Our global partner, Dave Manfred with the Christian Missionary Alliance, has helped to support and oversee fellow missionary men and women throughout the country of Cambodia. One of these is married couple Darren and Minako Polischuk. Since arriving in Cambodia, Darren and Minako have focused on Business for Transformation (B4T) and have since started two Cambodian businesses: Clothed in Dignity Center and Made for This Fabrication. The village they live and serve in is located by one of the biggest garbage dumps in the region.

In 2016, they met many men, women, and children scavenging at the dump for food and supplies. Many live at the dump. It is a hard life with no encouragement or a way out. The Polischuks launched these businesses to empower the poor to be agents of transformation in their own communities. What this looks like is the poor have dignified work and their communities are transformed from the love of Jesus.

CLOTHED IN DIGNITY

At the Clothed in Dignity Center, women are taught to sew along with morning devotions. These women are given not just work, but also a community that loves them and discovers Jesus’ love for them together.

“One time at our morning devotions I shared with the women,” Minako said with her voice breaking up, “just because you guys are poor doesn’t mean that you aren’t capable or able. That you can do this. They met the challenge! They sewed over 11,000 drawstring bags and over 400 school uniforms. That’s not easy and so cool to see them accomplish that and to have joy in that. They are proud that they are able to do that!”

The women also make t-shirts, dresses, necklaces, and other products so that all these things help them have work. This allows Minako and Darren to build authentic relationships with the women that engage other parts of their life. Many of the women have now learned how to read, receive help with their medical bills, and learn how to save money. The women also bring back these skills and knowledge to their home and teach them to their children. Whole families are equipped and encouraged creating ripples of change both generationally and in their village.

Today, everyone is working towards a new sewing center. Land has been bought and plans are made. Funds are now being raised. The Polischuks shared this:

“You know the new sewing building will be amazing, but what will be more amazing is that there will be more ladies who will fill it. The vision is for 500 women to spend an hour a day in devotional time praising God and lifting up prayer for one another before spending the day sewing and creating beautiful clothing for the world to know and see Jesus is our Lord and Savior.”

MADE FOR THIS FABRICATION

One of six communities that surrounds the garbage dump is Phnom Dai. About four years ago, the Polischuks developed a burden for the men in Phnom Dai and the Made for this Fabrication Center was launched. One of the men supervises and teaches the other men about welding.

The welding team makes working things out of steel, fiberglass, wood, plastic and other materials. With these materials they have created trailers, furniture, playgrounds and other products. The Polischuks are looking to develop ways for people to support by sponsoring a playground and bless surrounding communities while giving work to the welders to continue learning. Another fabrication the team has created are floating fish cages called In-Pond Raceway Systems. These cages use electrical air blowers to pump diffused air into the water to help improve the quality of the environment for the fish. The project has now included solar power technology creating more opportunities for growth.

And just like with Clothed in Dignity, these men have morning devotions and discovery Bible studies.

For both ministries, men and women have experienced the good news of Jesus and His kingdom. There is now a small church of followers of Jesus that was planted out of these businesses and in this community and Jesus keeps opening doors.

Recently, a man from the police visited Darren and Minako and the team to get to know them and see the fish farm project they were just starting to develop. Not long after visiting, he asked if there could be a vocational training partnership at the prison. In just a few weeks, a plan started to unfold.

“I mentioned that our motivation for doing this is because we are Christians and we believe that knowing Jesus is the answer,” Darren shared. “We believe that knowing Jesus is the answer that truly gives hope and changes the way we live our lives. They said they understood and asked us if we would be willing to install farms not just in the one prison we were at, but in all 29 prisons with the reach of 40,000 prisoners! The ability to feed them, teach them skills and hope in the Good News of Jesus. The goal is to make Fishers of men who will go out from the dark institution to every corner of the country and bring food security, hope and light to this country that has suffered much.”

The mission of God is at work in Cambodia. Jesus is moving through His people to meet people where they are at as they live in a broken, hurting world. And Jesus brings hope and healing in many different ways! He is transforming lives. This summer, Citylight has the privilege to go and serve our global partners, the Cambodia team - specifically with Darren and Minako, and this village that they serve. They intentionally began with the men and women, and not the children, seeking to see entire families transformed. Now they want to start engaging the youth. Citylight is sending a mission team to host a vacation bible school and a sports camp to the families that the Poluschk’s serve and love. The village has practically nothing - literally a mountain of trash is in their midst with extreme poverty surrounding them.

The team will provide the hope of Christ in word and service. Citylight gets to be a part of sending missionaries to Cambodia by helping develop deep relationships with the teams and people in Cambodia! We are there for a short time, but those relationships continue when we leave and through these, Jesus continues to take the dead, forgotten, and unwanted and makes them alive, known, and chosen!

If you are interested in learning more about the summer trip to Cambodia, please reach out to Luke at luke@citylightomaha.org. ALSO REACH OUT if you want to explore how you could support these ministries by integrating your business with theirs (e.g. having specific part/item made that you need for your business and providing work that they can hire even more men and women).

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