June, a time when everyone back home is thinking about holidays, organising BBQ’s and family gatherings while the sun is out!!! For us at day care it was about trying to keep the torrential rain from coming in under the front doors of the building and watching the rain clouds, thunder and lightning roll in every afternoon.
Mark and I got caught in a particularly bad rainstorm one evening recently, when the rain had caused flooding in places which came up to 3ft high in under 15 minutes. We were in a tuc-tuc and the water was coming through the floorboards. By the time we got to our destination, I had to take off my shoes and pour the water out. The village had hail stones for the first time in over 20 years!
At the start of this month, we said goodbye to Thyda (Mom). Thyda found getting to the village very difficult and decided to pursue her trade again as a tailor. We were very sad to see her go. We had a little farewell party with a little cake.
Our replacement is a lady from the village called Solyda. She can tell you a little about herself in the next newsletter. She is settling in well and has started the staff English class.
Speaking about our English Class. Our staff recently had a test to see how much they had learnt so far. All of them received a certificate. This meant a lot to one family, who celebrated their daughters’ success as neither of them went to school for more than 2 years. The family are going to have the certificates framed and displayed in the house. I know their families are proud of them, we are too.
We have been doing a lot of work this month with the children around emotions. It is a really good way for us to see how they are coping with situations and how we can help them. One little girl is dealing with a lot at the moment, her mother is very sick, and she is so worried about her. We could see by her choice of emotion picture (worried) that she is not dealing well with this and we are supporting her as best we can. The family allowed us to come and pray with her mum which we did, we asked God for a much-needed miracle for this young mother.
Also, this month we have taken on a new baby. We discovered that he was being left during the day with a 7-year-old while his mother tried to go out and earn money. At the time of registering him were told he was 7 months but when he came to us and got his birth certificate, we discovered he was in fact 10 months old. He is a lovely little boy and has settled in really well with us. His mother is very relieved that he is now safe in our care.
We had more visitors during the month, our friend Christian. He watched the children dance and studying as well as getting a tour of the building. Christian has been a big supporter of our work over the past 2 ½ years so it was good to be able to show him how we operate. We also had our friend Richard and his friend Cheryl who runs a daycare in the centre of Phnom Penh.
Mark and I are busy getting the staff at day care prepared for our trip home, making sure they have all the supplies they need and are ready for the fact that we are not in the country. This means going through scenarios, briefing them on time zones, ensuring they are confident to deal with things as they crop up. We leave them in the very capable hands of our Director Sokheng.
We are also planning our talk updates for our various speaking engagements and buying goodies for our family and grandchildren. I don’t think we have ever been this excited about going home, it has been too long and so much has happened that we just want to give our family a big hug and catch up on the lost time.
Our staff have discovered Banana Bread! I made some and brought it in to work and it was gone by home time. The next day as I was leaving work, I was presented with the biggest bunch of bananas I have ever seen! A hint or what?
Our domestic “Sophy” has been sick lately with High Blood Pressure, she has decided to resign from her post due to ill-health I know you will join us in praying for her speedy recovery.
Sokheng is doing really well at getting through her Online Child Education Diploma. It is not easy when English is your second language, but she perseveres and is almost halfway through. The good thing is how much it is teaching her about childcare and education of children in their early years. The pass standard in the UK is so high and it can be frustrating for her at times, but it will be worth it when she sees her Diploma framed and hanging on her wall.
We see training as a very important part of the staff’s education and to improve the quality of the service they give to our children. One staff member recently did an online course on “Dealing with Conflict from a Christian Perspective”. This is useful for dealing with staff conflicts, parent conflicts but also how to deal with conflict among the children.
There has been a lot of hammering in day-care lately. Now that rainy season is upon us, the horizontal, torrential rain has been coming into the building through the bottom of the doors. The water makes the tiles very slippy and we don’t want the children to slip and injure themselves. We have just erected a metal roof over the front of the doors to stop this happening.
God is amazing and we see his work every day, in the staff being so happy at work teaching the children about him, in the Bible Study, in the children’s love for their Bible Stories and in their worship. The little girl whose mother is very sick said recently at prayer time, “you forgot to pray for my mum”. Sokheng and I have been visiting her mother regularly to pray for her and she is now able to eat a little, we give all the glory to God and rejoice in the fact that we can witness to others in the village the power of our Lord.
Well, that is all for now, hope to see some of you are our speaking engagements or at New Wine Sligo.
- St Patrick’s COI, Millisle, Sunday 24th July 10.am
- Christ Church, COI, Carrowdore, Sunday 24th July 11.30am
- Eggshell Cambodia, AGM, Belfast, Tuesday 26th July 7:00pm, Micah Centre, Willowfield Parish Church
- St John’s COI, Orangefield, Belfast, Sunday 31st July 11:00am
- Ballyhenry Presbyterian, Glengormley, Sunday 7th August 11.00am
- Willowfield Parish Church, Belfast, Sunday 7th August 7.00pm
Liz and Mark