I met you 4 years ago. You were the first child I met and brought back to One Body Village when I started the work of searching and rescuing victims of slavery and sexual abused. I still remember vividly that first time. We came from far away to the cold desolated house with only 2 sisters were living and taking care of each other. The older sister, you, was only 15 years old. I still remember the suspicious looks from the loved ones in the family and the detractors of the neighbors' pity when asked about you.
Mother Ngoc is talking with the children, new members of the OBV family
Yesterday was the past, a traumatic past.
• A little girl lived in the West of the country. After she was sexually abused by a local man and the incident was discovered and prosecuted, her whole family had been living in fear. Rocks were often thrown at the house, all bred fishes in the pond were dead after a few hours away. The family was always in watchout and ready to make emergency exit out of the house for fear of house being burned. The girl had to take leave of absence from the school because of getting beat on the way to school and intimidations.
Ms Ngoc Phuong is now the manager of OBV Cambodia. Bellow is her sharing on Christmas Eve with OBV children
There was no need to sit beside fireplace, no need to bring many clothes, no need to wear beanie...
However, this Christmas I feft even warmer. Sitting beside me were children, they also felt the same with me: different from previous Chrismas
I missed all my friends and relatives...
OBV family is celebrating Christmas
Sunday: The first day of a week, the day that children were waiting for as they could rest and play
According to our program, tonight Sunday, December 12th, we took children to watch performances at church. We walked around to see rock shelter in the parish. Our children were prior to seat in front where was only for Priest and Seour. During the performances, when every performance ended, priest looked at our children and clapped his hands proudly, people in the church were watching, but only Priest clapped most loudly, clap even the performance was good or not, he gave soft drink to them and said "Drink to have energy to clap your hands". M found him happy and cheerful; she touched him and sang "I ask u why you became a Priest?" He could not answer, Mother N helped. He said: I know, this song is Father Thong's, right? It turned out that he knew Father Thong! He also said: When our Parish has performances, Seour will let you perform some, OK!!! After the performances, we walked back, two youngest children felt weary in their legs, so her sisters carry on their backs. What a happy day.
OBV staff in Cambodia is driving the children around in new Tuktuk.
For the necessities are needed such aschildrengo to Mass, attending theweeklyBible school, especiallyinthe rainy seasonwhich isheavily raining allday long, they also have togo to school, theOBV organization in Cambodiahas justbought aTuktuk.
OBV jus received a child through the introduction of Archdiocese Caritas Saigon.
When we talked with her mom, we got to know that her family situation was so tragical that the mom had intended to apostatize as the Cross God gave her was too heavy. She prayed to Mother Mary, if Mother Mary hadn't helped, she would apostatize and send her daughter to a house in a pagoda. Luckily, as Mr Huynh Truong, her catechist, knowing her situation, came to Caritas office to ask for help.
Children of OBV Cambodia
There was nothing new or special happened to our lives. However, I felt one thing and consider it as a grace of Mekong Mother. It was children who visit Mother after finishing school. I think Mother may feel touched when she sees her little children visit her everyday, so she gives grace for our family: all of the kids want to stay here. Ngoc Yen said: "I feel sorry for sister N.B, don't know how she is doing now."
With Mother's grace, we all feel warm in our famiy. We all pray and thank Mother everyday.
Translated by Tram Dang . Original version in Vietnamese entitled "Nhờ Ơn Mẹ Mêkông"
The result after many months of hard works
The OBV (One Body Village) family was very happy that the couples Viet Thu Dinh, aboard Australian, visit and stay and help the children in some ways for one week.
Before the couples came, the garden cooling shade project had been planned, implemented secretly and funded by "Black Funds" with our own labors. But the couples had contributed an enough amount of money, and also lend a helping hand into this project.
The children write the wishes and give the picture of Mom and the children attached during the past years ..
The past February 24th was Mom's birthday. Although Mom was not my Birth Mother, you had been nurturing and teaching us daily. People have said: "The fruit of Birth is not compared to the fruit of Nurture". We were so happy when both Mom and Dad had nurtured and loved us.
We remembered Mom's birthday and were counting the days, and the Aunts also planned to cook the delicious meal for the party with the OBV family. Mother knew our plan so she would like to have no celebration, no food, no cake, just our existence with her is her happy moment. She warned that if one does not obey her words, then she would check a Mark ‘X’ (*).
Master Jesse is training the children at OBV house in Cambodia
As often as one week in every month, Master Jesse and Dr. Thuy regularly took the bus ride to Cambodia to teach Martial Arts to the children at the OBV home. Try his best using the ability to speak Vietnamese to help the children understand, he said: During my visit, I wanted to review your skills thoroughly to help you better understanding the skills and practicing competently.
At 8 pm sharp each night, the training began.