I can’t believe that I am travelling home to Miami already! I enjoyed every minute of it. I left on August 5th with a mission team from Trinity Church with a specific list of tasks to accomplish. Three of these tasks were to: 1) provide a pair of The Shoe That Grows shoes to every student enrolled in Cambodian Care Ministries’ Light of Future Schools, 2) provide each student with medical care using medication from MAP International, as needed, and 3) purchase goats to initiate Cambodian Care’s Goat Bank. The Shoe That Grows is a product of Because International, a non-profit agency headquartered in Idaho. This shoe is very sturdy and adjustable for up to 5 shoe sizes. We had also determined to teach the children about how and why Jesus washed His disciples feet and then wash each child’s feet before fitting them with their new pair of shoes. Over a period of five days, we distributed 447 pair of shoes to Light of Future School students. Each one heard the story of Jesus washing the disciples feet prior to having their feet washed. Many of them raised their hand to receive Jesus after the lesson. Our nurses used the foot washing station as an opportunity to provide foot wound care to the children and assess their general health. I cried for many of the children as the nurses worked on the infections, wounds, and parasites in their feet. In total, our six nurses served a total of 637 adults, children, and infants at our mobile medical clinic over a six-day period in four different villages. We left an additional 50 pair of shoes with Cambodian Care for children who will be enrolling in their schools this Fall.
Buying a goat in Cambodia was more complicated than I envisioned. Pastor Koy Chhim and his wife Reny, founders of Cambodian Care (CC), and I spent the first two weeks searching for a suitable goat farmer and a way to transport the goat to Kratie Province. We didn’t realize that goats were becoming such a popular commodity in Cambodia. After many emails and phone calls, Pastor Koy found a goat farmer in Snoul, Kratie Province who was willing to help us purchase goats from Vietnam. He had recently sold his goats but was on his way to Vietnam to purchase more. We negotiated with him to buy two male, Vietnamese goats and two pregnant female, Vietnamese goats. He assured us that Vietnamese goats grew larger and were more hardy than Cambodian goats! So on Monday, August 22, a small sub-set of our team plus Pastor Koy and Reny drove five hours from Phnom Penh to Kratie Province to receive the goats from Vietnam.
We named the goats: Abraham & Sarah…..
and Isaac & Rebecca!
Pastor Koy and Reny had already preselected two families (shown above) to be the keepers of the Goat Bank. Both families have children enrolled in having a child enrolled in CC’s Light of Future School in Kratie Province. In addition, the mom in each family was enrolled in KTECH Academy (which we initiated on August 19th). Each family received one male goat and one female goat. The male goats will remain that property of Cambodian Care’s (CC) Goat Bank. The female goat belongs to the family. When their female goat gives birth for the first time, any live offspring belong to the CC Goat Bank and will be distributed to a new CC Goat Bank family. The firstborn offspring of female goats given to any new CC Goat Bank family belongs to the CC Goat Bank. Over time, the number of families enrolled in the CC Goat Bank will grow and the Goat Bank itself will grow.
(photo credits: Linda Freeman, Jeanette Munoz, and Gabriel Rivera, Kratie Province, Cambodia, 2016)