want to get involved?

Hey, friends. Thank you for the response to last week’s post (about what exactly it is we’re doing here in Cambodia). I got lots of follow-up questions (mostly through fb messenger), and I will try to get to those, but first–

I promised to share ways you all can help.

I’ll be honest. I had a post all planned out, detailing all the fun little ways your money could be used here at the center. I was going to write up little sponsorships you could do–as an individual, a family, with your neighbors, your Bible study group, etc…

Like you could sponsor Mondays at the center for $7/week. That would pay for a snack for each kid, coloring/activity pages to go with the lesson, and craft supplies.

Or you could sponsor snacks for the kids at Angkor Wat every Friday for $5/week. At Kids’ Club in Phnom Penh, they do snacks every day, but we’re starting small.

Or you could buy a mat (where we sit to do activities with kids) for $7 or a fan for $20 (hot season is almost here!) or buy a computer or two (I don’t know the $ amount yet).

But, after a talk with Alli Mellon, our Director, this afternoon, there’s a new plan.

Here’s the situation as it stands:

Our fixed monthly (most very basic) expenses for Punlok Thmey Siem Reap right now total $740.

Rent = $400.
Staff salaries = $300.
Utilities = $40.

Total: $740.

And we do not have ANY MONEY in our Punlok Thmey Siem Reap account right now for these important (we-cannot-have-a-center-without-them) things.

So, per Alli’s request, we’re putting ourselves on a self-imposed SPENDING FREEZE (no snacks, no coloring pages, no craft supplies, no new books) (sad face, but it will be okay) until we get a year’s worth of monthly expenses in the bank, so $740 x 12 = $8880.

Let’s just round it up to $8888, shall we? Just because what a fun number!

That sounds like a lot, I know. But I have good news:

1.) The rent and salaries are PAID IN FULL up through October 31, 2016 (my bday!), thanks to some very generous people. (Gabe and I are paying for the utilities ourselves for the next few months.) So, the money we raise will go to pay expenses from November 1, 2016 to November 1, 2017.

(Note: While the starting salary of $150/month is a fair wage in Cambodia where many people live on $1/day, we so wish it could be more. This will only be possible if/when HPC as a whole can afford to raise every staff member’s salary–and there are close to 30 staff. Pray for that with us?)

2.) $8888 is NOT that much money if we ALL PITCH IN.


3.) Our God is a God of loaves and fishes.

Speaking of loaves and fishes, our friend Sineath (the amazing woman who runs daily operations at the center in Phnom Penh–I forget her official title!) had a dream last night about God’s provision.

As told to me by Alli: “It was so powerful. The Lord woke her up at 3am to pray…she read in Matthew about the fishes and the loaves and felt the Lord say, “Give me what you have.” She continued crying out to God for finances and provision and kept going back to the fishes and the loaves. 

She fell asleep, prostrate over her Bible. She had a dream and in the dream she was leaning over the dirt like she was leaning over her Bible in real life…

She saw a 500 riel note (12.5 cents) pop up from the ground…she reached out and grabbed it, like picking a flower, and it turned into a $50 in her hand…she saw more small notes and every one she grabbed multiplied like the fishes and loaves.”

We’re going to believe, like Sineath, that God can take whatever small offering we have to bring and multiply it to make it more than enough.

(Note: Gabe and I will continue to buy things for the center with our own salary–generously provided by supporters–as we’re able. Aside from the health insurance premium starting soon and furniture we had to buy, our living expenses in Siem Reap have been lower than in Phnom Penh.)

So. What am I asking you to do?

1.) Pray/think about making a one-time donation OR monthly donation (for at least a year) to HPC Siem Reap. (NO amount is too small. And I really truly mean that.)

2.) Share this need with your people. Ask them to get involved. (be sure to share this post with them too, so they know what we’re about)

3.) Pray for God’s provision for us. If you’re unable to give, but can commit to pray, that’s just as good in my book. 

4.) STAY TUNED for some fun ideas for raising money.


When we’re back in the States for two months this summer, we’ll be hosting a 10-mile Walk Against Traffick in Columbus, Ohio (most likely in mid-July).

We’ll need volunteers & cheerleaders and WALKERS and people to sponsor those walkers a $ amount per mile.

More fun details (seriously, we want this walk to be AWESOME) coming soon!

To make a tax-deductible donation (monthly or one-time) to the center here in Siem Reap, just click here. (the first option where it says Hard Places Community Cambodia) For a one-time gift, enter the donation amount, and you should see a blue line that says “Note to Hard Places Community.” Click it and write “HPC Siem Reap.”

For a recurring donation, there currently is no option to choose HPC Siem Reap. If you want to give monthly (BLESS YOU), please go ahead and do it, then tell me so I can make sure your money goes to the right place.

Thank you!!

Let me know if you have any questions or awesome ideas!!

6 thoughts on “want to get involved?

  1. Pingback: what’s going on – Marla Taviano

  2. Helen Bisesi

    I woke up this morning from a dream that I was feeding lots of children and there did not seem to be enough, yet there was. It was the loaves and fishes and that was clear in my mind. Then, as I was scrolling through FB, I saw this and knew that it was a God thing. Praying my donation helps!

  3. Sandi Briggs

    Marla, I don’t know if you remember me. We were in a bible study together several years ago at Heritage; I was able to contribute to your parenting book. I’ve followed you and have so admired not only what you are doing but what you and your family have given up to simply be there. I want to be part of the many blessings that I know God will bestow upon you all for your faithfulness. I, like many others, cried when I read the background story of the children that you are ministering to. In my life there have been seasons of financial blessing that allow me to bless others. This morning God put you on my heart. I’m confident our donation will be used wisely. Would love to participate in your 10 mile walk when the time comes. God bless your family and your work there…

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