Category Archives: Noels Blog

Stories of Change: Banyan and Peak

Stories of Change: Banyan and Peak

So many of you have followed the journey Marnie and I have had with our team in the village of Prek Ho, Cambodia. It’s the village with the preschool that we’ve shared so much about over the past three years. Because of your support, AO Cambodia has also been helping older children to attend public school. It’s always been about giving these kids the opportunity to dream and grow.

Well, it’s already happening!

Please meet Banyan and Peak


We were out in Prek Ho to hand out the school kits to over 40 children who are sponsored in this village. Some were graduating from preschool and will start into the government school. Others were moving to the next grade.

But, as the ceremony started with parents, local leaders and the principal attending, I looked over to see that it was two of our kids behind the mic leading the ceremony! This was one of those moments. I can’t tell you how amazing I felt at that moment. We are so proud of these kids. We are so proud of the work Naroth, Thida and the team are doing. The investment is shown in these kids’ lives.

Banyan and Peak are now being trained to be leaders in the program. How cool is that?

Banyan is 13 and has three siblings. He’s in Grade 9 and loves math. He wants to be a teacher. Banyan would really like to have a job that allows him to help support his family. He really loves going to school and it shows.

Peak is also 13 and her name means “diamond.” You should have seen her smile when I told her she really was a diamond. Peak loves physics best and really doesn’t like math that much. She wants to eventually be a doctor. She has 6 brother and sisters.

I really do believe their lives are being changed by the investment of our team. It begs the question, where would they be if we weren’t there? But we are, and they now have a chance to dream.

Faith in action, changes lives!

Thanks for all your support and encouragement – you are part of Banyan and Peak’s story too.

The Gift of Clean Water

The Gift of Clean Water

It became very real for me on one trip a few years ago in Northern Cambodia. Our team was traveling on bikes in two northern provinces where we work when I ran out of water. I wasn’t feeling well, so that made it even worse. It got to a point where I was almost willing to drink water from a source I knew was not clean. I was getting desperate.

This is the situation that so many face every day. No clean water access in their homes or villages, or they have to walk long distances to get water that still isn’t fit to drink.

Often even the water from the wells isn’t clean enought to drink–but it’s a start. That’s why AO’s water and sanitation program combines these key parts:

  • Proper toilets so soil is not contaminated near water sources
  • Community wells, so familes have access to a clean water source
  • Biosand water filters. Even water from the wells is not safe to drink. It is filtered through these amazing and simple filters.


These three steps ensure families are drinking clean water.

I’ve heard it firsthand from villages leaders: They are so grateful for these wells and filters! Their kids aren’t sick. Health has improved and this means they can work their fields and put food on their tables.

My story ended well. We found a small stand selling bottles of water and our trip continued. But, our work here isn’t finished. There are still so many villages and families in Northern Cambodia desperate for clean water. It opens doors, it helps us meet needs and it shows the love of God and the Good News we bring in very tangible ways.

Would you consider giving the gift of clean water to a family in Cambodia?

$210 will provide a family with a toilet and a biosand water.

Thank you for your partnership with us as we see lives changed in Cambodia.

Story of Change: Due Clang

Story of Change: Due Clang

This is Watrip Mom and her daughter, Due Clang. Clang is in Grade 6 and loves studying Khmer literature. She does not like math…I can identify with that. And, she loves to read. Her mom says she is very helpful on the farm and around the house. She would love to be a teacher one day.

Watrip Mom and her daughter, Due Clang
Watrip Mom and her daughter, Due Clang

She has 2 brothers and 3 sisters. Her parents are farmers and really struggle to make ends meet. In the rainy season they also fish to help with food and income.

Thanks to great partners in Canada, AOC makes it possible for Clang to go to school. We also give her extra tuition classes so she can catch up with her age group.  Our staff conduct home visits to make sure she’s supported and the family gets the training they need to have income and food security.

We are very excited to be supporting 165 children in this village alone, thank to great partners. Maybe you would consider sponsoring a child in Cambodia? All it costs is $37 a month. That’s way less than one coffee a day to change a child’s life. Thanks for being on this journey with us and supporting these amazing kids. We’re very grateful!

