Dear friends and partners, This is the month that marks the end of another program year. With endings come evaluations – what have we done and how well is it done. Last week, we took a couple of our partners with us to see. We went to Chantrear District in Svay Reing. Our first stop was to see a village where we have just begun. Once again, it was painful to see how some people live. Houses that measure less than 2 meters square made of thatch that provides very little shelter and housing children that know nothing of a safe home or full bellies.
Dear friends and partners, Well it’s been almost 2 months since I wrote to all of you and what a two months they have been. Miriam and I traveled to Australia for a fundraising tour. We caught up with good friends, shared meals and wine with people whom we’ve learned to call family – Miriam had a number of firsts in her young life: she went shopping all on her own with her own money in a mall while I got my hair cut and promised God all kinds of things if He would keep her safe – 20 minutes felt like forever and all kinds of horror thoughts went through my mind. Miriam helped light fireworks – a wonderful mix of anxiety and joy – she learned to kick a Footie ball and developed a crush on a young man with curly hair and a delightful personality – the two shopped in a dollar store and they acted like an old couple – discussing the virtues of a mood ring. Miriam had a memorable day with Hansa and Sally at Luna Amusement Park, she went to a movie with these two teens and had – as she says – a best day.
Dear friends and partners, This month we celebrated Mother’s Day – I still think of it as a bit of an anomaly because every day should be Mother’s Day – Miriam is coming to an age where she likes to take this day quite seriously so I ended up with a very big diamond ring and pendant - very valuable at a cost of $6.50 cents but precious in its intent. As I enjoyed her outpouring of love, I thought of our many mothers in our projects – of other mothers in the world.
Dear friends and partners, Happy Khmer New Years - next week is a big week for all of us in Cambodia - we celebrate Khmer New years - a time when all Cambodians return to their birth homes, to family and friends - its a time of renewal - a time of reflection - a time of remembering those who passed on with special ceremonies - a time of eating and playing - a time of new clothes and new dreams - its a time of rest with a week long holiday. Well almost, April 17 is Pol Pot day – a day now being remembered – so what is new is celebrated and what is past is remembered.
Dear friends and partners, Happy Valentines Day – my office smells of flowers given by staff. Makes me feel guilty that I didn’t buy them all flowers for they are people close to my heart – people who enhance and fill my life with so very much.
Dear friends and partners, A second newsletter in one month – a bit of a record, even for me, but yesterday was one of my golden days in Cambodia and I want to share this with you before I lose the impact with the busyness of everyday life.
Dear friends and partners, Happy New Year to each and every one of you. May this year be full of the blessings that you given to so many here.
Dear friends and partners,
All of us at Tabitha Cambodia want to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. It is the season of hope and faith for many – for us – our faith in a child born so long ago – brings the message of understanding and life – a child born into the meanness of poverty – despised by many – eventually killed by those who found Him too different – a man who lives again so that we can all live. Christmas – our foundation.
Dear friends and partners, Someone asked me last month – do you realize the impact that you have. I am rather humble about that – yes, I do know. I went to Singapore in the beginning of the month. I went to talk with several schools who give us phenomenal support and the week ended with a Tabitha Silk Fair – it was an amazing week in so many ways – we sold 94k in 3 days – children would walk up to me at the schools and want to shake my hand – a number of parents shared the change in their children who had come housebuilding. As the week progressed I began to understand that perhaps all of you do not understand the impact that you have. Today I would like to try and express that impact.
Dear friends, The new program year has started very well. It’s a peak season for house building teams – it is also our busy season for orders. The rains are in full spate – causing havoc for so many of our families. The staff, as usual, does so much in very difficult circumstances.