With our regular newsletters, we aim to keep you posted on all the interesting and important news and updates of our programs and various activities. Enjoy reading!
October 13, 2009
Dear friends and partners, Yesterday was a day to remember. I received some snail mail – a booklet of thoughts about a Tabitha Housebuilding Trip – it was compiled by fifty grade 8 students who had come to build 20 houses this year. I had just finished orientation with two teams who are building this week and I felt a bit drained. I started to read this booklet and my spirits rose. I decided to take this booklet home with me – last night, my daughter Miriam and I read the entries- we hadn’t gotten very far before tears flowed silently down her cheeks. She snuggled closer against me and together we had a magical hour – both of us realizing how very fortunate we are to live the life we live. I would like to share an excerpt from this booklet – it is my way of honoring each and every one of you who have come and built houses for so many.
Jordan wrote: “At first I couldn’t hit the nails although, I was good at hitting my thumb. Every time I hit myself or my back was aching all I needed to do was look down at the little children collecting the nails beneath me. Or I would turn around and look at the men of the village helping put up the walls or even just take a glance at the mothers talking amongst themselves. Right away I would get back to nailing and wouldn’t dare complain. Doing something for someone other than myself for once, was enough for me just to get on with it. I took so much from this trip. It was such a privilege to be able to make such a big difference to someone else and that experience will stay with me for the rest of my life. I complain a lot less now. Before I left, I would complain for the tiniest thing but now, I like to believe, I rarely complain. I am so grateful for the life that I have and I am able to fix this world, one house at a time.” Thank you house builders! It is what I needed – inspiration from all of you - for this week we also were able to finalize the devastation for some of our families caused by typhoon Ketana in our Kompong Thom Project. 2000 of our families have lost their crops, 3 of our families have lost their home. The area is still very wet as a dike broke from the river and it won’t drain for awhile. Our families are cooking what’s left of their last years crops on a dirt road. It is heartbreaking and yet – there is hope because 666 of these families have either a well or a pond. They will be able to re-grow their crops and they can rebuild – for another 500 families, hope is on its way – as soon as the water goes, we will once again, put in ponds and wells. All of our projects have suffered from floods this year – literally 25,000 families do not despair because they have access to water – water given by all of you. With all of us standing together, we hope to install 1,488 wells this year and another 102 ponds. Taking a quote from Jordan, we can fix this world, one well at a time. Thankyou God for my life – and for the privilege of serving so many – thank you for all the Jordans who help change the world, one house, one well, one pig, one set of clothes, one child in school…. at a time. Janne Ritskes