The latest news from Sihanoukville
Stronghold Cambodia’s Executive Director Jesse and Missionaries Tim and Diane Esala (members of St. John Church) are excited to share their experiences at Stronghold Cambodia.
The Founding of Stronghold Cambodia
In 2010, Pastor Dion Garrett set off on a journey to Southeast Asia, a trip that would start a movement in our community at St. John Church. Dion met a missionary who shared a dream of a refuge where Cambodian children could come to be fed, to learn and to know God. The missionary’s dream of the Angel Dormitory Project became a wave in our community, half a world away.
In 2014, the project faced a pivotal moment. In May, after months of staff and board members working closely with legal counsel and government officials, word was received from the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation that licensing to house children overnight would no longer be granted to foreign non-governmental organizations.
However, the Ministry shared their excitement over the vision and mission of the project and asked for help to achieve their goals for the future of Cambodian children.
In response to the Ministry’s request, Cambodian project leaders and St. John Church decided to adopt the following goals, and revise the business plan of the project.
- Instead of housing children in a boarding program, the same services, such as food assistance, classes focused on math, computers, English, Khmer and faith instruction will be provided while children live with their families/guardians via a Christian “wrap around” aftercare model.
- In addition, holistic programming and case management to nurture parental skills and strengthen families will be key to the project’s success.
In June 2014 the Angel Dormitory Project was renamed Stronghold Cambodia and a business plan was adopted at the first Board of Director’s meeting. That plan included a revised mission and vision statement and details for Stronghold Cambodia’s programming.
Stronghold Cambodia’s mission to empower communities for positive change through Christian care and learning and vision to equip Cambodian children and parents physically, intellectually and spiritually so they may they may carry out fruitful Christian lives are accomplished through four key areas of programming; student curriculum, parent curriculum, food assistance and Christian instruction.
On October 10, 2014, Stronghold Cambodia dedicated their building in the city of Sihanoukville in southern Cambodia. The first student was admitted before the end of that month. Today, teachers and field workers support over 80 children and their families, working side by side to realize the dream that started with a missionary many years ago.
Follow the staff and students of Stronghold Cambodia
Questions? Contact David Jameson at