Yesterday, the Mission Trippers journeyed by bus from Phnom Penh, Cambodia, to Vietnam, the last stop of a journey to understand the work that OBV does across 3 countries in South East Asia.
Today, the group arrived at OBV Vietnam, just in time for tomorrow's party to celebrate a belated Christmas, Lunar New Year, and the birthday of OBV's founder -- Father Martino. It will also be an opportunity to give thanks and gratitude to the OBV staff, supporters and collaborators who have worked with OBV over the last year.
Yesterday was quite a busy day for the Mission Trippers.
In the morning, they headed out to buy food to prepare all the meals for the day.
Their first meal was a delicious pasta dish, which the children devoured in minutes.
While the kids napped after their huge lunch, the group headed off to Bloom, an organization with under-aged victims of sexual abuse and human trafficking are trained to work in bakeries.
On the 12th of January, in the still of the night and long after all younger girls were in a deep sleep, the older girls of OBV took a trip to Nguyen Hue street to meet up with the volunteers on the Mission Trip. The OBV team along with their collaborators, were ready for their Night Flight -- an event organized to share gifts with the homeless in Saigon.
The first stop was Saigon Notre Dame church, where the group gathered to pray for a smooth and peaceful night.
Roaming through Districts 1, 3, 5, 6 and 11, the group handed out a total of 254 gifts to those less fortunate than them.
They arrived home as the dawn was breaking. The children had experienced something new, teaching them to always appreciate what they had available to them, including a warm bed to sleep in under the cozy roof of OBV.
Translated by Jacqueline Huynh and Mr. Phung. The original version in Vietnamese entitled "Mission Trip 2018 (Day 6) Bay Đêm Sài Gòn"
OBV has just completed the schedule for the annual Mission Trip, giving volunteers from other countries an opportunity to learn and experience the activities of OBV in Malaysia, Cambodia and Vietnam.
For 10 to 12 days of the Mission Trip, they will live, work, and participate in volunteer activities in areas where children are sold, such as the Children's Detention Center for victims of child sexual exploitation.
The volunteers will meet in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The first day, they will make their way to the Children's Detention Centre, housing child victims of human trafficking (sex trafficking, larbor trafficking, organ harvesting).
The representatives of OBV in Malaysia visit the children weekly, providing medication and food for the children and help them with paper work for repatriation to their respective countries. For those returning to Vietnam, OBV then assists them with rehabilitation and to obtain a job so that they can integrate back into society.
After leaving the detention centre, the mission trip group will visit the Women's Detention Centre, and the jewelry factory reserved for the survivors (so called to respect/honor the aspirations of life of the victims of sexual abuse.)
The group will then continue the trip to Cambodia, and Vietnam to visit the children of OBV in these countries.
OBV News January 3rd, 2018
Translated by Jacqueline Huynh and Mr. Phung. The original version in Vietnamese entitled "OBV Mission Trip 2018"
an old article...
Summer in San Diego arrived earlier than usual this year. It was already sunny at the beginning of July. While people prepared for their July 4th celebrations, the choir of Manificat Of Good Shepherd parish in San Diego was in full swing organizing an event to talk about the evils behind trafficking of girls into sexual slavery happening in Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia.
Only two members of the choir had met Fr. Martino Nguyen Ba Thong, however everyone else was well aware of the work he had been doing to rescue girls from sex slavery. There were enthusiastic to lend a hand to support such a cause.
It was my second time to participate in the annual Mission Trip, and this time the children of OBV Vietnam were a lot more friendly towards me than my previous trip exactly a year earlier. Since the age difference between them and myself was not big, we could relate with each other on a lot of things, and we became closer. They felt comfortable to play and tease me.
This second visit took place right after their Lunar New Year holiday, and they had just gone back to school for the new semester. Probably because they hadn't seen each other throughout the break, they were highly excited to see each other again, chirping and chatting non-stop throughout lunch. Every time I've been with them, I've immediately felt at home when I see how much they care for each other. The older girls looked after the younger girls, the younger girls looked up to their elder sisters.
Visiting the old house of OBV's Cambodia in a small Vietnamese's village filled with so many stories of undocumented Vietnamese trap. Where children laugh and play in streets not knowing what the future lie ahead. Please keep them in your prayers.
an old article...
It's been a long time since I had a Saturday morning at home alone, a calm and peaceful time. I opened the window to let the fresh air rush in, turning my face to enjoy the stimulating feeling of a crisp cold morning. In the distance, autumn has already started to color the row of trees with its different shades, from gentle to brilliant, glorious yet dreamy, forming a lovely and melancholic scenery.
How many plans do I have for this morning? First of all, I need to save some time for myself and my family. Sewing some warm house clothes for mom? Or making bún bò Huế, dad's favorite dish, and inviting him over? Or maybe being home today is my chance to teach my 11 year old boy how to cook, clean, and do laundry, because he still hasn't learned to do any housework, big as he is, and if I do not teach him now to be useful to others, it'll be too late later.
an old article...
The church bell rang (the alarm bell was set as the church bell sound). I got up but my mind was still confused. We would have priest Thong come to Minnesota and talk about human trafficking which sends Vietnamese children into sex slavery in Cambodia.
When I came into the bathroom, Ai Huu was making up, getting ready for the Mass in the morning.
Both of us came into Church of St. Alphonsus for the Mass on 7:00 A.M. We stood on our knees and prayed. I wondered what Ai Huu was talking to God and Mother Mary. I was thinking of Priest Thong's talk in the evening, wondering if it would be successful. Only 169 tickets were sold. Worrying, I tried to concentrate to pray. I talked to Mother Mary and God, begged them to help us celebrate a successful event. I didn't forget to pray with the Holy Spirit to be with us in our work for the best results.
an old article...
Pharmacist, MC, Singer – three works combine in one girl named Huyen Ny – a talented, beautiful Vietnamese girl. She is a representative for successful Vietnamese women living overseas.
When attending the fundraising event held by One Body Village at Seattle, she decided to be a voice for OBV's children, those who are the victims of child sex exploitation and traffickingin order to make OBV more well-known.
Let us share with you Huyen Ny's thoughts:
The program began just before sunset
The "Trả Em Tuổi Thơ" gala in Melbourne in the presence of 750 participants from the Vietnamese community. The large turnout was the result of the Vietnamese patriots in Melbourne to lend OBV a hand to help children who are victims of sexual exploitation in Southeast Asia - especially Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Singapore.
This is the largest fundraising event to date that even the event organizers were also surprised and touched.
(OBV - Ms Anne Doan and the two men who organized the fundraising for OBV in Brisbane, Australia are Buddhist! Thanks God and Thanks the three of you)
1 am ... 11/16/14 after finishing the evening fundraising for OneBodyVillage, we returned home and listened to Father Nguyen Ba Thong shared about the OBV children's lives. Although everyone was very tired due to lack of sleep and meal for the past few days busy running the fundraising... But everyone tried to fight off the urge to fall asleep and kept listening to the tragic stories of the unfortunate OBV children ....