BY TASHA SIMONS, MISSION TRIP PARTICIPANT & VOLUNTEER EXTRAORDINAIRE
In August of 2012, I went to Cambodia on an exploratory trip to see how Grace Church could partner with Center for Global Impact (CGI). The day before I left, my sister died of cancer. I remember making the decision on whether to stay for her funeral or go on this mission trip. My sister was an activist for women’s issues. Like me, she felt passionate about fighting poverty and child abuse. I decided to go in her memory.
CGI offers hope and freedom by empowering the poor and protecting the vulnerable, many of whom are victims of, or vulnerable to, human trafficking. CGI does this by creatively connecting financial and human resources with vocational training programs and humanitarian projects in Cambodia. CGI’s ultimate desire is to open a door for the Gospel and to share the love of Jesus Christ.
I remember going to the byTavi workshop and meeting Tavi. She played an important role in the start of CGI’s program byTavi that provides seamstress training. The women in the program create handbags and a clothing line that are sold in the United States to create consistent employment and a living wage for the women.
Through a translator, she shared her personal story and I felt much compassion and love for her. She told me that her husband died of AIDS and she also has AIDS. She didn’t have enough money to buy medicine prior to her job with CGI. Tavi shared how CGI helped her learn a skill so she could provide for herself and her family. We subsequently went to her home and I met her kids. I loved spending time in her home. She was so proud of her cement floor which replaced her mud floor. Flooding is a constant problem in her neighborhood so this makes a significant difference. We went upstairs to her bedroom and she showed me pictures of her family. The room was small and dark. It was just the two of us. She held both of my hands and she said, “Will you be my sister?” Tavi didn’t know that my sister had just died. She didn’t know what she was asking. I saw God’s hand in it. While I lost my sister to cancer, God gave me a sister of the heart in Tavi. We bonded. As I host events and sell byTavi products, I remember my sister in Christ, Tavi, and how this is helping her, and others like her, to no longer live in poverty.
If you would like to join me in empowering the poor and fighting human trafficking, here are some ways you can get involved:
Host a trunk show
Volunteer to sell byTavi products at events in your area and share about CGI’s mission
Create your own awareness event in your community
Make a donation! In Cambodia, you can feed a family for week for just $20. For $250, you can train a CGI student for a month in a vocational skill so she can provide for her family for generations to come.
Volunteer to help with our Mother/Daughter Fashion Show at Grace Church in March. Bake, model, attend.
Volunteer in our warehouse. Have time to spare? We need your help in the Southport, IN warehouse!
Attend, sponsor or promote CGI’s annual fundraisers. Each year we host our Spring Golf Outing and our Fall Impact Gala.
For more information, visit centerforglobalimpact.org or contact Tasha Simons at Tasha.Simons@gmail.com.