2016 Cambodia Report Released

2016 Cambodia Bi-Annual Report Released

The Bi-Annual Report for Cambodia was recently released. The report highlights the efforts of the Asian Outreach organization from January through July 2016. Each section of the report showcases the work that was done on the many projects the Asian Outreach manages.

Water & Sanitation

Back in March, the Stung Treng Water and Sanitation team approached the Village Development Committee (VDC) and key leaders living in Thala Barivat commune to discuss finding sustainable solutions to health issues stemming primarily from non-potable water and unhygienic toileting practises. Since then, 238 families received latrines and filters. Through working with AOC, 80% of the villagers in Thala Barivat now have access to clean water and proper sanitation, and a greater sense of community in working together was an important bi-product.

Cambodia 2016 Report - Water
Community Hope Development

The goal of the CHD project this year is to work towards developing mature, indigenous reproducing churches. We are equipping church leaders to incorporate new believers into the life and ministry of the church and to disciple those under their care. For example, 60 women participated in the thriving Women’s Empowerment Group which meets for bible studies and health education. Five were chosen to attend a seminar in Siem Reap to receive coaching by national women leaders.

Another significant area of ministry for the CHD team is the development of 26 Sunday School teachers to disciple and impact children’s lives. Finally, 40 pastors and leaders received training in church planting. In our methodology, we avoid using the models that foster dependency on outside funding and resources, but instead, encourage Cambodian Christians to look to God to supply for all their needs.

Agriculture & Livelihoods

The two-member strong AOC Agriculture team worked very hard over the past six months on training and empowering four Savings Groups, influencing the lives of 75 people and their

They gained the trust of the people. The outcomes are the capacity of the groups to run independent of any outside help and an increase in the number of people who request to put their money in with the
Saving Groups rather than in the local bank. In addition to AOC’s initial contribution to the capital, the members’ savings totalled $6,216 as of June!

The Transformational Training Centre

It has been a very busy and exciting past six months in Stung Treng with the Training Centre. We are hoping to have the keys and the first phase of the building completed by the end of July. This will allow our staff and overseas teams and volunteers to assist in the internal fit-out.

Assisting Children to School

ACTS is much more than simply sending a child to school. It also operates within an integrative approach to education by empowering not only the students, but all the stakeholders. The staff meets with the principals and teachers regularly to listen and advise on the progress and development of each ACTS student.

The extra tuition classes are incorporated to help the children thrive and succeed. We also meet with secondary school students every three months to offer a platform for them share their joys and challenges. We support them by providing appropriate solutions to problems, guidance and motivation. And finally, the ACTS staff updates the parents on the status of the children’s school work and strive to build relationships of trust and care.

Click here to read the full report.

Why do we give?

Why do we give? Why do we go?

I’m back home now and reflecting on my recent trip to Cambodia with a team from Toronto. A few thoughts are going through my mind, questions actually… Why do we give? And, why do we go?

Why Give?

We were a team of 12, including me. That’s a lot of airfare, local transportation, food and accommodations.

A question always gets asked: “Is it better to just send the money?”

Good question! My answer is sometimes, but not always. I guess to really answer the question we have to look at the overall impact. This includes both for those on the team and for those receiving the team.

Why Give 2

Take a look at the two young men in the picture above. They were really hands-on. Laying brink and mixing cement right alongside our construction team. In Cambodia this might be seen as common labor but I can tell you having these 2 guys work with our Cambodian team affirmed who they are and what they do. I watched something special unfold. Not to mention that these two guys traveled with their father and uncle and their grandfather. That’s special. Three generations.

We need to inspire people to be a part of what God is doing around the world. Sometimes that means people need to go and see it firsthand. We need to stand alongside those who are working on the front lines of church planting, leadership training and great community development. It’s a blessing to them!

We need to be inspired by a cause greater than ourselves, something that will be contagious to those around us. That cause is pretty clear to me. I see it in the eyes of those we serve. It’s worth the investment.

