Easter is a time of rebirth and renewal, a time of reflection and hope. It is a time of celebration for us as Christians who believe in the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, to know that death is not the end. In the darkness and hopelessness of our world at the minute, holding unto this promise and telling others the good news becomes even more critical when life as we know it has been turned on its head. Mark and I have been watching how God’s love is shining through the darkness back home and how his people are actively responding to the needs of others. Certainly, we see many uplifting scenes of God’s people being His hand’s and feet.
We are praying for all those who have lost family or who are struggling with family members who are sick with this dreaded virus, who cannot be with them and are worrying – it is just heart-breaking. Liz’s father was taken into a Nursing Home for respite after a recent stay in hospital. This happened just before the lockdown occurred and he cannot now go home. We are happy that he is in the best place for him at the moment, being well cared for until he can return to his home. Our son, daughter-in-law and grandson are doing what they can to protect themselves – we have put them all into God’s hands and have asked for his protection over them and the rest of our family circle.
Over here Easter this year coincided with Khmer New Year. Easter was spent online watching and listening to church services back home. Khmer New Year was cancelled as most people who live in the cities go home to family in the Provinces. This must have been a difficult but necessary decision for the people who run this country to make.
Families being together is such an important part of life here, a lot of families live together and look after each other, grandma, grandpa, parents, children, aunts, cousins can all live in the same home or nearby so not being able to celebrate this event was a big blow to the Khmer people.
We are praying that we do not have an escalation of the virus especially as the poor do not have fridges and it will be so difficult for them to get food if they are cannot go to the local markets every day and if they cannot work.
Mark, myself and the staff continue to do what we can during this time of closure, to ensure our children, their families and the poor in the village have enough food to eat by providing the basics, rice, tinned fish, salt, sugar, soap etc. We have had some very generous people and organisations donating food or money to help us do this outreach. It allows us to see how our children are doing and how the village is coping – most medical visits to clinics and hospitals are not free (unless it is directly Covid-19), so for the poor, if a decision needs to be made about food or seeking medical attention, they may have to make tough decisions.
Please click “play”, listen and pray …
Our Charity were recently given food parcels by the Mennonite Community Church for the most needy people within the village we work in. A list was provided, and the people informed of when to come and get them. God worked a miracle that day as we only had 34 food parcels (we counted them twice before we left for the village) and yet we handed out 39. We had people coming in desperation when they heard there was food and we were able to hand over more than we thought. God multiplied the food right before our eyes!
Life here is strange just now, just like home. We are not in lockdown within the city but when we go out, we wear masks (wearing a mask in 37 degrees is hot and difficult but very necessary) and use hand sanitizer. We can still use tuk-tuks although most are now being sprayed with alcohol before we get into them.
Mark and I cannot thank everyone enough for all the lovely messages of support and funny, uplifting stories we are receiving via social media, they are helping us through this dark time, keep them coming.
We left for Cambodia 25th April two years ago, and although it has been and continues to be, tough at times, we are so blessed to be here, and a part of what God is doing in this country. God is showing up in ways we could never have imagined, and our faith is so much stronger as we rely on Him. His name is being heard around the village and the people are saying Ackun Prey Jesu (Thank you Jesus) when they receive their food parcels, knowing that it is His provision that is helping them.
We are praying that the virus will lift so we all can move forward, and we can get Day-care reopened. We are praying that when this is all over everyone will spent more quality time with family and friends, that they will come to realise that life is precious and not for wasting. We pray that God has entered many peoples lives during this time of uncertainty and that they will be witnesses to what a faithful God he is and for those who already know Him they got quality time to just sit in His presence and hear His voice.
Until next time – stay well. Blessings…
Liz and Mark…