Alongsiders came to existence about 16 years ago in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Craig Greenfield, the founder, moved together with his wife Nay to a slum in Phnom Penh to reach out to the poor, the orphans and people others were looking down upon. All this with the purpose to love them and to show them the Love of Christ. They lived where they lived and became one with them. After a while they faced their limitations. You just can’t disciple hundreds of people and share your life with them.
This limitation resulted in more and more intense prayer to raise a movement of young Cambodian believers who would reach out themselves to their fellow people. Poor to poor, Cambodian to Cambodian. And the Lord did not keep this prayer unanswered.
Alongsiders started with just about ten Cambodian believers. With trial and error, adjusting every time and going on “birthed” Alongsiders. Ideas that rose were tested while being practiced. Today Alongsiders Cambodia is a movement through which hundreds of young believers stretch out to their neighbors, villagers, fellow slum inhabitants and tell them the Good News. It touches our heart when we see this happen.
In the Cambodian culture you often speak to each other from a position of ‘older’ and ‘younger’, and Alongsiders connects to this exactly. Every time they connect a younger with an older, it is the older to disciple the younger. Alongsiders has developed a three year program through which the older and the younger go together. This program covers the essential parts of the Christian faith, but also matters like taking care of yourself and your environment. It gives special attention to the specific social problems in Cambodia.
The program has a focus on prevention and gives the youth tools to work with. The annual returning camps play an important role in this program.
To get more information look at the website from Alongsiders.