Why Give 3

We are told to “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel.”

That does mean that some must go. Some longer term, some shorter. Others give generously to make it all happen. Many do both. Here’s what I do know: Being a part of what God is doing changes our lives and the lives of those around us.

This is what our team in Northern Cambodia has accomplished over the last 6 months.

  • 108 farmers trained in intensive farming techniques
  • 30 church leaders trained in three sessions
  • 30 people have become followers of Christ in 3 new house church plants
  • AOC convened one of the largest gatherings of church leaders in Northern Cambodia in December 2015
  • Increasing the capacity of our Cambodian staff with English classes with staff weekly

Your partnership and support makes this all possible. As we join hands, we will continue to see communities across the region receive the help they need to thrive, and a message of hope to heal their hearts. We share a message that restores HOPE and DIGNITY, as we are truly made in His image.

Would you consider a special gift to support this amazing work? A gift or $25, $50 or $100 helps brings clean water, education, skills training and hope to families at risk. Thank you for your ongoing partnership with us.

Forming a New Partnership

Asian Outreach Partners with Acts of Grace Foundation

On Monday, June 20, 2016, Asian Outreach North America announced a new partnership with the Acts of Grace Foundation. The Acts of Grace Foundation is an organization dedicated to assisting registered Canadian charities that work to alleviate the underlying causes of physical, material or spiritual poverty through financial grants. AO is a proud recipient of an Acts of Grace Foundation grant.

To learn more about the Acts of Grace Foundation visit their website. You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter!

Interesting in supporting Asian Outreach’s mission? There are many ways to get involved. You can also donate – every little bit helps us reach our goal of transforming lives in the communities we serve. Feel free to contact us with any questions, or visit our website to learn more about Asian Outreach!

The Little Things Matter

The Little Things Matter

Impacting the Lives of Children

It’s over 35 degrees Celsius— for our friends south of the border, that means it’s over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.  Did I mention the humidity is over 80%? Don’t worry, that hasn’t dampened the spirit of the 12 team members from Toronto who are working with our AO staff in Stung Treng!

Little Things Matter

As I write this, I’m sitting in Northern Cambodia – reflecting on the past week. Let me just say, it’s been quite a week! We’ve pitched in and cut grass, painted, planted, designed a water and septic system, installed bio-sand water filters and taught needy kids in our school program. While it’s been busy, it’s been a privilege to stand alongside our team as they work, week in and week out, blessing almost 30 communities in the region.

Asian Outreach says the little things matter
The little things matter.
ACTS—Assisting Children to School

We worked with two classes of kids in the program. These are children of various ages who have either not had the opportunity to go to school or who have fallen way behind their peers. AOC runs extra classes each afternoon to help bring them up to speed for their ages and re-integrate them into regular classes. The ladies had a great time with the kids. Each one received an instant picture of themselves…

Asian Outreach captures first pictures of Cambodian kids
“The real climax was when they each received a photograph of themselves—they stared at it with wonder and awe,” said Maureen.

Something as simple as a first picture, building bridges and bringing something a bit special into many children’s lives. More than 40 new children received packs filled with all the things they’ll need to go to school. So many of the parents standing behind their kids don’t have the means to supply the required uniforms and supplies necessary for them to go to school.

While school is free, there are many other barriers that can stand in the way. Things like the ability to get to and from school and acquiring the right supplies and uniforms are just a few of the ways AO helps. This is where faith and practical help come together to make it happen.

Asian Outreach shows the loves of Christ
AO has always been about showing the love of Christ in very practical ways.
Celebrating a few of the AO Team’s accomplishments in Northern Cambodia over the last 6 months:
  • 108 farmers trained in intensive farming techniques
  • 30 church leaders trained in three sessions
  • 30 people have become followers of Christ in 3 new house church plants
  • AOC convened one of the largest gatherings of church leaders in Northern Cambodia in December 2015
  • Increasing the capacity of our Cambodian staff with English classes with staff weekly

Your partnership and support makes this all possible. As we join hands, we will continue to see communities across the region receive the help they need to thrive, and a message of hope to heal their hearts. We share a message that restores HOPE and DIGNITY, as we are truly made in His image.

