Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Cambodia - Sister Visit

Matthew 25:40 (NLT)  And the King will say "I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these, my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!"

Sunday afternoon, we traveled by bus to Kampong Cham to visit World Hope's  Adelphe community development program.  This is a preventive measure to teach women methods of income generation and money management.  In doing so, family members are less likely to migrate to the city for work.

On Monday, Steph and I had the privilege of visiting the woman we sponsor.  It was quite an experience!  We traveled 30 minutes into the country on a bumpy dirt road passing villages that were increasingly poor.  As we moved away from the river, the landscape went from lush green to acres of dried up rice paddies.

My Adelphe "sister", Hoan Chuan, has a husband, two daughters and two granddaughters.  The mother of the young granddaughters is divorced and moved to Phnom Penh to find factory work.  I worry about this situation because if the job doesn't work out, it's a common path to prostitution.  We spent time with youngest granddaughter, Thannavy (pron. Tawn-a-wee), who is 5 and too young for school.

We were both excited to meet one another.  We held hands, laughed and even hugged which is not a tradition here.  She has a beautiful smile and soft, wavy brown hair.  We talked through an interpreter and learned that we are about the same age and have a shared interest in growing vegetables.  I'd never seen how rice is grown so she showed me some rice straw with grain that hadn't fully mature.  All the mature rice had been thrashed, dried and stored in 4 large bags in the house.

The growing season is over, so her only income is from selling groceries to her neighbors from a roadside hut.  Soon she'll have to purchase water.  This is only the beginning of the dry season but her rain barrel is half full and well is nearly dry.

Steph really connected with Thannavy, using the crayons and stickers we brought as a gift.  Since I mistakenly presumed they would have paper, we tore pages from my journal for the two of them to color together.  We taught her to throw a frisbee and had some play time.

When school let out midday, the older granddaughter came home and Thannavy scurried to keep her gifts away from her sister, but relaxed when we gave her sister a similar gift.  Sibling rivalry.  Some things are universal.  We had to be sure Thannavy understood the frisbee was for sharing.

We walked a few huts down the dirt road to see the well kept school which has a water pump and toilets.  Each classroom serves two grades taught by one teacher.  One side of a classroom had two low tables atop a rug and posters of letters and simple words for kindergarteners.  The other had rows of desks facing posters of the digestive system and algebra.  One teacher.

Sam, the program director, said his biggest challenge is working with government officials.  He has been pressuring the government to provide teachers as they should, but the officials always ask for something in return.  World Hope is serving the poor that the government is ignoring, and when he asks for a teacher, they ask for a new school building or office.  It's terribly frustrating.

More about the Adelphe program in my next post!  There is little time to write.

#seedsofscripture #Cambodia #sextrafficking #prevention #WorldHopeInternational #Adelphe

Read related trip posts:
Blastoff to Cambodia - The Never Ending New Year 
God is in Control - How I Almost Missed My Flight
Don't Do It Alone - How a Guide Can Help
Sister Visit - Visting The Woman I Sponsor
They're Not Just Stories - A Prison Visit
The Goal - A Toilet in Every Hut, You Can Help
A Day With Survivors of Trafficking and Rape
Renewing the Spirit - The Missionaries Worship
Encouraging the Missionaries and Each Other
A Success Story - One Girl at a Time
Sowing Seeds of Kindness - Devotions with Survivors
Living Intentionally - Defining Yourself
Who Are They? - A Report About the Men Who Buy Sex
Who Are They? - The Missionaries
Part of the Problem - A Corrupt and Unjust System
Rebuilding After Loss - Recovering from Flood Damage

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