April 2017 Jenn Jewett Update
We have been happily chugging along with our work here in Phnom Penh.
I mentioned in my last update that we were hoping to rent a room in the slum village where we work, and we have been able to do just that! About 3 months ago we found the perfect room for us in the heart of our beloved ‘railway community’ and, just as we had hoped, it really brought us to a new level with the children and families there. The kids were ecstatic to have their own safe place to come and play whenever we were there, and the families were able to see that we were serious about our commitment to them and their children by establishing a permanent presence among their community.
We have upped the amount of time we spend in the community each week, and have an open door policy for anyone who wants to come. We have had many grandmas and parents of the kids we work with popping in to check on their kids or join us in our programs.
One of the things that I am most excited about, which I also mentioned in the last update, is that we have been able to begin teaching the kids about worship! Not just kids songs with actions and jumping all around (which can be great too), but teaching them how to listen and connect with their heavenly father on a deeper level than they've ever experienced before. After our first worship time with the kids we had several (when asked how they felt when they were worshipping) who told us they had visions of Jesus and the Holy Spirit while worshipping! We didn't even teach them about visions yet!!
One more major thing that's happened in the past few months is that we have a small team, led by one of our Khmer staff members and myself, who have branched out and started working in the Riverside area in Phnom Penh. This is in the heart of the red light district, and where my heart has been personally ever since the first day I set foot in Cambodia. The kids here are so vulnerable to abuse and trafficking, as well as labour exploitation. For now we are taking it relatively slow. We have a small team, so we are doing a lot of praying in that area and following the Holy Spirit's lead. We visit with kids and families we know, and have met and been able to pray for many new people as well.
I feel that 2017 is a year of acceleration for the dreams God has in my heart, and for Iris as a whole. I'm excited to see where the next 6 months will take us!