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I am an observer, along for the ride, when a startled cow rams our motorbike.

To get to this point, we have already traveled by bus, boat, and motorbike to a remote village north of Phnom Penh. Our plan today is to register some new Alongsiders.

Phearom, who is on staff with Alongsiders Cambodia, is my guide.

As we hop on the backs of motorbikes driven by our hosts, we are heading towards a house church twenty minutes away.  

Halfway there my driver startles a cow who does not take kindly to being disturbed. The cow lowers its shoulder, snorts, and RAMS into us - nearly sending us flying! Thankfully, my driver handles the bovine battering with style and no harm is done.  

About 25 young adults and children are waiting for us on arrival. Their leader is a young woman with a gentle spirit and a quick wit who wastes no time chiding the children to practice their English with the foreigner. 

Phearom is warm - chatting and laughing with the youth and children. Everyone is excited. You can feel it in the air.

Phearom uses a low-end Samsung tablet to enter the names and details of the new Alongsiders and their little brothers and sisters in an Android app. Each participant is photographed. This information is then uploaded to an online database when he has wifi access.

Phearom uses a low-end Samsung tablet to enter the names and details of the new Alongsiders and their little brothers and sisters in an Android app. Each participant is photographed. This information is then uploaded to an online database when he has wifi access.

Today is the day we officially become Alongsiders.

Today is the day I become a little brother.

Today is the day I become a little sister!

After the cheerful banter, Phearom sits down in a blue plastic chair and receives a stack of application forms. The nervous new mentors with their chosen little brothers and sisters line up to meet him.

The intake process begins.

Today we're not only scheduled to work here, but also at a church down the road where another small crowd of eager young Christians is waiting for us at dusk.

As the light fades to dark, we finally finish up the last intakes using a florescent light powered by a car battery.

Despite the angry cow, the lack of electricity, the dusty roads and distance from the city, it's been a good day. A very good day.

The start of something significant.