Loving neighbors, transforming communities
The Community Health and Agriculture Development program (Advance #14916A) began eight years ago as missionary intern Fontus obeyed God's command to love his neighbors. In the years since, CHAD has sowed seeds of hope in the lives of people in Cambodia. CHAD today ministers with approximately 34,000 people in 101 mostly rural communities through its partnership with local Methodist churches.
Truly, the reign of God is advancing!
Through the CHAD leadership program on holistic mission, we are training and equipping 985 church leaders in church-based/led relief and development work. The Social Concerns Committee of the Methodist Church in Cambodia is growing and increasing its leadership of CHAD program implementation. Seventy-two functioning Local Social Concerns Committees are serving their churches and their communities through community development initiatives.
CHAD's health programs have helped 17,798 individuals. The agriculture activities have significantly increased the amount of food available locally, especially during the lean months. With 101 rice banks in 72 villages, CHAD increases the amount of rice stocks for food and seeds in many communities, further reducing the vulnerability of 2,335 families during seasonal drought and flooding. The amount of rice stocks collected in all the rice banks is 305,660 kilos or 305.66 tons.
CHAD currently serves 322 poor families through 25 savings-based credit groups that create access to collateral-free capital loans. So far, the total amount of revolving funds available in these groups is $15,351.80.
Who could have imagined eight years ago that Fontus' simple and sincere desire to respond to the needs he saw would touch and transform so many lives? The facts remind us that God honors our desire to do good to others and will multiply it beyond our imagination.
Kennedy (Ken) Cruz (Advance #3019583) is a United Methodist missionary serving in Cambodia as a community development specialist with CHAD. Cruz has served there since October 2007.