Would you consider a special gift to support this amazing work? A gift or $25, $50 or $100 helps brings clean water, education,  skills training and hope to families at risk. Thank you for your ongoing partnership with us.

Serving the Children of Stung Treng • June 2016

Serving the Children of Stung Treng • June 2016

School Children
Children excited to learn!

Serving Children is one of the best parts of working with an organization like Asian Outreach. Watching the children grow and learn, and knowing that you’re contributing to their future and helping to improve their livelihood is an amazing feeling.

Many of our programs genuinely enhance the lives of these children. From the work we do to educate families on farming techniques to help them attain sustenance, to our efforts to assist the children in receiving a quality education. Our work is centered around improving lives.

You can see the gratitude on the faces in every village we’ve been to on this trip. Would you like to help us in our mission to transform lives in the communities we serve?

Contact us to find out ways to get involved. You can also take a moment to learn more about the great work our teams are doing in Cambodia, and other countries such as Thailand and Mongolia. As always, thank you for your ongoing support and prayers.


Story of Change: Rachhan’s Story

Impacting the Lives of Children

I think we all ask ourselves, does what we do or give really make a difference? When the support you give goes so far away, it can seem hand-off and out of reach. So, I’d like to bring this a little closer to home for you. I’d like you to meet Rachhan. Here’s a bit of his story…

Rachhan, one of Cambodia's Children
Rachhan, one of Cambodia’s Children

Rachhan, a seven-year-old boy from the village of Tameng, is currently studying Grade One at Hun Sen Primary School. If it weren’t for Asian Outreach’s ACTS program, this might not have been possible. Without the necessary skills and opportunities to earn a living in rural Cambodia, many Cambodians find themselves desperate to provide for their families. This often leads them away from their homes—sometimes as far as countries like Thailand—with hope of landing a secure job.

Six years ago, Rachhan’s father found himself in this very position after being convinced to accept a job in Thailand that would earn him “a lot of money.” However, instead of finding this dream job in Thailand, Rachhan’s father was cheated and sold to be a slave on a sea fishing ship.

It took Rachhan’s father three years before he was able to escape and get back home to his family. Coming home without the money that Rachhan’s father had been promised, Rachhan’s mother left her family. The public shame and humiliation that Rachhan’s father felt led him to hide from his community and take his frustrations out on his two children.

“How do I feed them? What becomes of their future?” He remembers thinking at the time. To make things worse, the roof of their home was full of holes, which made living difficult during Cambodia’s rainy season.

Just when hope was at its lowest for Rachhan’s father, Rachhan was selected to benefit from Asian Outreach’s ACTS program. During the following academic year, Rachhan received two sets of school uniforms and supplies. He has shown an inspiring level of commitment to his studies from the start.

Since Rachhan has started school, his father has received training on children’s rights and domestic violence. He is filled with hope for his own future and his children’s future. He has mended relationships within his community and his family.

“Education is a ferry of life for his children”, he said, “In free time I always help Rachhan with reading books. Thanks for ACTs project continues to support my children.” Rachhan aspires to become a doctor. Kids deserve the chance to dream.

Here’s how you can help!

For only $9 a month or $110 a year, you can provide a child with everything they need to attend school. That includes uniforms, flip flops, books, pencils and tuition fees

Help us provide a family like Rachhan’s with training to start a small business or improve their farm and a loan to make make it happen. All it takes is $57 a month or $690 a year. These families are looking for a way out, a helping hand. We can give them the opportunity they need!


ACTS Programme

I love sharing these informational videos posted by Sam, a volunteer from New Zealand working with our team in Stung Treng Cambodia. This video discusses the progress and updates with our Assisting Children to School programme. Great things are happening, and our team is helping engage the minds of school-age children in Cambodia. All thanks to the generosity and support of our donors.

As always, contact us with any questions or concerns.