Brian & Bophal-Yos Maher - CAMBODIA


PHONE: 855-077-677-203
USA  ADDRESS: 13717 48th NE PL, Bellevue, WA 98005
CAMBODIA  ADDRESS: House 427, Street 89 BT, Boeung Tumpun, Meanchey, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
PHONE: 855-012-923-181
Brian is married to Bophal, and they have two children, Mr. Johnnathan and Miss Yorean. Brian’s background is both in forestry/arboriculture and leadership development. He has an MA in Cross-Cultural Studies from Fuller Seminary and has been serving in Cambodia since 1994, he has worked for World Vision Cambodia, and the Evangelical Fellowship of Cambodia. He is now training emerging church leaders and doing men’s work. He is the author of Cry of the Gecko, a book about Evangelical Christian Mission in Cambodia.  Brian is from CT, but calls Seattle his home away from Cambodia. Bophal, a war-orphan was trained by World Concern and worked for World Vision Cambodia as a Trainer of Trainers of Sunday School teachers and Children’s club until starting her own center for children at risk in 2001. She is also active in the training of emerging leaders through DOVE, the local Cambodian organization Brian serves with in Cambodia.
Discipleship for Emerging Leaders in Context
The Ministries of DOVE: ONYX program, Alongsiders, Drop in Center, Men’s work and Addiction Recovery
DOVE’s ministry addresses discipleship, leadership, capacity building and the healing of the emotional pain experienced by many of our emerging church people and not-yet-believing young people. Cambodia is a “Sibling Society.” The average emotional age of the Cambodian people, due war and genocide, is around 14 year years of age, not much different from developed countries. Cambodian young people have been given no tools to filter what globalization drops on their doorstep, and tend to accept, carte blanche, any trends the see on the Internet or social media, while churches simply condemn anything not Christian, as worldly. Parenting is rarely proactive, and mainly reactive in terms of anger, emotional and physical violence. In addition to being a “Sibling Society,” Cambodia is also an “elder-less society.” Parents and adults have been so traumatized that instead of guiding this generation of youth, they are depending on this generation of young people to interpret the rapidly changing cultural landscape for them. It is a role reversal that puts a huge burden on the young people, and they become resentful and rebellious. A Sibling Society with no elders leaders to a society of addiction and we see this constantly in Cambodia. Drug and alcohol addiction is endemic, and many young people lose their way just following the crowd.  There are very few elder Cambodian role models who model spiritual wisdom, moderation and compassion as most senior church leadership suffer from some level of mental illness associated with the trauma of the genocide. They are still, in many ways stuck in survival mode, doing what they can to ensure their financial security and survival. Although many senior church leaders are familiar with contemporary Christian leadership theory, their default setting is one of emulating national and political leaders in terms of being an autocratic leader with little accountability, long sermons (speeches), immunity, and cover up of gross sin. Few churches have policy that allows members to dismiss a pastor for misconduct or other reasons.
DOVE recognizes that one particular hole in the soul of Cambodia is the secondary trauma/emotional health of young people in a society where healthy and positive adult role models rarely exist. DOVE ministries are providing forums where young people can experience transformation in their emotional health and begin the journey of becoming a healthy role model, mentor, leader, and elder in both the Church and society.  Most churches think that preaching and teaching the Bible will by de facto, heal and address a multitude of sins, and therefore they have no impetus to create effective strategy that can help identify and target specific areas in young people that need transformation, healing, and development.  DOVE, through the ONYX program, Alongsiders (big brother big sister program), Drop in Center, (Language Lab & Leadership Club) has been building up a pool of emerging leaders who can serve as informants and prophets for the Church. These are the next generation of church leaders and our intention is that they begin to model healthy, humble and mature leadership to both Church and society.  
ONYX Program
The ONYX Program is an “in-service,” yearlong training program for emerging church leaders across denominational lines which utilizes peer mentoring, field work, and participatory classroom work. Although ONYX does impart knowledge and skills, it focuses more on changing attitudes and habits.  We assist in the transformation and healing of emerging leaders by providing safe and constructive learning communities. DOVE developed new curriculum in 2013, based on Jane Vella’s adult learning methodologies. We redesigned all of our lesson material accordingly. Some topics covered are: Personal Spiritual Formation, Focused Leaders Timeline, Leadership, Social Justice/Environment Men’s/Women’s block, 5 Love Languages, Missional church, and Khmer Church History. The topics are covered in 4-5 week blocks followed by fieldwork that relates to the block. Homework includes interviews, research papers, reflection papers, and a final research project. Students are required to meet in their peer-mentoring group every week.  Monitoring and evaluation of the impact on the students is built into the design of each lesson. During class, homework, field trips, exposure trips, and retreats, facilitators can observe how the students process and apply their learning.
The ONYX program has both a beginning year and end year retreat. The opening year retreat is a challenging adventure camp to push students out of their comfort zone so they bond and can walk together for the following year. The ending year retreat helps students solidify what they have learned.  We are have begun year 4 with a great start.
Through DOVE, we do men’s work with the goals of learning about ourselves and healing from emotional pain, as well as recovery work through the 12 Step program.