A great week as we continue to work on our projects. The first of the week we took three of our preferred contractors to Kampong Cham Province and visited 2 Health Centers, a Hospital and two schools. We released bids to have wells drilled, and hand wash stations built. During one of our visits, we met a little boy hanging around the primary school. When we were at the school the previous week, it became clear that the community was lacking available water during the dry season. The wells, when shallow, often dry up, and the people have limited access to water in the communities. This community is particularly poor. We are hopeful to create a new project and assist this community with deeper wells. There are over 1000 people who need water. This project may become an effort to drill 20 or so wells, each well servicing 15 families.
While we were at the school, a little 6 year old boy was hanging around during the recess. We asked him, why he wasn’t in school. The children wore simple uniforms, and he was only wearing a pair of red shorts. He has the brightest eyes and cutest smile, his response was, that he was poor, he couldn’t afford the clothes to go to school. We weep for the people even as we bring better water.
Later in the week the country observed Constitution Day, It was an opportunity to get caught up on computer work and filing. Finally on Saturday, we were able to travel to Svay Rang Province to officially hand over food for 100 families. We met with them in the local pagoda, and each family received 25 kilograms of rice, cans of fish, soy sauce, fish sauce, and cooking oil. These families are also very poor. Many of the women were older, weary and obviously hungry. We were told that many of those older women were widows.
On our trip to the province, we encountered a parking attendant at a gas station, he looked like so many who work as parking attendants, thin, tired and a little wobbly. There was a small cafe at the gas station, we felt impressed to buy him a Khmer lunch. We shared it with him, he told our interpreter that he had asked friends to bring him food, but it had not come yet. He said that he appreciated the food because he was starting to tremble from hunger. His eyes were bloodshot from fatigue and lack of food. The Lord does guide our path. We were glad to have stopped when we did, and meet our friend.
It is Sunday, we are thrilled to have attended church for the first time in months. The branch came back together. There are many to invite back. Absence from church has taken a bit of a toll. We have much to do and we are delighted with the opportunities. Fast offerings here are used carefully, but often. Heaven has truly created a marvelous system to care for each other. We see miracles each week. We know God lives and that he takes care of His children.
We love you all. Follow the Prophet. List to his words this week. We hope to stay up late and listen with you. The Church here watches it the following week on Sunday.
More to come…
With all our love
Elder and Sister Stone