November is a really nice month, the rain stops, we get some cool winds and cooler temperatures. This time leads into hot season were temperatures can rise to 39-40 degrees so everyone enjoys the cooler days while they can.
We are now working towards Christmas, buying gifts for the children, and teaching them Christmas worship songs that they will sing at their Christmas party. As Cambodia is a Buddhist country it is not usual for Khmer to celebrate Western traditions but due in part to the number of ex-pats in residence, Halloween is becoming more prevalent as is Thanksgiving and Christmas. What saddens us is that in a country already in fear of spirits, now celebrates Halloween which is a very dark event. To most Khmer, Christmas is about Christmas Trees, kids Santa outfits and flashing lights, not about the Baby Jesus born to be their Saviour but then is that not the case back home as well?
Saturday 14th November, we did another food giveaway in the village. 96 families were given provisions which is the biggest giveaway to date. We have again been blessed by donors who provided the funds to enable us to do this, we know God is working and that he has his hand over the village and its people.
Due to rising COVID numbers we had to close day care again but thankfully not for long and we are open again. We have just completed all the paperwork for child number 10 which started with us on the 30th November just in time for another 2-week closure to be announced ☹
A lady approx. 45 years old, lives in a little tin shed outside day care, has been very sick. We provide her with a food package each month. She was becoming increasing slow moving about. One of our staff went over to see her and discovered she had stopped eating and drinking and was lying in her shed very unwell. Her eyes and skin are yellow but she has refused to go to the hospital so we made up some glucose drinks and snack bars to see if we could get her to take something. An Anglican Priest came, prayed with her and anointed her with oil. We continue to visit her getting her soy milk to drink and praying for her. On a recent visit Liz talked to her about Jesus and about the wonderful chance of eternal life she would have if she believed in him and asked him into her life. She prayed the sinner’s prayer and both Liz and our staff member were in tears as she gave her life to Christ.
Over the past 6 months on our drive to day care, we have been watching a new building going up with much interest. It looks very colourful, grand, and official. We were driving out one particular morning with our Khmer Director and we asked him what the building was going to be. His answer was “WHAT! Really!!!!, I don’t believe. He told us the sign said” Harry’s Restaurant formally known as Jerry”. We had a good laugh about it.
We have just launched our Christmas Appeal again this year. We know times are difficult for everyone during this time of COVID, but we have also been overwhelmed by your generosity towards our children throughout the year. If you are struggling to find presents for loved ones, why not think about an alternative gift by making a donation to our Charity. You can make a difference giving children at risk a chance to improve their quality of life. To help you see how far your donation would go we have listed a few items below. Donations can be made on our Website www.eggshellcambodia.com or in Facebook by clicking on “Shop Now” button.
The Gift Aid form is here and if you are a UK tax payer it is a huge help to God’s work here – Donations and Gift Aid
- £4 Will provide clean drinking water for our children for a month.
- £8 Will allow us to give our children multi-vitamins every day for a month.
- £10 Will provide two sets of clothes (T-shirts and shorts or skirts).
- £15 Will provide a one-month food-pack for one of our children’s family.
- £20 Will provide a uniform for 2 children.
- £30 Will provide pre-school writing books in English and Khmer for 10 children.
- £80 Will feed all the children in our day care for one month.
- £130 Will allow us to buy all of our children a Christmas gift and hold a Christmas Party.
- £20 per month will give a child-at-risk; hope, a meal, a safe-place in which to grow, the chance to learn about Jesus, and be taught basic English and Khmer which will give them a good head-start in life.
November also saw the death of the Marchioness of Dufferin and Ava. Liz worked as her Personal Assistant for 12 years and was deeply upset at her passing. She was a woman who lived to make her time on earth worthwhile. Lady Dufferin supported us in many ways by taking an interest on what Liz did during short term Mission to Cambodia, donating locations for fundraising events, donating money, and encouraging Liz to go to Cambodia long-term and do God’s will. Clandeboye Estate will never be the same again. May she rest in peace.
By the way, the seeds the children planted are growing like triffids, we will soon have pumpkins to eat! (OK, ok – maybe this isn’t one of “our” pumpkins…)
Ok, time to go and put the lights on the Christmas tree as the children are keen to start decorating it and we need to remove a few large furry caterpillars from the grounds.
Blessings until next time.
Mark and Liz