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Faithwalking: Meeting God in our Stories

Updated: Jun 29



The Faithwalking cohort gathers for their first meal together on their opening retreat

In early February, 8 young adults gathered with 2 leaders at a retreat site just outside of Phnom Penh. The participants were a little unsure of what they had signed up for—a spiritual formation cohort called Faithwalking.

 

As leaders, we honestly weren’t quite sure how it would all work either. Faithwalking is a spiritual formation program developed in Houston, Texas, and several Mission Dove staff have completed it online. Seeing the impact that it had had in our own lives, a few of us at Mission Dove decided to adapt the content and process to fit the Cambodian context.

 

How slow can you go? We were invited to slow the pace of our lives

And the result?

 

We all loved it!

 

We eased into the process by first building trust with an opening retreat—playing games and eating great food, of course, but also spending time in prayer, sharing our stories, inviting God to meet us in the process.





“The lessons were about me, not just information or theory,” one participant summarized. “The lessons were about my own life.”

Students reflect together during Saturday morning class

Over the next 4 months, we dug deep into our stories every Saturday morning. We reflected together on our families of origin and how we had been shaped in those families. We thanked God for these gifts, and we lamented what we had lacked. We saw how our painful moments had shaped us, and we listened for the Holy Spirit who is re-shaping us.

 




“The highlight for me was understanding how my family shaped me, and as I started to apply what I was learning and create new ways of living, I felt like I was free!” shared one student.

 

One unique aspect of the Faithwalking rhythm is that it includes coaching. Every 3 weeks, students meet in small groups with one of the facilitators to process the content. Many were initially unsure and intimidated by coaching (what is my coach going to ask me??), but in the end, they grew to love it.

 

“I felt so relieved when I opened my heart to my group,” one student said. “I am learning to have compassion for myself and to see myself as God sees me.”

 

Another shared, “The coaching group was so safe. It helped me dig deeper into my story, not by giving advice or anything, but by asking questions and listening.”

 

The students proudly display their certificates on the last day

As facilitators, we were also impressed. “I’m inspired by how courageously these young people engaged this process. They are doing the hard work of reflecting on how they have been shaped and choosing new ways of living that align with the way of Jesus,” commented Mission Dove’s advisor Justin.

 

And the journey isn’t over yet. As the students continue to process what they learned in this module, our team is working to contextualize the second of Faithwalking’s six modules. We also hope to host this first module again for another group later this year.

 

Thank you for making spiritual formation opportunities like this available for emerging Cambodian leaders! When you give to support Mission Dove, you are helping young leaders meet God in their own stories.

 

To make a donation to continue to support this work, please give online through our US partner, Mission Dispatch.




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