Monday, February 13, 2017

Center of Peace "Homestay"

Dear Friends of the Center of Peace,
Greetings from me, Bophal!
We are still having fun at COP, learning and growing as usual. Recently we have been making cards and crafts for 26 political prisoners who have been jailed on trumped up charges.Their situation is very tenuous, as they are not allowed to have anything that reminds them of life or hope. They are not even seen by doctors unless Human Rights organizations brings them along on their visits. So, we make cards and crafts to encourage them, and brighten up their day. We want to do this as a result of our study of Matthew 25:31-40 (whatever you do for the least of these). Here is a case of the least doing good to the least. Below is the card factory 

The Center of Peace will become a personal home for 12-15 teenagers finishing high school and college with Brian and Bophal as house 

Since our funding is down to $500/month, which mainly comes in from Seattle friends, we will close the Daycare ministry and send the COP children from ages 5-14 years old back to their villages and extended families. This has nothing to do with government mandate, just a shortage of funding. That will leave us with 12-15 older students trying to finish high school and college. Brian and I will move into COP’s residence ($850/month) to offset the rent, and become house parents. COP will become a “Homestay” by May. 

Bophal, a Mentor for Onyx Women, Presents Sitha with her ONYX Diploma last week

We still need consistent donors to help with food and rent for the “Homestay” but meanwhile we are going to try to run a food business by selling rice and chicken to school children on their way back and forth to school. We also want to buy a special cart to sell gyro meet on pita bread along road which are very popular with students these days. 

"I am trying hard to sell my personal pepper farm to finance our small business initiatives and to get the COP pepper farm going."  

We are now entering harvest time at my farm.  We already have locals stealing our pepper, but we will still expect to have an acceptable harvest. Unfortunately, since Vietnam is angry at Cambodia, they are refusing to buy our pepper and have forced the price down per kilo.

Srey Leak and Hockey below exchanging Valentine Day Crafts

Ms. Chhorven (20) and Mr. Chantha (22) are studying in the ONYX Program this year at DOVE. Ms. Srey Leak is hoping to finish high school and study with Matthew Fairfax in his Salon training program for teens at risk.  Prey Long Reforestation camp is coming up in July, and we plan on having COP “Homestay” teens participate.  Two of our young men continue to join the Men's group Brian leads every week, so there is still a lot going on at the Center.

Cop Church Service below that often includes neighborhood kids or visiting friends

Pray for our business plans to bring in income. We cannot become totally self-sustainable right away, so we still need your help.

Professor Kosal closing in prayer

Thank you for your prayers and friendship,
Bophal Yos-Maher

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