And most importantly, we want them to know that no matter what happens in their lives, there is a God who promises to always be with them.
Just recently the father of 3 of our students informed us of his intent to return to his homeland. He wanted to take the children with him, to pull them out of school, and take them to an uncertain future as he has no other means to enroll them in school or guarantee that he could even feed them. After some discussion though he agreed that they ought to remain in school and that for the time being at least we would be allowed to care for them while we work out a more permanent solution.
Earlier this year we signed a five year lease to rent our current facility. We for sure have a home for a few years, but we hope that in the long term we can find a permanent facility where we can not only host our current program, but where we can build dormitories and apartments for temporary and transitional housing for children and/or families that just need a safe and warm place to sleep for a while. Where we can guarantee that when the world seems to get pulled apart all around them, these children can be guaranteed at least a place where they can find peace and have rest.
We want that place of permanence, of safety, and rest to be in the loving arms of Christ.
This will not be a plan to start an orphanage, but a transitional center where children can stay when their parents leave for a while or while we seek out appropriate foster arrangements for them. Where if they need a warm bed and safe room for a night or two we can provide it. Where if they have no where to go they can be assured of a safe dwelling place for a while. Where we will have the opportunity to share about the love, compassion, and peace that comes from Christ in times when it is most needed.
Will you pray with us?
First and foremost for the children we are now caring for, who need to find a secure home. And secondly as we begin seeking a permanent facility that we and many of these children can call home. These are the potential options on which we are currently praying.
We estimate that for around $250,000 we might be able to purchase our current facility plus a few adjacent lots. This would help us to remain close to the center of town and stay readily accessible to the children and families we are serving. If we can get the lots behind or next to our facility that would provide us space to build dormitories or housing units for these children at an additional cost of up to $50,000.
To purchase an empty plot of land outside of town likely would cost in the ballpark of $50,000 and then we would need up to an additional $50,000 to build dormitories and basic facilities. We would continue to rent our current facility for so long as we are able to have a point of connection close to the children and families we serve and in the long term continue to raise funds to further develop a permanent facility.
Please join us in praying over these options. These are only the up front costs of establishing a permanent facility and there surely will be additional ongoing costs to run and maintain them, but we’re not even certain yet about what direction the Lord is going to lead us. But we trust that God who made the universe and all things has the ability to provide so long as we continue to follow His plan. Please pray with us as we seek God’s plan for our ministry and these children. Pray that He will make clear to us what we are to do and whatever plan He give us that He will raise up the funds and more importantly, the people who will carry His plan and His message and love forward!
Ask the Lord that we would continue to walk in His path and remain righteous so that we can continue to provide His peace to these children. So that in that peace, they may find safety, security, and the salvation that comes through Jesus Christ!
Greg Holz is the Mission Director for Crossing Cambodia. He drives our vision and seeks out the resources necessary for the local staff in Cambodia to follow God’s calling as we serve the street children of Battambang.