Christmas in Cambodia is different from back home, the displays in the shopping malls can leave you a little bewildered. An example?
I haven’t a clue what Santa is doing with his head in the upside-down tree and why there is only 3 christmas balls on the small tree below!!!
We took our staff for lunch and a swim as a Christmas treat, they loved it the only problem we have was trying to get one of the staff’s little daughter out of the pool to go home. She was having so much fun that she really didn’t want to go.
We were supposed to have our Children’s Christmas Party on 21st December, but three staff members were sick, so we had to delay until the 29th December. We had over 60 children, past and present day-care and even blow-ins from the village. One 8-year-old girl who was a past day-care child was standing outside the doors crying and would not come in to join the party.
When I went out to see her, her dress was so dirty and worn, she was embarrassed. Sokheng and I took her up to the office, did her hair and put on a dress we had, and she gave us such a smile and went down to join the others. I felt so bad for her that we got her a beautiful new party dress after the party, so she will be the belle of the ball at the next one!
We had a wonderful time, the present children danced for their families, we had a Nativity play, games and crafts, then everyone sat down to eat Khmer curry and bread. We learned something new; it is quicker and easier to cut French baguettes with scissors. We handed out 45 presents and rice for the families, before they all headed home.
Mark, Adam, and I spent Christmas Day relaxing and swimming then had Christmas Dinner with our friends. It is always bittersweet as we love our friends dearly, but we miss our family back home.
Just before Christmas I drove into work, parked the car and went into the office, Sokheng asked me “did you see that the house next door has gone? No, I hadn’t! it moved 10 feet across the road! How did I miss that? Anyway, the house had had yet another snake invasion, so they decided to take out a loan and build the area up with soil to get them out of the water and then put the house back again. It has been interesting to watch as the soil came in and next day the only thing on top of the soil was a desk and a red chair. The only person working in the family is the daughter so if she loses her job in the garment factory, the house and land will have to be sold leaving them homeless we would value prayer that this does not happen.
One of the children who just graduated was talking to her grandma and said; “Is Jesus not with me now that I have left day care?”. Her grandma (a new Christian) told her that Jesus was always with her. We are definitely seeing growth in those who attend our Bible Study! Praise the Lord!!!
We have 7 babies in day care now, it is a handful but nice to have them. We will take on a baby of 4 months next week, please pray for this new baby, the mother cannot afford baby milk and has no milk of her own, so the baby is drinking rice water which has virtually no nutrition in it at all.
I will finish with another motorbike story. This morning I saw a fish tank with water in it sellotaped to the back seat of the motorbike full of little bags of goldfish swimming around inside!
Until next time