Kol Kosal, a student at DOVE, recently looked back on his life during a class on reflection. As a part of the lesson, he created a timeline of his past life experiences up until the current moment. In his reflection, he shared how he was able to see God at work in his life even when he wasn't aware of it. In looking back, he was able to see how he was called and moved by God in both his positive and negative life experiences. Because to this experience, Kol was able to better understand God’s plan in his life while simultaneously strengthening their relationship - an invaluable practice that will inevitably shape his development as a leader.
Kol engaged in deep reflection and recognition of God's presence in his life thanks to the DOVE Onyx Program. This year-long leadership training program successfully develops and connects emerging Christian leaders from unaffiliated churches on the margins of Cambodia. This year, the students have continued the work they learned in the program by self-organizing weekly meetings beyond their graduation.
These alumni have even extended their energies and love beyond their Onyx community by developing village outreach programs. These include partnering with schools and villages to play games, learn Bible verses, sing praise, and even organizing a four-week cooking competition. Thanks to their increased interest and consistency, DOVE plans to train the graduates so that they can teach the Onyx leadership curriculum independently.
One graduate already has at least ten youth she believes are ready to study Onyx. Yet because she lives in such a remote part of the province, DOVE will start a pilot program in her area. Eventually, graduates will be teaching the curriculum to other students, a cycle of discipleship in Cambodia that wouldn't be possible without support from donors like Tenth.
With more Onyx programs, more healing is made possible, which is vital for Cambodian youth, many of which suffer from vicarious trauma as well as personal trauma due to the recent genocide. The Onyx program directly aims to help process these traumas and wounds and to begin the journey of healing in a safe, learning community.
We were lucky to meet the Onyx students and alumni during our Justice Journey this summer. In meeting the current Onyx students at their home school in Kampong Chhnang, I saw the many ways in which DOVE develops and supports their growth- with games, lessons, and inspiring and encouraging community members. Then the following week, in meeting the Onyx alumni, it was amazing to see the futures of people who were students themselves. Over a meal, shared worship, and great conversations, I felt so welcome and encouraged- as a part of the DOVE family.
Dove has experienced a lot of change and growth this year. Aside from their work with alumni, DOVE moved to a bigger location and welcomed Zak, a close friend of Tenth, as their new intern. Zak helped develop momentum in the after school program, where more than 100 kids are now enrolled.
Tenth Church has partnered with DOVE and its preceding organization EFC Youth for 12 years, so seeing the impact of changed lives in Cambodia through leading leaders has been encouraging.
All the best,
Our team will be debriefing our Cambodia trip this week, and we want to share our insights with you. Please come and be a part of tasting Cambodian culture and essence with us at Taste of Cambodia.
If you’re interested in attending a Justice Journey you can reach out here.
Click here to donate to DOVE either by donating to the Cambodia Fund or specifying that you wish to give to DOVE using the other outlets.