New Life Center is an amazing place. It is a network of community centers, churches, development agencies, all rolled into one. As far as I understand, it was started by an American missionary many years ago, who remains the senior pastor. But the place is now run by a bunch of energetic young Cambodians.
It offers training in office skills, English, information technology, and others. V is a graduate from its English program who speaks English like an American. He is graduating from university with a bachelor’s degree in IT, and is already running its IT training program. He used to a street kid who ran away from home and school. He came to New Life to learn English, found his faith and a truly new life for himself. Now he is helping others.
New Life runs outreach programs at the slums and at the garbage dump. It bathes the kids, feeds them, teaches them to sing and to pray. It digs wells for the villages. It builds community centers in the city as well as the provinces. It lends cows to families in the villages, lets them keep the calves, and then lends the cows to other families, to give them a way to make a better living. If there is such a thing as serial cow-loaning, this is it. It also builds churches all over Cambodia.
It sets up dormitories in the city so that orphans and young people from the provinces have a place to stay. It gives scholarships to young people so that they can continue to study. It set up a transportation company as a social enterprise so that a bunch of young people can make a living and to learn to do business.
CN is an orphan from the provinces. He learned to speak English at New Life and became a Christian. He lives in their dormitories and is helping in their youth programs. He drives a van for the transportation company. He is always reading a book in English when he is not driving. In October, he is going to university with sponsorship from New Life. I will certainly be praying for him. His boss CL is a young lady who is very smart and well-organized, who remembers our travel itinerary better than we do. They are people that we feel we can trust.
There are so many other projects that I am barely scratching the surface. We are so privileged that we can work with the young people at New Life. Our students taught video making and editing, and basic IT skills. We also went with them to the slums to help in their outreach programs, helping in bathing the kids, and then in the singing and games. We cannot help but be infected by their unbounded enthusiasm and dedication in serving others.