Friday, January 30, 2009
Lots of folks have asked how they can be in partnership with us here. There are lots of ways, especially the prayers, financial support, and questions. However, sometimes folks would like a project they can do in their home congregation. Projects are great because they can be used as an activity to engage a group of folks in your congregation and serve as a learning experience for how and why we are in mission. For this reason, my colleagues and I here in Cambodia have started thinking about some different kinds of projects that could be carried out in US local churches that would both be beneficial to Cambodians and also be helpful to US congregations as a tool for learning about mission.
What we are thinking about basically is making "kits." There are significant limitations to these projects. The cost of shipping things from the US to Cambodia is prohibitively expensive. Therefore, while there are certain kinds of kits that we can use and things that you can put together, you need to take into consideration shipping costs of whatever you have put together. We have a variety of mission volunteer teams that come to Cambodia. Therefore, it is only cost effective if you can coordinate with someone coming over to use some of their airline allowance to bring the items. Please consider packaging the items in containers (e.g., suitcases) of not more than 50 lbs that are ready for checking on the airline. Please do not begin a kit-making project until you have a plan of how your kits will get here. In addition, my colleagues and I here would be happy at an opportunity to discuss with you in advance a kit-making project -- so that anything undertaken would be the most useful.
We can't always use a great quantity of these things, but these are items that have been requested by our pastors and partners as things they could use:
(Used) clothing for resale business startup
Kits for prison ministry
Refurbished laptop computers
Credit and savings group record keeping kits
Home health kits for volunteers at medical mission or for pastors
Friday, January 16, 2009
with a financial contribution.
In the Cambodia Daily this morning was a reprint of a New York Times opinion piece by Nicholas Kristof called Where Sweatshops are a Dream. If you didn't catch this or some of his earlier pieces on sex-trafficking in Cambodia, I highly recommend them. One of my fellow missionaries, Clara from Bangladesh, is working to help provide enrichment programing at an orphanage that is working with the population that Kristof writes about. You can contribute to that ministry.
your continued support!
Thursday, January 15, 2009
It was a novel request for me, but as Oeurn shared more about his vision for his church and for Cambodia it became clear. Oeurn's dream is three fold: 1) that folks will have the knowledge for a better life, 2) that folks will have the resources to accomplish their dreams, and 3) that the church will have good leadership.
It is big investment for Oeurn, a young man in his 30s, to buy and run this 10-teacher school with 250 students. (There have been 50 new students in the last month since he took over operations!) I know that he prayed a lot before taking this step. But I understand that his vision is big and that he doesn't see this as running just another school in Cambodia. He sees it as a way that he is living out his faith. We are all involved in building a better world (in religious terms: The Kingdom of God), and Oeurn sees his part in this as providing education for kids in his community.
I think it is exciting to see a young Cambodian take his faith seriously and listen to how it influences major life choices. And I applaud him for being able to articulate how this step is helping him to live an authentic life true to his vision and calling.