Two more projects were started this week. We are helping two schools in Kampong Cham Province to get needed latrines and wells and wash stations. The boys get impatient with the long lines at the latrines during the recess and they will relieve themselves in the playground. We will bring more latrines and needed water there.
We are also working on a hospital that gets flooded during the rainy season. We hope to install a series of drain boxes and piping to eliminate the tremendous amount of water that accumulates during the heavy rain storms that come. For years they have treated patients as they wade through water that is above their ankles. It provides challenges to the staff to control mold and disease. Often septic tanks are under the flood waters, so the septic freely flows with the rain water.
Thursday we crossed paths with a 45 year old man who was traveling along the city street on a small metal dolly. His legs were thin and his feet were turned up, his body misshapen by the way he had to sit for so many years. He said he had damaged his legs when he fell off a bridge when he was a boy. He now lives with his mother, and scoots around on the dolly by putting sandals on his hands and propelling himself along as he balances himself on the dolly. We offered him an LDSC wheelchair, we called the company we work with and the technician came to the spot on the street, measured him so they could get the right wheel chair. Soon, one arrived. As the worker pulled it out of the truck, people began to gather, as they fellow lifted himself onto the wheelchair, the gathered onlookers clapped to express their joy for him. It was a miracle moment for everyone there. His broad grin swelled our hearts as we watched him move himself around now with greater freedom. We reflect that heaven pointed us to him that day. We felt prompted to do a U turn to avoid traffic, drove around the block, and there he was. We would otherwise never have seen him. God watches out for all of His children.
Saturday, in our rush to accomplish on our prep day, we say another fellow, scooting around on his bum. His foot was bandaged and bloody, his hands were worn from scooting himself along on the ground. In visiting with him, we learned that he had no home. He has been living outside around the corners of buildings, out of the rain. He said that he used to own a wheelchair, but that it had been stolen and cut up for metal salvage. He had no way to move about, and no place to stay, no food to eat unless people offered him money. We will have a wheelchair for him on Monday. He will have a way to get up away from the rats that roam the streets at night. In Cambodia, there is no social help for the disadvantaged. There is no safety net. Thank goodness that we can help in some small way, due to the goodness of the members of the church who donate to the Humanitarian Fund. Hundreds of millions of dollars help people in all parts of the world by providing wheelchairs, vaccinations, training in many areas of self reliance, health care and clean water initiatives.
We love our mission. We can’t imagine a better way to spend our retirement years. We hope to return to love and enjoy our families and to one day return and serve our brothers and sisters somewhere in the world.
Our deepest love to our family. We do love you! We miss and love our dear friends.
More to come
Elder & Sister Stone