The Khmer people especially those who live in poverty are so good at reusing materials. I recently saw an older lady who cannot walk possibly caused by a stroke. Her family made a metal frame and put wheels on the bottom, got a red plastic patio chair and suspended it in the middle of the frame with rope – instant walker, complete with seat for when she needs to sit down.
I have seen tyre treads made into mudflaps, a fabric conditioner bottle cut in half to make a toolbox with a handle, if something can be reused it usually is.
I had to laugh as I heard the other day that when we collected the staff in the minibus to go on their overnight retreat, that the whole village thought the staff were all going to the UK for the day, it may also have looked that way, as I think they all packed for two weeks instead of 1 night!
We have now started the process of recruiting another trainee day care worker. We have interviewed 3-4 women from within the village and the next village over and are asking God which person he wants us to take. This means that we will be opening up the second floor to enable us to take in more children. We would ask for your prayers around the new employee and the children we will take in.
I reported last month that we had a boy aged 3 who doesn’t speak, and he hides under tables and behind doors. One of the staff has been working closely with him and he is saying a few words to her. She will continue to work with him to gain his confidence and help him overcome his fear of talking and also helping him learn not to hide when he is faced with new situations.
Other children come with their own issues, living in an environment of poverty can be very difficult. Lots of days we get children who are very quiet, just want a hug and a quiet place to be. Some come in angry and upset and hit out because of feeling helpless. We had one boy whose sister is getting married, she spends a lot of time looking after him and he loves her very much – he is afraid he will go home one day, and she won’t be there. Children whose parents are addicts come in and are worried about their parents as they are seeing them drunk or are under the influence of drugs before they leave for day care. These situations are not unique they are echoed throughout the world, but we are working on the ground with these children trying to help them deal with their situations daily as best we can. Showing them that Jesus knows all about them, he loves them and gives them a place to feel loved and secure is why we are here.
The Bible Study Group have been making crosses and learning about the meaning of Easter (or Esther as they say it). It is so good to see them eager to hear about Jesus and what he did for them.
Staff English class is good, they work hard and as a treat once a month they get to do a Zumba Class. These classes are fun, but the moans and groans of all of us makes us sound, to those around us, like someone is killing us.
A tuc tuc driver aged around 45 years old recently asked me how big the our country was, when I told him it would fit into Cambodia with room left to spare, he was amazed, he said “I thought Cambodia was the smallest country in the World”. No I said, there are smaller countries around the world.
Sokheng and I are trying to grow flowers from the UK, no need for a greenhouse here but we will see how they fair with the scorching heat here. It would be lovely to have them growing for the children and have a wee something from home for me to look at.
We have recently started teaching our babies their ABC’s. They are all under 3 and we have them count the stairs going up and down it makes them go slower as they count and as a result, they can now count from 1-10 in English and Khmer. It is lovely to listen to them counting as they pass by my office and then stop to shout “hello grandma” in Khmer before moving on. They are also learning “Jesus Loves Me” in Khmer and are just the best dancers when the music is on.
I have loved watching Facebook over the past two weeks, seeing everyone enjoying (or not) the snow, I am happy to be in the heat and don’t miss snow at all. Sokheng would love to see it but I told her she can go on her own as I am not going near the UK in the winter months, far too cold. The staff are in winter gloves, hats, socks, and shoes in 23cdegrees lol.
In most of Cambodia right now everywhere is dry and parched, it will be a few more months before we see rain again, also the next few months will be extremely hot by the end of those months we are looking forward to the rain.
Anyway, until next month
God bless, Liz and Mark