This month has been a hot one in Cambodia. Most days 35-38+ with 50% humidity, you are constantly living in a puddle.
Rainy season should be with us soon which will help a little. We were pleased to hear that the weather back in the UK has improved and although you are still in lockdown people did manage to go and sit in their gardens and enjoy their walks in the sunshine.
The start of the month was sad due to the sudden death of the father of our Cambodian Director. It was a privilege be able to offer our support and love to Visal and we want to extend our deepest sympathies to him, his wife Sopheavy and the family circle at this sad time.
If you ever want to know how others see you, children can voice it perfectly, they are so direct. While Liz was sitting at one of the services beside a friend, one of the children said to them “you should be in a coffin too now because you’re old.
We continue to work and do what we can to show God’s love in the village. We recently received a donation from a German Charity to provide food parcels for 40 of our villagers who are most in need. When we arrived at day care, there were officers for the local Council at the gates doing crowd control and many people were waiting for food parcels. The Village Chief was going to say a few words before Sokheng shared the Gospel. We love how God is working; when the Chief finished speaking, Liz asked Sokheng to share the Gospel, she said she didn’t need to the Chief had really done it…. This Chief is a Buddhist and there he was spreading the Gospel of Christ – amazing….. St John Ambulance from Phnom Penh came out and did a demonstration on COVID 19 and how to protect themselves before handing out washable face masks and soap. We want to thank this Christian Charity for wishing to help the poor within our village.
During the giveaways, almost all of our children turned up. It was so good to see them and see that they were well. Our youngest child said to her grandfather that if she did not curse and be good could come back to day care. There were many big fat tears running down her cheeks when she headed for home. It is very hard for children to understand social distancing, when they saw us they just run over and gave us the biggest hugs.
The staff have been coming into work preparing crafts for the children, so we are ahead of the game when we get them back. It is a time for us to be together, have fun and do devotions together. We had a surprise one day recently as when we were worshiping Jesus one of our children’s mum appeared at the door and asked could she join in. Liz took her baby off to occupy him while a staff member brought her a Bible. She followed what they were reading and listened to Sokheng talk about Jesus. We told her that we would be doing it again in 2 days’ time and if she wanted she could come again, her answer was Yes!!! This young woman is a heavy drinker who is extremely poor. Praise Jesus he is reaching her through this. Please pray that she will choose to follow Jesus.
One morning while the staff were eating together they offered Liz “Prahok” (fermented fish paste), after almost 10 years of refusing, she tried it, it didn’t taste like a fish supper, but wasn’t as bad as others had said it was. She also tried young bamboo shoots, again, will not be on the top of her shopping list, but wasn’t too bad.
One of our children has had her home knocked down. Her Uncle owned the land and shack she lived in with her family. He sold the land and knocked down the shack. Her family have made a new one out of tin sheeting but is so small that they can’t all fit in. They have had to rent a small room to fit the rest of the family in. The family are worse off now than they were and we are praying that someone within the village helps them with something a little better and more permanent so they are not separated and do not have to continue to live in the conditions they are now. We had our first heavy rain a couple of nights ago and all we could think about was the conditions they are living in and whether the place had stayed dry.
Ironically, the land was bought by the father and mother of one of our other children. Up to now they did not have a home and have been working away to try and raise enough money to purchase a small piece of land and build a small home. It’s bittersweet as we are pleased for them, we know how much they needed a home, but really feel for the other family.
Mark and I had to go recently to the Ministry of Justice, for our security clearances. God again was with us as we were told this could be a long process with 2-3 visits and possibly sitting 4-5 hours on each visit. Visal had prepared the paperwork and two thumbprints later, we were in and out of the Ministry inside 20 minutes, all done and dusted.
This country is so beautiful. This morning Liz was driving into work and in a field was about 100 water buffalo and in another, people planting rice and then to top it off the beauty of a tree in bloom in the village. Thank you God for showing us your creations.
Until next time – stay safe, keep well. Blessings…
Liz and Mark…