Start of September we went to see the little disabled community with food aid packs and some gifts for the children. The families had just about run out of rice and were so glad to see us arrive. The children carefully looked through the bags and selected what they liked. The girls loved the girlie dress-up clothes and the boys the superhero clothes. Cuddly toys and toy cars were carefully taken out and played with; it was so lovely to see. These children have so little to play and stimulate them.
It has been a bit of a crazy month. We got the keys of the new building and it’s been a series of meetings with various people talking about how to make the building as safe as we can and discussing what it needs to be finished. We are so pleased to report that the builders are now on site. In Cambodia the team of builders working on site stay on the property, so we have a team living and working on the premises for the next few weeks as they finish the work.
In Cambodia it is almost non-existent to have online shops. Sokheng and I have to go to a shop in a tuc tuc, negotiate a price, then get a tuc tuc to another shop to negotiate a price and so on to ensure good stewardship of the money we have been given. We have also been having meetings around how the day care will work in the new building, the settling in period for our existing children and the timescale required for the intake of new children and recruitment of additional staff.
Sokheng recently visited our children with little gifts of a knitted teddy, toothbrush, toothpaste, colour books and snacks. All the children are ok, some look a little malnourished but all want to be back to day care. We will approach the Authorities responsible for day-care facilities in Cambodia requesting authorisation to open again shortly after we finish the work. Please pray for favour in this.
Health & Safety – What’s that??? Most of the little Tuk Tuks in Asia are powered by gas – this man was fixing his beside us with a lit cigarette in his mouth, not a care in the World. What I did love is how he re-purposed his rubbish. His tool kit was a plastic water bottle with a cut down the side.
Numbers of COVID here are still climbing with the Delta variant exploding throughout Cambodia. We are about to enter the festival of Phcum Ben (Festival of the Dead). For approximately 20 days, most of the Khmer Buddhists visit the Pagoda’s daily to leave food and money offerings to appease their dead relatives. They believe these relatives roam the earth during this time and many are very fearful. Just two days into this festival, all the Pagodas were closed due to a huge upsurge of Covid. In these times, when things are so uncertain, we need to be reminded that being a child of God means we have nothing to fear. Nothing this world or anything the Devil can throw at us, is bigger or stronger than our God.
Our churches here may still be closed but on-line services are still happening, and people are being reached for the Kingdom, we praise and lift our God up and proclaim him as Lord of all.
Transporting white goods…. The packaging on a new Fridge/Freezers says “keep upright” so we are not quite sure that this is the type of upright they mean! We also wonder how many people were knocked off their motos on the road during the drive to the delivery address.
God has been so good and faithful, and we are glad to say that our friend Richard (who had a bad accident recently) is healing well. He had a skin graft and still has the fixator on the outside of his leg, but the doctors felt he was well enough to leave hospital. He is house-bound and has a long way of rehab to go but his pain is more under control and he is slowly on the mend.
Ladies: I was thinking of getting my nails done, what do you think?
We will leave you with this lovely observation from a Khmer café/restaurant manager. The Manager said to Mark “it is lovely that you have sweet eyes for your wife”.
Until next month
Blessings Liz and Mark