Born in a north providence of Cambodia, Joshua grew up in a Christian family. He attended school and played soccer with friends. When it came time for university, he moved to a new city and studied architecture. After graduation, Joshua soon began working as an architect designing resorts and building a comfortable lifestyle for himself. He soon found himself running a successful architecture firm.
In 2016, Joshua and his wife Kim Hun got married, and shortly after, started an event planning business. Both businesses flourished, and Joshua wanted to give back to God and prayed for ways to serve. He started cleaning his church and joined the worship team as a guitar player.
In 2018, Joshua attended a sports seminar at the request of his pastor, where the call for missional workers struck a chord in his heart.
“Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few. Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.’” (Matthew 9:37-38)
Joshua took back an impassioned vision to his pastor and explained how their church could use sports to reach out to the community with the Gospel. His coach invited Joshua to begin coaching a team himself. Joshua didn’t know anything about coaching a team of 13-and-under soccer players, so he started learning through YouTube.
Within six months, Joshua had learned all he could from and looked for more in-depth coaching development. God opened a door for him to train with FIFA and AFC soccer coaching. As he stepped into coaching training and opportunities, Joshua noticed much of the training occurred on Sundays. He decided to close the event planning business on the weekends, a big financial risk since major events usually occurred on Saturdays and Sundays.
His decision had created a tension between business and ministry for Joshua and his family, but one day they came to a point of no peace. “I wanted to serve God, but I also wanted to do more business, but that would take time away from serving God,” Joshua said. This lack of peace led to the decision to close the business in 2019 and serve God full-time. Joshua had been working freelance projects as an architect, but sensing God asking for a focus on sports, he stopped his architecture as well.
“We just used our savings account to serve God,” he said.
Joshua would take on occasional referee assignments to learn more about soccer or earn $5 - $10. He was devoted to serving God through sports and trusting God to provide.
While on an anniversary trip in Singapore, Joshua was introduced to FCA when he connected with FCA Singapore Director Reon Tay, whom he had met at the sports seminar the previous year. Joshua shared his passion, vision and struggles with Reon. At that point, Joshua and his wife had only $200 dollars in their savings account and had taken a complete leap of faith to go to Singapore and meet with Reon. Reon recognized the possible alignment of Joshua’s passion with FCA. He connected him to the Global Field Office and Divisional VP of East Global, Jin Kang. Joshua’s heart for serving God full-time through sports ministry and FCA’s vision and mission were aligned.
In early 2020, Joshua became his country’s first full-time staff person for FCA. He had to quickly learn the nuances of raising financial support, a completely new concept.
“Sometimes I wondered why I stopped doing my ‘big work’ and feel sad about the hardships I’ve endured, but one thing that remains is I choose to trust God in this situation,” said Joshua. “We decided as a family to accept the calling and close my business as God prepared me. I began to see that this was really a missionary role.”
As the country’s FCA Country Director, Joshua’s role is multi-faceted. “I do all the things. I need to raise support for myself, events, for a co-leader, and I have to connect leaders to people,” he said. “For my first five months, I struggled with balancing so many things, but I kept praying to God to please provide for me so I can serve Him through sport ministry.”
What drives Joshua through all the work of support raising, networking, serving and training is the depth of ministry through sports. “I see that sport is a very powerful tool to share the Gospel in every generation.”
It’s a slow and strenuous journey: Breaking ground in a new country and building a team, but Joshua’s eyes are fixed on God and finding Him in the midst of circumstances.
Joshua took a leap of faith when he stepped away from the business world and into sport ministry, and while it still isn’t easy, it’s what he’s purposed for.
“I see this is God’s calling. It’s not everyone that God calls to serve full-time, but it is special to have an opportunity to serve Him. “
Please pray for the growth of Joshua’s team, for support raising and for the resources needed to do ministry. Please also pray for the hearts of coaches and athletes to be open to the Good News of Jesus Christ.
If you’d like to support Joshua and the work he’s doing in Cambodia, click here.