While writing this letter, the Khmer military is in war again with Thailand over the famous Pre Vehear temples. A 9th century temple on the small mountain, overlooking Thailand and Cambodia. The battle is getting fears as the struggle for ownership grows. It is a real beautiful temple just a shame they need to fight over it, maybe will destroy it in the process, what a shame that will be. The site was given to Cambodia by UNESCO and it’s a World Heritage Site, but that do not count as Thailand claims the grounds to be in their territory. We saw a lot of tanks moving up the other day when coming back from the province.
Well on the home front things are moving as well. Gideon and Anton had their Sports day on Saturday and it turned out a huge success. Gideon had to run a 100m as well as a 200m. On the 200m Anton and Mordegai ran all the way with him, while Toinette waited for us on the halfway mark. It was truly a family effort and everybody cheered us on. It was soooooo special to see Gideon do all these running with his friends. We watched how he won the Frisbee throwing and also how he jumped and some other activities. What a wonderful thing this was to see him doing well.
On the other hand, Anton was doing just as well. He ran a 60m, did long jump, throw Frisbee and also won, and enjoyed all of the other activities. It was great to see all the dads and moms shearing the kids and not even to mention the teachers. They were the heroes in this event. Everyone enjoyed the day.
Days for the boys are filled with lots laughter and building of trip wires and just being boys.
Clinic days for Toinette are very busy these days. They have clinic on Tuesdays as well as Saturdays. Lots of baby as well as prenatal checkups on both days. Our friend Jason from Water of Life is sharing every Saturday to the ladies. He is going systematic through the Bible. We can just pray that the ladies will listen and hear the things to change their lives around for good. Our friend Davi is also coming on Saturdays to build relationships with the ladies. The people are really poor and have nothing to eat and in desperate need. Every Tuesday, Mike is coming to bring the ladies for their blood work to a local clinic. It is nice to have the guys from Water of Life coming out to help in such a way. The biggest problem they face now is the fact that ladies opt for abortions and they come and ask for advice. Pray for wisdom on what to advice them. It is encouraging to see how the students grow in their practical skills.
Thursday morning Bible study for foreigner ladies continues to be a place for them to share honestly their struggles. Please pray that this would truly be a time of healing and encouragement.
Mordegai is busy with a team from Ywam and did some outreaches with them up in the North. It was good to get into pulling teeth again in the villages. It is good to see these students doing so good in helping the people in basic Health Care. He will join the team to Thailand later in February for more outreaches in the mountains on the Border of Burma, under the Karen people of Thailand. This will take him away from home for almost 3 weeks. Start praying for this as it is a long time to be away from home.
He also went on a trip with friend Grahame, Noel and Mark to check out their work in the province. The bike ride was a challenging one, but enjoyable with good friends. Even Grahame’s son Sam(9) came along. We had so much fun but ate dust for a long time. We went through a lot of villages where nothing has been done.
I close with a good story from a friend:
A good friend once visited Honduras and asked a priest what message he could take back to people in the United States. The priest’s response was initially quite startling. “Please tell your American contacts not to be so generous.”
Naturally my friend was not expecting that reply. He probed a little deeper. The priest explained to him that periodically parishes and churches in America collect their used clothing and, in the name of charity, send off huge shipments to villages in Honduras. The poor of the community are recipients of the shoes and clothing. That is just about everyone.
Within weeks every seamstress, tailor, shoemaker, and storeowner selling clothing in town is out of business. Then, with no market for their clothing, they have no income to buy other people’s products. A downward cycle begins, and soon the fragile economy of the little village is hemorrhaging. Those self-reliant few have, in the name of charity, been made dependent.
UnPoverty: Rich Lessons From the Working Poor by Mark Lutz.