Greetings from Cambodia!
As you know, we moved 3 times in 4 months. Once from our old place that often flooded into a new villa. The new villa was great, but we lost a major donor and could not afford the rent so we had to move again after only 3 months. God blessed COP through a conversation I had with our next door neighbor where Brian and I live. He said he was willing to rent his place to COP to use for the orphanage. It was a fair price so we moved in, and had a door put through wall on our top floor so the kids could use the top floor of our house for the cafeteria. Brian is surviving being neighbors with COP, and it is working out very well for everyone so far. No flooding yet, either.
After spending the month of June in WA State, I am glad to be back in Cambodia to see the children but was not happy to find the government pushing through a restrictive NGO law which demands all sorts of monthly activity reports and financial statements, etc., as well as shutting down NGOs and organizations that want to have voice in the name of civil society to protest the government's injustices. The law is pushing Cambodia back into the communist past.
On a happier note, this year, we have 3 kids who will finish high school this year and next month they will their final exams. Of these 3, one will apply to become a government school teacher, one will take a course to become an electrician, and...
Mr. Vichet has enrolled to learn the work of a stylist/beautician at the Katy Korpi Salon, a high-end Salon with a two- year training program for teenagers from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Brian’s friend Matthew is the founder and director of this school. This is a tremendous opportunity for Vichet as there is no training available in Cambodia of such high quality.
Six COP seniors will graduate from college this September. Two will study to become teachers, two will graduate with Communication degrees, one with a Banking degree, and the last one in Administration.
Since 1st grade, Ms. Yari (12) was always number 1 or 2 in her glass. Next year, she will go into junior high along with three other 12-13 year olds from COP. Yari is very smart, and she hails from Kompong Thom. She tries very hard, and like the other two, are very helpful around COP.
Ms. Dany (14), and Mr. Senin (12) are competing in a major gymnastic competition this week.
During Sunday morning fellowship, we have been discussing sexuality, dating, and relationships with opposite sex. Each Sunday we have lively discussions on these topics, going through YWAM’s Sacred Love series, which Brian’s partner and colleague, Mr. Uon Seila helped write and publish. Teens have been sharing quite freely and transparently. It has been a lot of fun and the teens seem to enjoy it and get a lot out of it.
Thanks to Bre and her daughters who sent clothes, and Sophia and her friends from Westminster Chapel who sent hair bows for the children. Thanks all of you who you made donations for the work of COP.
Our financial situation is still not stable since losing a few big donors. We can cover rent but affording good quality food for the kids is still a challenge. I haven’t taken a salary in over year, and we had to let our cook go. My two nieces are working overtime to pick up the slack. We are operating at $1400/month when we actually need $3000/month to function. If COP has to shut down because of lack of funding, most of these children will have to drop out of school and work in a factory or collect recyclables to support their poor relatives or whoever will receive them. Without out COP, many over the years would not have graduated high school, let alone college, or have even made it through 4th grade. Many would not have a faith in Jesus to sustain them and give them vision for the future. We have had a quite a few children win gymnastic competitions, a boy who qualified to run track in China, kids who participated in Boys/Girls Brigade, and many who graduated from high school and college.
Please consider signing up with a recurring donation for COP through BreakThrough Partners if you believe in the work of COP.
Thanks so much,
Bophal and Brian