Dear friends and partners,
The month of December is such a lovely month – it’s a month where much of the world looks forward to celebrating the Christmas holidays. For some it’s simply a time of getting together with family and friends; for others like me – it is a time of celebrating Christ’s birth – God’s immense love and compassion for His people. It’s a time of hope; it’s a time of reflection. Yet for others it can be time of sadness for those who do not have a purpose – who cannot see their way forward in life – a time where there is no hope.
Tabitha Cambodia works with families who have no hope when we start to work with them – for whom life is so very difficult. We work through savings – a process where families begin to recognize that they can change their lives – they can be in control – they do not need to live in despair. A process that enables them to dream of what they can achieve – it may be simple things like eating two to three times a day – meals that are nutritious and delicious. They can dream of more complex things like sending their children to school, or building a better home, or having water each day. They can dream of having several ways of increasing their daily incomes through raising animals such as chickens or pigs – or having a small business – so many ways to raise their incomes. They learn about a process that will allow these dreams to come true – a process where they decide how much money they will save over a ten week period at the end of which – their dream becomes a reality. It’s a process that allows families the time to achieve dream after dream – each step becoming more complex than the last.
This past week we had a project visit in Takeo province – in an area where poverty was so very stark six years ago. We visited villages that are being transformed through savings. One such family is Tom Yann who has seven people living in her home. Tom Yann saved for the simple things first – things like a small business, children in school, and a cow to help work the fields, a well with life giving water. In March a house building came team and built her a small starter home – Tom Yann has taken that gift and turned the home into three times the original size – she has built a kitchen and a toilet – she has built cement block walls – blocks that she made by saving to buy three sacks of cement – borrowing a brick mold and making the bricks herself. Her son helped her to make the walls. Her next savings cycle is to put in a cement floor. She is so proud – but what made it all so special is that she is not the only one in her village making these changes – 46 more families are also in process.
See the short video about Tom Yann https://youtu.be/DrGSnJ0Is2o
For Tom Yann and her neighbors there is hope and excitement – there are smiles and laughter – there is rejoicing in each other’s dreams coming true. In this village the Christmas spirit is thriving and that makes me thrive. My Christmas wish is that we can support the 8000 families this year through savings – it costs us $35. USD per family – My hope is that we can have 500 wells this year and that we can build another 400 houses through our volunteers. My prayer is that we can sell another $250,000 USD worth of cottage industry products. A gift of 6 more schools would be a blessing.
In this month of December – this month of hope and expectation – I thank each of you for making Christmas come true here with your support and compassion. I thank my God for His love and compassion and thank Him daily for each of you. Merry Christmas and Happy holidays from our families to yours.