Revisiting our Upcoming Projects

As we began our week, we took a few days to organize our office, work out computer glitches, and begin entering details for our upcoming projects. We submitted an emergency request for assistance in the Svey Reng Province. We were there in February doing a final inspection of the wells from a previous project. It boarders Vietnam. This commune is very near the boarder, we are requesting rice, canned fish, oil, and fish sauce for 100 families. We are also requesting Covid 19 supplies for the Health Centers, so that they can better monitor and help the communities.

Near Independence Monument, is this monument to the ruling prime minister. It is a long park surrounded by sidewalk where many people walk in the mornings. On the sidewalk are vendors, selling rice cakes, and other breakfast items. People from a variety of lands come out to loosen up for the day. Various small groups stretch together to the sound of recorded music.

The Director General sent our office a request, we review and submit the request to the Asian office in Hong Kong, they review it and submit all requests from 12 countries to the Area Presidency for review and possible approval. If our request is approved, we will commence to purchase the list and arrange to make the direct donation to the families with the Government leaders. We hope to schedule that event in the next few weeks. The Covid scare has caused many people here to become unemployed. Thousands of people have lost their jobs at the garment factories, and there is more need than we have budget for. In the 5 months we were gone, tens of thousands of dollars worth of food and materials were donated here to desperately needy people. The HUMANITARIAN line on your church donation slips goes to projects like these and many other types of projects all over the world. People like us,on missions work hard to ensure that every dollar gets into the right hands, and that the most people possible are benefited.

An evening meal with our interpreter Sareth. He and his family joined us to celebrate our reunion. He was let go in March when the couples left. He continues to look for employment. It may be the first full meal they have had in that much time.

On Thursday we made the 2 1/2 hour trip to Kampong Cham, and met with the School Directors of two primary schools and began the preparations of getting their schools clean water, latrines, and hand wash stations. Each school has about 160 children. School starts here on September 7. We will submit these projects after we get bids and write up the scope of the work involved. We will also work simultaneously on 5 health clinics in bringing clean water to them and helping with their sanitation. Finally, also in Kampong Cham we have a Level 2 Hospital that is asking for a well and a new latrine.

Water buffalo can be found even in the city. They are being moved to another area to feed. In the background is a Wat (Buddhist Temple) where monks live. Buddhism is the predominate religion here. Earlier we came across a fellow moving about 30 goats down the street. He had his hands full, keeping them together!

Sunday, we traveled with two sister missionaries to the branch where we worked in January and February. Sen Sok, is one of the poorest areas of Phnom Penh. They had arranged for 7 members of the branch to have a sacrament service. A most wonderful half hour of sharing feelings, praying, singing, and renewing covenants together under the warm morning sun. One of the sisters said she hadn’t received the sacrament in 7 months. She expressed with tears running down her cheeks how much she misses going to church and feeling the love of the branch and partaking of the Sacrament. We wish we knew more Khmer, so we could respond more directly, rather than need an interpreter.

The conclusion of a Sacrament service in the Sen Sok neighborhood. The platform in the picture is used for sleeping. It is elevated, and the slats allow one to sleep with the most amount of ventilation. No mattress, maybe a blanket, maybe not.

In a few minutes we are off to a baptism in the East District building. The members there are so close to becoming a stake. They have been working all year to that goal. The baptisms here are delightful. The missionaries continue to find people to teach using social media. The attendance is small as are any church gatherings. We hope soon to return to the traditional Sunday meeting schedule and regular baptism services. The mission president has only about 40 Cambodian missionaries. It is remarkable to see the growth they have made since we left. This little band of men and women are fearless and work hard to meet the expectations put before them. President and Sister Lewis are amazing! Patient, kind, encouraging, loving, cheerful and happy. We are fortunate to serve with them and the Khmer people.

School starts soon! We hope we can have clean water and hand wash stations available here soon! Today the children were hanging out, getting some preliminary instruction before the school year begins.
Meeting with the Operational Director Health of the Kampong Siem District. We meet with Government Leaders to establish our role and the beneficiaries role in the project. We try to enlist as much help and resources that we can to encourage a sense of ownership in the community. Notice the lovely companion I have in the picture!

We love our assignments. We love the people. We feel the Holy Spirit as we serve. God loves all of his children. I hope all of my family can feel the Holy Spirit in their lives. God is real. We love you! Very Much!

More to come…!


Elder and Sister Stone