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The InnerChange Voice is a bi-montly publication specifically for friends of InnerChange. In this issue, we look at business as mission around the world. 
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Welcome  to the business issue of The InnerCHANGE Voice! In so many of our contexts, as team members journey in relationship with neighbors and dream of flourishing communities, it becomes apparent that business has an important role to play. Various business ventures play a part in the ministry of our teams in order to cultivate economic viability in our cities, open doors to relationships, disciple followers of Jesus as whole people, and create funding sources for missionaries from the two-thirds world.  We hope you enjoy reading about a few of these ventures. 

Treasures from the Heart, Cambodia



People in Cambodia living with AIDS/HIV often come here to the city of Phnom Penh, far from their home town. They want to run away from their pain and poverty to find new life and new job here, but what they find here is only suffering! There are no jobs for people who are HIV positive, because they are so weak and no one wants to work with someone who carries a disease. 

Ming Eial turns 64 years old this year, and has been with Treasures from the Heart, a ministry of InnerChange, for about 9 years. Her life was so difficult after losing her husband because of AIDS. She never had to work before, nor did she know how to find any job. She did not study so she could not read or write, but she had 5 children to take care of. The money she could earn from selling vegetables was only enough to buy food.
 

"She did not study so she could not read or write,
but she had 5 children to take care of."


One day when she went to the hospital for medicine, a lady told her about a group that was giving jobs to people living with AIDS/HIV. So she came to Treasures from the Heart and started to learn how to sew. Soon she could do it well enough to earn money, which helped send her kids to school. Now they’ve all finished high school and begun working.
 

"So she came to Treasures from the Heart
and started to learn how to sew."

 


Ming Eial is going to have a grandchild soon. She’s glad that she still can work, even while she is watching over her grandchild at home. She proud of herself and thankful for Treasures from the Heart.

We have been praying and sharing God’s love to Ming Eial since we’ve known her. Ming Eial often asks us to pray for her and her family and invites us to her family gatherings. We feel like she is not just a co-worker but family. We know that God has worked in her heart and we hope that one day we will see Ming Eial really have God in her heart.
 

"We feel like she is not just a co-worker but family."


Treasures from the Heart seeks to empower people with HIV/AIDS and their families by developing God-given talents into practical job skills. We provide a stable income through reliable employment, and we reach out to them with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We believe all people are made uniquely by God, loved unconditionally, and have tremendous worth in His sight.



My name is Sopheak. I am Cambodian. I was born in 1979, at the time that the Khmer Rouge was ruining Cambodia. God gave me a gift with arts and crafts. I love to do things with my hands, and I love to help people to have better lives from thing I have made. So now I am a crafts teacher as well as counselor, and a director of the income project called “Treasures from the Heart”. I am married to a beautiful Thai lady named Nerunchala (but we call her F for short—it is an old family nickname) who also works with Treasures from the Heart as a counselor and sales manager.We have three kids. Bethanee (7), Emmanuel (5), and Benjamin (18mo).

Other Businesses in InnerCHANGE

Property Management - A Pathway to Shalom




“But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.”
Jeremiah 29:7


“This apartment building used to be called ‘The Pit’ because of the criminal activities that went on in here,” a tenant explained.  The conversation happened years ago shortly after we formed a small property management company and took over the management of an apartment building in our neighborhood.  Forming the business was a step of faith and we knew God was at work in putting it all together. Believers who have faithfully walked with us in our ministry and who understood the value of building relationships and trust with the people in our community felt called to partner with us in running the business.  God also provided a businessman who understood our vision to seek the welfare of our city through the ministry of property management and invested in the apartment building.  

When we started managing the apartment building on a daily basis, we quickly understood why it was labeled “The Pit”. We needed God’s favor and wisdom for its reputation to change and to make it an affordable, dignified and safe place to live.  We saw our roles as property managers and caretakers as an opportunity to build relationships with our tenants, to learn from them and to let them know that we cared about their lives.  Our residents participated in our community building efforts, such as social events, which helped reduce mistrust among different people groups.  Some residents helped us with kids’ activities in the summer, tending our flowers, cleaning around the neighborhood, fixing something in the building or reporting suspicious activities.  Many times we ended up praying for our tenants in conversations initially triggered by tenancy issues.  As we looked for people of peace, a few doors opened up that allowed us to do bible studies with those who would otherwise not enter the doors of a traditional church.

 

"We saw our roles as property managers and caretakers as an opportunity to build relationships with our tenants, to learn from them and to let them know that we cared about their lives."


We had to prove to the Police department that we would be  different kind of property managers than the previous landlord had been.  Although it was very difficult at times, we asked tenants who were involved in criminal activities to leave.  At the same time, we would notify police supervisors if their police were involved in misconduct in our building.  We worked with other non-profits in the city by providing housing to people who had experienced long-term homelessness.  We have discovered that sometimes we are the only unbiased, rational person in our residents’ lives, many of who suffer from mental illness or who are illiterate.  The business also gave our Chief Manager a platform to represent the interests of our residents and neighbors in the neighborhood association.  
 

"our understanding of what it means to 'do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God' has deepened"

 

As we have sought the welfare of our city through the ministry of property management, God has shown us that not only has our own welfare improved as a result of the overall peace and shalom in our corner of the neighborhood, but our understanding of what it means to “do justice, to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God” has deepened. This has happened as we have continued to learn how to serve and minister to our residents while running a business.  We long for more of God’s reign in the lives of our tenants, in our neighborhood and in our city.  For now, we rejoice in every little story of redemption – like the note we found in our rent box from a previous tenant stopping by to receive some encouragement because she had been struggling with her addiction.  Praise God for accomplishing his good purposes in spite of our weaknesses – He has turned “The Pit” to a place of hope.

Thank you for reading this edition of the InnerChange Voice. We're so glad to have you walking with us. We welcome your comments and questions. 
Copyright © 2013 InnerCHANGE, All rights reserved.


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