It has been a busy week of training on our software that collects and records projects being performed by missionaries around the world. We have 17 projects here in country that are active and in various stages. We have 3 more requests that require review and discussion that may become projects in the near future.
We recently met with 3 different wheel chair manufacturers. They use handicapped folks who need work, to build the chairs. One fellow was putting the spokes on the rim of the tires and tightening them down. He is blind, but he moves quickly at his job, feeling his way from spoke to spoke, using a special wrench to secure them in place. Another fellow was assembling parts and also is skilled using an arc welder to weld the half inch tubing together to build the frames. His legs end at his knees, but he moves around in a wheel chair that the company built. They have about 25 employees, about 30% are handicapped. And together they build chairs for the handicapped. It is marvelous that the LDS Charities has partnered with a company that helps handicapped folks get wheel chairs by employing handicapped people.
Another of the manufacturers is training students who have come from all over the world to learn how to measure and fit people for prosthetics. They learn how to perform physical therapy, and plan to return to their home countries to use their new found trade to bless their people. We met students from Malawi, Sudan, and Rawanda. It was an experience to see as they were fitting young men with no legs, and a little girl who could not walk.
We have here 4 doctors and their wives who are here to help develop medical treatments, and to train care givers in CPR, reviving babies who are born not breathing, and training in sanitation at the health clinics. One clinic in particular is using the water from a nearby fish pond to clean the wounds of the patients, and to clean the instruments. The water is not filtered, it is not clean or purified. The doctors are striving to bring clean water to the medical facilities, we plan to visit the clinics this next week and to develop plans to install a well and hand wash facilities to them.
In the city there are old buildings mixed with modern hotels and businesses, the picture here shows a building that is often seen in photos of Cambodia in the 70s. There is a photo that shows the Khmer Rouge entering the city on this street, with this building in the picture. Young 12-18 year old children with rifles and machine guns moving through the city and leaving destruction and carnage. This building is part of a very historic setting.
The needs are vast, the lack of basic facilities are great here. We are anxious to move forward and to begin to help them with more projects. We are off to District council meeting in a few minutes, we then are helping to prepare a Christmas dinner for the young missionaries at the mission home. Christmas Day will be serving dinner and then Skyping our children when it is their Christmas Day evening. We look forward to that! We love it here! We are slowly moving past the jet lag, and the adjustments. We thank God every day for our wonderful family, each one. You are our joy! We are so proud of each of you! Merry Christmas! We love you and pray for you all!
Elder & Sister Stone