The Weight of Employers
Jun 26

The weight of being an employer has grown as I’ve begun to understand the true responsibility of employing people.  Mine, of course, is with Common Grounds Cafe, and so I am not a full employer as I do not own Common Grounds, but the depth that I have begun to take on as an employer extends much further than what I had thought before.  Beyond the idea of simply paying someone to help your business succeed, becoming an employer that is worth being followed, communicates to their employees:

  1. “You can trust me with your livelihood for yourself and for those that depend on you”
  2. “You can succeed with this business and grow in knowledge and experience with me”
  3. “You can believe that I will make decisions with a long term vision for the best interest of you and the company stakeholders”
  4. “As a working member in this business, you have earned the right to be heard, to have your ideas heard”
  5. “I will expect you to continue growing in knowledge, experience, and value to this company, and to yourselves.”
  6. “You are an investment in the company and our community.”

I believe that at the core of being an employer lies the opportunity to be the human contact point between God and our employees.   Employers of any size have been given influence by God.  I believe whole heartedly this is for the specific purpose of bringing a tangible representation of God into the employees’ life through acting out forgiveness, grace, honesty, love, and integrity.  The reason? Because our eyes and hearts have been opened to the truth that we are working towards a greater goal than success for ourselves.  We are working to bring the Kingdom of Heaven onto earth, and into our employee’s lives.   With our eyes focused on this pursuit, every decision, reaction, and attitude becomes avenues for injecting the truth and love into our employee’s lives.

Some of the ways that we are learning and trying to become influential and worthy of being heard as an employer at Common Grounds are:

  1. Funding the medical needs of our staff
  2. Rewarding dedicated and deserving staff of scholarships to grow their future
  3. Providing a free meal for each shift worked
  4. Closing on Sundays, a day where everyone (and everything) can rest
  5. Paying above fair wages so that our staff can bless their families
  6. Promoting from within our workforce to give more opportunities to the staff that have earned an increase in responsibility, influence, and salary

Becoming an employer is a weighty responsibility, of which I have much to learn, but it’s a responsibility that I fully believe God uses to bring the hope of new life, forgiveness, restoration, and renewal of life to all people and all things.




Thank You to Give and Receive!
Dec 17

People for Care and Learning is honored to work with many partner organizations. One of those organizations is Give and Receive. They have recently matched one of our house parties and have been consistently working to connect us with donors and philanthropic entities. PCL would like to say a big THANKS to Give and Receive. Click the […]

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We’re Bursting at the Seams!
Nov 06

The Common Grounds Learning Center has been full to overflowing for the past year and a half. Averaging 130 students per term, while still turning students away due to lack of space, we believe we have the perfect combination of native-speaking English teachers and affordable prices. This means that we think we will continue to grow […]

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Cambodian Elections
Oct 11

Razor wire, APC’s, demonstrations, hunger strikes, marches. These are among the terms that re-entered everyday vocabulary in Phnom Penh the last two months as the July 28 elections results were contested. This dispute between the ruling CPP party and opposition CNRP led residents to become all too familiar with another term- ‘uncertainty.’ Open a new business or […]

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Sep 30

Honesty is a simple word and sometimes even a simple concept, but it is not always easy to live or to teach in a culture that values harmony over truth. Since coming to Cambodia, this has been a constant search for me.  How to teach honesty to a people that I know must learn it […]

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A Snapshot of Strength
Sep 23

Meet Bormei, VeunCheung and Vanditha. They like drawing, American cartoons and Rubik’s Cubes. Two of them are under the age of 15. They are funny. They are smart. And they are all members of the Learning Center’s most advanced English class. In fact, they are the only members. At one time there were more of […]

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The Mission of Hope
Sep 09

The two boys in the pictures below represent the core, missional philosophy of PCL, which is to “inspire hope and empower potential.” Their names are Piseth and Kosal and they are living witnesses that our missional philosophy works, and is not merely a cliché term we use to haphazardly  “rubber-stamp” our activities. Both of them graduated […]

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A Mighty Little Army
Aug 20

These children are mighty because they are filling their minds with knowledge, strength, understanding, peace, love, patience, and perseverance.  They are learning characteristics that will hopefully last throughout their lifetime.   One by one, they impact those they encounter and become a method of change for their country.  They push on in tough times, they love […]

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A Life Changed By the Mushroom Project
Aug 06

Allow me to introduce you to Bun Lai.  She is a widow who lives in a small but typical Cambodian village.  She is extremely poor.  Even though most Westerners visiting this village would instantly decide that everyone is poor, there are actual varying degrees of poverty that exist even in this village and Bun Lai […]

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PCL Management Institute
Jun 23

Phnom Penh Management Institute (PMI) provides its students, mainly from provincial areas, educational opportunities that they otherwise would not have due to economic hardship. PMI offers associate degrees in English in two majors; Literature and TESOL, and associate degree in Business Administration in three majors; Management, Accounting and Marketing. Internship during the last term of […]

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May 27

Recently, I read that it is a writer’s job “to make the world visible.”  Today that is my goal–to take a small aspect of Cambodian life that may be “hidden” to most readers and make it “visible.” Most reading this blog right now know that I am writing this from the poorest country in SE […]

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