She came from the Tonle Sap Lake in Cambodia, her life has hung around the little boats and her floating hovel of her family, the furthest distance she has traveled was several miles to the land area of the Church onshore where her house temporarily located since the authority forced them to land on the shore as part of a five-year plan to beautify the riverfront. But now, she is miles far away from home, no family, no friends.
So it has been over a month to live in OBV house, this was not too much but long enough for her to get to know about the family and the live here. I recall meeting her in the late afternoon during my survey trip in the Kompong Chhnang Lake area, she rarely spoke a word, but she was agile to steer the boat with her brother and then she sat down at the top of the boat staring at the distant horizon as an adult was meditating on the life.
An old article...
Before the Mission Trip started, Mom N. told the kids that Dad Thong and his friends would come to visit them, including a doctor - PHD (but not the one who works at the hospital!)
- How could we call him, Mom?
- He’s older than Dad Thong, then you should call him uncle, OK?
Uncle An was too busy to have a meeting with kids. That made him worried. He then decided to take a longer meeting with kids while he was staying here with us for one night, two days.
An old article...
The End-of-the-Year Prayer at Mother Mary's shrine
Mom: Here we were at the last few hours of the year of 2013 which would soon pass. With this passing of time, we can not help but realized the graces of God in our lives through the love of our parents, the love of "Dad", and the numerous family of people who labored, provided and cared for us.
An old article...
OBV children and the group had a visit in November 2012
Time flew! The Cambodian-based OBV home had been renovated and re-established. Three children had left, each with a different circumstance and yet, having lived under the same roof. Let's come and live a regular day with the children.
An old article...
Different from other places, the students here did not have any summer break. They still went to classes regularly. The students did not have to say goodbye to their friends and teachers. They also did not have to repeat the saying, "Mites are calling summer to come, and the school has to say goodbye to the laughers of students..." The children were still surrounded by their teachers and friends. Beside that, the children of OBV Cambodia had another program, which was an English program in charged by James. He was a young volunteer of OBV who lives in America, but he gave up his precious summer to come and teach our children.
Our children welcomed James. This was when they just came back from school
An old article...
Father Thong and a member of mission trip cooked seafood for the OBV children
The group's trip visiting OBV Cambodia of Father Thong ended after a seafood meal that was sponsored and cooked by Father Thong.
That afternoon, when doing grocery with OBV children, we saw some seafood on the market and asked the kids if they knew any of those. None of them knew any kind of seafood because they had never eaten them before. So Father bought some of the seafood, in the hope of making a fun and interesting meal for the kids.
Having a child with no husband or wife. If you follow in Christ's footsteps and have children – many children for that matter – then what do you think happens?
Many of the children were raised in unfortunate circumstances; therefore, OBV decided to create a family for the children that include a Mom, a Dad, and siblings. Of course, this would also include a sincere and true loving family to care for the children rather than just providing the children with a roof over their heads. "Dad Thông" and "Mom Ngọc" are names that can be heard frequently around the house. As these names are commonly used, some of the children have even filed Father Thông as their biological father and Sister Ngọc as their biological mother (this is because some of the children do not know whom their biological parents are – and even OBV is unable to access this sort of information).
There is nothing more heartwarming than to hear and have the children be able to call someone "Dad" or "Mom". Although there may be times when some individuals are bound to think or speak negatively of the situation, the OBV family wholeheartedly cares and protects the children from the negativity of others.
Thank you to all of our supporters for your continued love and care for the children
January 9, 2015
Translated by MyHuong Duong. Original version in Vietnamese entitled "Cha Thông, Sơ Ngọc Đã Lên Chức "Cha, Mẹ", Có Cả "Nghề Nghiệp" Hẳn Hòi!!"
I originally intended to write a story about one girl, allow me to name her Lan*, long time ago, however, I did not know how to put it into words because I believed that I was a part of it. It is not easy for me to admit it was my fault and failure not to save a life at risk when I had a chance to hold her hands tight, which still makes me deeply regret. More specifically, if I had been more sensitive and decisive, there would have not been such tragedy things that you are about to read; if I had led her to another living condition, she could have not had to live with a sadistic monster who is also her father.
I used to be very happy when I looked back my achievements such as our children are wise, and were recovered intact. They have grown up; have studied well and have had good jobs.
I used to be very happy when our adopted children were in the same household book with me. A family has full of caring, sharing and happiness. When they were back to their parents, they usually call me to ask how I was that day, or to ask for an advice if they are facing difficulties.
I used to be expected that my children's future will be good. They will be independent. They will have their own families/children and they will be happy.
However, no one raises their child perfectly without difficulties in their lives.
Sister Ngoc and the new children
These days of March, project staffs of OBV went with Sister Ngoc to visit and consult 3 victims' families of child sex exploitation. A five-hundred-kilometer road trip, we had to go 3 times to be successful in persuading their families to let them live in OBV Family. Due to the specific characteristic of each area, there were only 2 children can come to OBV Family, another one will be helped by project staff to carry out the procedures because until now she did not have any personal papers to prove that she is ...Vietnamese.
The day my father was released from the prison, I was 11 years old - When my father went back home from farming, my mother prepared clothes in bathroom for him.
I came to the US when I was 17 years old. Along with busy days, my mother still kept doing the same stuff! If she was busy, she would tell me to do it!
The dream of a 17-year-old boy was that someday I could have a wife like.. my mother!
Then I was on "race of dating" in hope to find that woman!
I thought I found her - (in spite of being a little bit slow, she was not as feisty as my mother!) and I was really happy!!!
How are you? I have some questions for you:
- Do you like the darkness?
- Can the light make you happy?
- Does your house ever have a power cut?
- Are you afraid of the dark?
- What do you think when there is no light?
- What could you do in the darkness?
People say that "One good turn deserves another". Don't wait for becoming a rich man to start sharing, we should learn to share with others even though we are in difficulties and disadvantages, because there is always someone's life being much harder. Therefore, Dr Thanh Tam (MD) and Dr Duy An (PhD) drove us to some places, namely "The Baby graveyard" and "Nursing home for the elders"
After that trip, they left us some notes, I would like to quote here...
The school principal came to greet for New Year
The middle school principal, staff and teachers came to OBV. They would like OBV Vietnam to have more sexual exploitation prevention seminars in their school.
We also had chance to discuss more details about OBV children's performance at school.