February is normally a month of getting back into a routine (same old, same old), broken resolutions already and cold wintery days (for us hot humid days).
February for us started with having our Accounts audited and all the frustration that brings. Trying to ensure we do everything the correct way in Cambodia and that our financial record-keeping exceeds the required standards. The result is that not only are we keeping good records above the requirements of all the Government Ministries we report to but that we are keeping fully transparent and open account for anyone who needs to see them.
Day care has been emotionally tough this month. At the tail end of January, one of our little girls was burnt on her hands and feet while playing at home with an open fire and a plastic bottle. We spent the following week telling the children of the dangers of playing with fire and boiling water. You can imagine our horror when, the following week, one of our little boys, while playing at his home, burnt his hand by putting a plastic bag around it and putting it in the fire! We thank God that one of our friends is a Paediatric Doctor in a Christian Hospital about 1 hours drive from our village. We arranged for her to see them and she has been treating them at the hospital every week. Between visits to the Hospital, the Operations Manager and Liz have been dressing their hands every day. We have been amazed at the speed and completeness with which God has healed their wounds. Thank you, Jesus!
On one occasion Liz went along with them to the hospital as no one from the boy’s family was able to take him. As this is a hospital who helps those in poverty, it was a humbling experience to see hundreds of people waiting patiently for treatment, lying, or sleeping around the grounds. The staff went out to the waiting area, every few hours and sang worship songs to them while they waited. At 12 noon everything stops for lunch. Liz went to get food for her and the little boy, two chicken wings and some rice (the little girl went outside for food with her father). A lovely lady and her daughter sat down beside her, opened a lunchbox, and proceeded to put a huge heap of rice on Liz’s plate. Then she gave her a plastic tub containing Pork Intestines and one Pig’s testicle!!! By this stage Liz was turning a nice shade of green as the lady waited patiently for Liz to eat it. A missionary friend who worked in Peru once told Liz that she used to pray “God I’ll get it down; you keep it there!”. These words rattled around in Liz’s head as she tried to eat some of the meat as she did not want to upset the very kind lady! Liz is praying she doesn’t have to experience that again…
Meantime, back in day care, the children have been learning “Jesus Loves Me” in Khmer. It is so lovely to hear them worship in their own language. We wish we could show you a video showing one of the girls who is 3 years old, singing a worship song and doing the actions all by herself perfectly. The children love to sing and dance and to encourage them our staff have been giving them time each Friday to play musical instruments and dance as they wind-down to the weekend. The children bang drums, shake tambourines, ring bells and dance, the noise is deafening but so much fun.
We are going to introduce our Khmer staff to you over the next few newsletters, so the first one to do this is our Khmer Director – Soun Visal (in Cambodia their surname comes first). We also congratulate him on the birth of his son “Christda”.
Greetings from Phnom Penh, Cambodia to you all.
It’s Visal SOUN, Child Haven Cambodia’s local director. It is with abundant grace and mercy from our Mighty God that I was called to be a Director of Child Haven Cambodia, (Eggshell Cambodia’s name in Cambodia) heavily shouldered upon Eggshell Cambodia, spearheaded by our beloved and respected Mark and Liz, who are faithful to God’s calling of them to do great work of help for Cambodian children with underprivileged background.
I’m turning 34 years old in May 2021, and married to my beautiful wife, Sopheavy, who has just delivered our third baby (and it’s a boy) on 10th February 2021. As a local part-time director, my main role is to give much needed assistance to Mark and Liz and to share my limited expertise and duty in making sure we are existed as an NGO legally and in compliance with local administrative practices in the Kingdom of Cambodia.
I’m a blessed man, a blessed man for one reason only. It is all because of God’s grace and truth. With much struggling resistance to my own egos and stubbornness, I eventually came to realize the love of Jesus Christ on one faithful morning of Monday, 26th January 2015. On that day, I made a decision to give his life to Jesus Christ and humbly accepted Him as my Lord and Saviour. Since then, my life trajectory turned on its head towards heavenly works prepared by God for myself ever since he created this world.
Playing my small role and doing my parts for Child Haven Cambodia has been one of those fulfilments of my new life trajectory, and it’s an eyes-opening experience to witness first-hand how a couple from a very far country can have such a good heart for Cambodian communities. Please continue to pray for us all here, especially for Mark and Liz, as they are the brains and the heartbeats of our project operations here in Cambodia.
Until next time. I am praying for more blessings for Cambodian communities via Eggshell Cambodia and Child Haven Cambodia and the works that we’re going to do this year and the following years. Thank you so much.
Just as we are finishing this newsletter, we have had to close day-care again due to another COVID outbreak. This one has the potential to explode so we would ask for your prayers at this time.
We will leave you with a tip for those of you who are BBQ enthusiasts and knowing that Spring is on its way. Every morning while driving past a certain shop house, a man can be seen cooking meat on the BBQ, nothing out of the ordinary there; except that to keep the smoke out of his eyes, he wears a full-face motorbike helmet with the black sun-visor fully down – it’s like watching an alien.
Until next time…Blessings !