Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | September 10, 2012

Imparting Hope

Poipet, Cambodia

Today was all about imparting smiles and lots of hugs to the kids at the Imparting Smiles orphanage. When we arrived at the Imparting Smiles campus on the outskirts of Poipet early this morning, the kids were waiting to greet us. I absolutely love returning to Cambodia just to see the kids I have come to know over the past three years. And, I enjoy bringing team members to serve these precious kids. Those returning for the second time could hardly wait to get out of the van to reconnect with the kids they had met last year. And, as soon as they did they did the hugging and cheers and tears started. The excitement and joy of reunion was intense and beautiful. However, our first-time team members were not about to be left out. They wasted no time in meeting and hugging the kids. There is no better way to start the day than by being surrounded by the laughter and smiles of kids who have been rescued from terrible circumstances and who now have a future and a hope.

Our first day of Vacation Bible School went well with approximately seven-hundred kids in attendance. Our team members did an exceptional job of leading in their respective areas of responsibility — music, Bible stories, crafts, and recreation. The kids at Imparting Smiles are fortunate to be in a place where they are learning about God and His love for them. However, the only opportunity to learn about God that the kids in the surrounding slum neighborhoods have is when teams like ours come to conduct a special event like VBS. In addition to Kingsland, Imparting Smiles founder Steve Hyde hosts teams from a couple of other churches who are willing to make the long trek to Cambodia to invest in kids. Through the daily work of Steve and his staff and visiting teams like ours, the kids in the area are learning that there is a God who loves and cares for them.

What teams like ours are doing is having an impact beyond the Imparting Smiles campus and beyond the muddy streets of the surrounding slum neighborhoods. Last year, the mayor of Poipet attended our closing VBS ceremony. This Buddhist man spoke to the kids and encouraged them to continue learning about Jesus. A representative from the governor’s office also attended and publicly said to Steve, “Your God is bringing hope to our region.” And then he turned to the kids and told them to keep coming to the Imparting Smiles campus any time they offer community events like this and encouraged them to learn more about this God who gives hope to all people. We do indeed serve and represent the God of all hope. We trust that the seeds we plant this week will grow and blossom to bring life and hope to those who live on the edge of despair in a place steeped in darkness, difficulty, and death. We are imparting more than smiles and hugs this week. We are also imparting hope.


  1. precious….just precious.

    • Thanks, Kay. The kids have grown so much since last year. So good to see them again.

  2. Thank you for the pictures! I love them all! The pictures and your hopeful words bring me deep joy!!!!! My prayers over you today are two verses from the 15th chapter of Romans. 15:5 and 15:13. And, just like the Gentiles hope and believe in Christ Jesus we pray over this nation that “… those who were not told about Him will see and those who have not heard about him will understand.” 15:23. Keep the pictures coming please! Praise God!!!

    • Thanks, Kelly. Thanks also for praying. Will continue to share more pics throughout the week.

  3. This makes my heart smile…….. Looks like you all beat the rain this year? Have they added more children at Imparting Smiles?

    Nehemiah 8:10, 12 May the joy of our Lord be your strength and may many names be added to the Lamb’s Book of Life because they understood the words that were declared to them……

    • Hi Sheryl … So far, no rain in sight. Although it’s good for our VBS it’s tough on the rice crop. We are enjoying the kids and expect more day to day as word spreads. Thanks for your prayers.

  4. Absolutely wonderful pictures! You guys are amazing!! Please tell everyone hi for me!!

    Jennifer Sitton (Leslie’s Sister-in-Law)

    • Thanks, Jennifer. Will pass along your regards to Leslie. So glad she is a part of our team.

  5. Hi All,
    You are all to be blessed for being obedient to God’s call and for your service to Him and to the children of Imparting Smiles. After having the privilege of hosting Steve Hyde and his sweet family for a week in Angel Fire, I know that you have no comprehension of the blessing you are to them also.

    God bless you all,
    Marcia Frith

    • Thanks, Marcia. It’s great to be serving the kids at Imparting Smiles this week along with Steve, Noit, and their kids. The Hyde family is indeed a blessing to the people of Poipet and to our team.

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