Our mission has been a very unorthodox mission. Just a few weeks after our arrival, news developed around Covid. Quickly it turned into a bit of a panic. Missionaries were called home, and alternate plans were developed. Later that year, we were returned to our mission. After several weeks, Covid began to spread here. Restriction on meetings, travel and shopping were put into place. We continue to work, we just have to carefully plan where we can go. Some areas of the country are strictly forbidden to travel to. Other areas are not so controlled.
We are continuing to plan new projects as our current projects near completion. Our ability to follow up on existing ones are done by zoom and pictures. Setting up new projects requires we get permission to travel to remote locations. Folks are anxious for us to come, but they often can offer no assurances that we should travel with the restrictions that are in place. We hope as we travel, that we arrive without interference from government checkpoints.
Our week has been exciting. We traveled to Kampong Cham to review work being done there. We are pleased with the progress of the contractors. We are delighted with blessing the work is to the health centers and to the schools there.
When we completed our visit to the Chamkarleu Hospital, we were taken to 2 nearby schools. One school has Over 1500 students and only 5 toilet seats. Kids have to stand in line between classes, often they go find a tree rather than be late for the next class. We hope to add some toilets for them.
The next day, we left early to visit 4 schools far from the city. Our drive to the first school was about 2 hours, about half of the drive was on a very bumpy, dusty road. Our hearts fell when we drove up to the school. 45 children in a two room school house. No latrine, no water, no hand wash. The tin roof accentuated the 99 degree weather inside the school.
Our next stop, about another 30 minutes down the dusty road was another 2 room school house. Once again, no water, no latrine, no hand wash. We are told that there are many areas that have that type of school, the government builds a school or two each year. It may be many years before these kids get a school.
We ran out of day before we could visit the other two schools. Our trip next week will include the other two. We are anxious to return and develop a project to meet the needs of the faraway communities in Kampong Cham.
Our contractors are the heroes that are making the work happen. We have wonderful people moving to each project and meeting the needs and trying to obey the Covid restrictions. We are so blessed to have their help and hard work.
It is a warm warm time here. The sunrises and the sunsets are beautiful. We are fortunate to have air conditioning. We also realize that the majority of people do not enjoy a/c. They have no hot water, and many do not even have clean water. We hope that all of our efforts are where we should be. There is so much to do. Each week we are surprised by new needs, often more desperate than the week before.
We love our family, we pray for each of you, everyday. We love our friends at home. We hope that all of you feel the love of God in your lives. He is real and He is close by.
With all of our love.
Elder & Sister Stone