We have a joy-filled update for all of you! Just recently, each of the children in the orphanage received their own bicycle from the orphan ministry of Calvary Chapel in Okinawa, Japan. A couple from Koza Baptist Church in Okinawa was able to provide transportation for all of the bikes to get from Okinawa to Cambodia. What a blessing these bikes are to the kids, as they all begin studying at a Christian school, Agape, in Siem Reap. (See pics below for some action shots!)
Also, from Okinawa, a small group from The Harbor has committed to financially support the educational costs of the kids so that they can study at the Agape School. Not only are they getting a much better education than they would have otherwise but they are getting a Christian education and practical skills in addition to English.
Imagine the impact that these two groups of people are having in the lives of these ten children, even as they speak different languages and live in different countries.
October 25, 2010 is fast approaching and it is the date we would like to open our first Orphange in Siem Reap, Cambodia. If you would like to be a part of it please go to do our donate page and select an amount for a monthly donation. It’s amazing the wealth that we have been blessed with in the Western world and it is so easy to take it for granted and not use a portion of what we have been given to bless others.
David Platt, author of the book Radical, wonders if 150 years from now Christians will look back at poverty and wonder how people could live in such opulence without doing much of anything to help those in need just as 150 years ago many people who claimed the name of Christ were fine with upholding slavery and racism.
Some have wondered why we would open an orphanage as a project for Stop Slavery. Mainly because that is the direction that God led us as we were praying about how to get started. Also it fits in line with our 3 original thrusts of Stop Slavery for Prevention, Justice and Healing. In a 2005 study it was estimated that 1 in 40 girls in Cambodia would end up as in the sex slavery industry. While I am not aware of a study done specifically for orphans I have to believe that it would be much higher.
Also I think the way that Slavery will best be brought to end is for Cambodian girls and boys to grow up knowing the love of Jesus Christ and being discipled in him. Chamrong, who will be running the orphanage along with his wife, grew up in an orphanage and was discipled by the pastor who ran it. It is because of the love of Christ that he was shown that he in turn wants to be there to love other boys and girls who are growing up without parents.
There are horrors here in Cambodia that I haven’t even imagined. This week, in the village that my friend Sareth lives in, a lady was trying to sell her 8 day old baby for $500. She wanted a new start in life and didn’t want to keep her baby.
They tried to explain to her that they couldn’t buy the baby but they would care for it and see that it was raised well and got to go to school. Later they decided they could give her bus money to get back to Phnom Phen but they wouldn’t buy the baby. She wasn’t willing to let the baby go, though, she wanted to sell it.
She left and they haven’t seen or heard from her for a couple of days. Her backup plan was to drop the baby off in front of one of the Casino’s. In the states it’s not a big deal to formula feed a baby but here they were mostly worried that the baby wouldn’t have good chance of making it to out of infancy.
In this picture Paul and Sareth are taking to the Pastor’s wife who had agreed to raise the kid. Paul was willing to raise the money needed to take care of the baby. It was really cool to see a family willing to take on a baby and the compassion that the christians there felt.
If you happen upon our site before March 2nd please help us win up to $800 by watching the video below. The best video wins $400 and the video with the most views wins $400. We want to use the money to support the Unit 14 school in Cambodia to help educate some of the world’s most at risk children for slavery.
Today it was really neat to see Unit 14 after hearing stories and talking about it for the last couple of months.
We didn’t take pictures during much of the time because we were in meetings but I did get a bunch of photos of the unit and project when we were driving around after the meetings.
Wow. The internet is really slow in this cafe. I’ll have to upload pictures later today if I get a chance.
They were really passionate about education and we asked them about the need for a school one of the ladies said they needed that more the well projects that they were working on because without education they are planting things but not seeing a harvest because they don’t know how to grow things well. When I asked how many of the ladies could or couldn’t read they all pointed to one lady. I was feeling bad as they singled out the one lady that I assumed couldn’t read.
It turned out that out of the 22 ladies she was the only one that could read and write.