It is estimated that Phnom Penh, Cambodia has 214,620 urban poor living in slum communities (Squatter and Urban Poor Federation).
These communities are incredibly vulnerable, due to extreme poverty, lack of education, minimal job opportunities, and corrupt activities, making them a primary target for human trafficking. Lighthouses are aimed to transform the slums, by facilitating personal transformation for women, families, and children in need, as well as providing a safe place to build relationships and hear about/assist in cases of abuse, exploitation, and trafficking.
The Extreme Love Ministries team is currently working in seven Phnom Penh slum communities, with five operating Lighthouses
What is a Lighthouse?
Lighthouses are slum houses that our team rents within poor and vulnerable communities. These are houses that look just like those already established within their area. As such, most are single room shacks, which provide a place for ministry activities, such as bible studies, children’s outreaches, food distributions, and more! The houses become safe places, and help us to better build strong and lasting relationships, thereby changing communities and individuals from the inside out. We become their neighbors, their friends, and their mentors in a relationship with Jesus.
Partner with us to transform the villages – from the inside out!
Lighthouses provide all of the following:
Outreach to Children:
- Create Awareness – Concerning trafficking and other related issues of exploitation, Lighthouses provide children and families with necessary education and awareness training.
- Discipleship – Children learn about God and receive Kingdom truths about their identity and value.
- Therapy – Children are mentored and counseled through various therapies to heal emotional trauma and better assess background and areas of need.
- Eyes and Ears in the Community – Teams working in these areas are constant “eyes and ears” within the community. Developing relationships is key, and through these relationships, trust is established. As neighbors, the team is able to hear about issues of child abuse, trafficking, and other possible exploitations and can thereby intervene where and when necessary to assist in prevention and rescue efforts.
- Child Placement and Case Management – If a child is being trafficked or abused and their home is not safe, the team works with necessary government, social workers, and organizations to get them placed into safe and restorative care.
Outreach to Women:
Several slum communities are filled with women working in prostitution. Women who have been trafficked or are at-risk for trafficking need assistance to break cycles for poverty and hopelessness. Through relationships developed in Lighthouses, qualifying women have the opportunity to get trained in a skill or begin a micro-business, where they will receive discipleship and coaching to exit their current lifestyle.
Outreach to Families:
The breakdown of family relationships and values has created vulnerability in Cambodian communities. Fathers and mothers, husbands and wives, and children need to learn how to grow and function as a unit. Issues of poverty (one of the primary reason why individuals choose to sell their children) need to be addressed, and families need education and assistance to better themselves and their communities, including: job training programs, business assistance, feeding programs, education (regarding trafficking issues, family development, kingdom values and life skills, discipleship, and more).
Lighthouses seek to transform individuals spiritually, emotionally, and physically. When individuals are restored these areas of targeted corruption will thereby be transformed, and one-by-one neighborhoods, cities, and the whole nation will be changed.