“So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart.” (Nehemiah 4:6 NIV)
Over the last two weeks, a group of very determined children and their parents worked alongside Cambodian Care Ministry staff and interns to convert a ramshackle lean-to into the soon-to-be operational Light of Future School. The Light of Future School is emerging in an impoverished neighborhood in Phnom Penh, Cambodia where there has not been a school before. Compelled by their desire to have a community of educated children, this group of adults and children has been working with all their hearts to make it happen. Their response exemplifies organic, grassroots community development.
I have been so inspired by these families. Typically, social service programs and community development initiatives are staffed by a group of professionals that are hired to “deliver” a program to a pre-selected group of program participants or a targeted neighborhood. They staff may begin by organizing a focus group of community leaders to find out what their needs are and share with them what the program could offer to them. Those professionals spend hours each week recruiting, marketing, completing intake forms, inputting data into databases, hosting community meetings, delivering the program, and following up with potential and existing program participants.
But not here! The families and their children seemed to spontaneously arrive at the school site, anxious to share in the work, once they found out that Cambodian Care was willing to establish a school. The photo at the top of this blog shows the school building before any work was begun. The second photo shows the concrete floor as it was poured on Sunday, October 11, 2014. The third photo shows the kids’ construction crew with our intern Lacy Beach on October 27, 2014. Everyone came together to “complete” construction on the school in less than two months.
Our November 2014 Mission Team is so inspired by these families that we are collecting school supplies for the kids. The children in Trinity Church’s Kidzone ministry will be handwriting personal notes for each of the two hundred Light of Future school children this Sunday morning. We cannot wait to see their faces when we present them with school supplies and a note from a child their age.
What do you do with all of your heart?
“You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.” ~ Bob Marley
(photo credits: Lacy Beach and Koy Chiim, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, October 2014)