Dear friends and partners,
Good morning to each of you. The pandemic continues to devastate the country of Cambodia. Many people have lost their jobs and many small and medium size businesses have closed, most permanently. The tourism town of Siem Reap resembles a ghost town as the hotels and restaurants are closed and empty. It is all so difficult.
Despite the difficulties, the Tabitha Cambodia staff continue to work with families in our communities. It is not easy work as social distance is essential. If an outbreak occurs after a visit of our staff, then Tabitha is blamed for the outbreak. Masks and distancing are not insurmountable but add a whole new dimension to our work.
Savings continue, and houses are built. New sources of water continue to be installed and schools continue to be built. Cottage industry remains slow and many of our workers have been laid off. Families share their stories of the hope our work brings to them, how it helps them to weather the storms of the pandemic.
In Svay Rieng, one family is Preab Oun, who has 4 children. Preab Oun has been in the Tabitha savings program for the past 3 years. She told us that there were many changes and benefits to her family such as a better understanding how the saving is important. She says, that “every 10 weeks after I received my money I spend for our special needs such as medical/ hospital expense, buy different kind of crops for organic growing, while we also raise fish and cows. Our income comes from the selling of fish and vegetables in our community. Currently we live happily because we have enough food and rice to eat and to support our family needs during this time of the Covid-19. Without Tabitha Cambodia, I don’t know what would have happened to my family. Thank you very much for bringing this wonderful program and support for our communities in Cambodia.”
In Kep, Ke Chrun, is 38 years old and he and his wife have 3 children. He says he has had a wonderful experience with the Tabitha savings program over the past years. “After joining this amazing program, my family has been changed a lot. Especially, after I got a beautiful house from Tabitha Cambodia. My family is now living in a warm house and we are all very excited and happy. Our dreams are still ongoing with these savings initiatives which make me reach our planned goals such as having enough daily food to eat. During this difficult time with the Covid-19 pandemic our income from raising chickens and growing vegetables is going down. Despite this, I have enough animals such as chickens, ducks and cows so that we can earn money although not as much as before, but we are still able to support my family. May God bless you all for this life saving program.”
I thank my God for my staff working under very difficult circumstances, for all of you who have made these stories real for so many families. It is so very good.
My book, I Am Who I am is now available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kindle, Indigo and Chapters. It is about the first 25 years of Tabitha Cambodia, our staff and our families. It is about the miracles that each of you made happen. How good is that!