January 25, 2014
Posting pics as we take them so you can follow along "real-time" as we're over here in Cambodia! I'll keep this post at the top, so check back often often for new images!
January 24, 2014
July 19, 2013
Tuesday was one of our best days so far. We went to our student Bible Study, and about halfway through, a young girl arrived and joined the group. After we finished BIble Study, we all sat and ate rambutan and talked, laughed, hung out — then Sorphea asked everyone to leave so we could talk with the girl that arrived during the study.
Her name is Thavry, and she's super sweet, kind-hearted, and speaks English really, really well. She goes to church with Sorphea and our other students. She's studying to be a doctor, and she's just finishing-up her fourth year of school — with four more to go. She lives at the school's dorm, where she helps as a resident assistant, allowing her to only pay $5 each month for rent. She's a full-time student, but she works here and there helping translate for various groups and organizations where her busy schedule allows. This helps her have a little money for food.
As we see with a lot of students, the support from her family has run its course for now. Her parents are farmers from the Provence, and very poor. This was to be her last semester in school so that her parents could spend all of next year saving as much money as possible to hopefully be able to pay for school again. Not only would this take its toll on the educational momentum Thavry has built up over the last four years, it would also mean that when (and if) she was to return to school, she would have to pay a higher tuition amount — and that, alone, could mean the end of her higher education. As long as she maintains her status as a full time student, she is guaranteed her current tuition amount.
As she told us her story and her struggles and fears, tears welled-up in her eyes, and she was just wrought with desperation. We could all feel it. It was as if we could sense her feeling her whole life collapsing around her — she was losing hope, and feeling like the last four years of her life would be wasted, and her dream of being a doctor to help poor Cambodians would be lost. She said Sorphea had told her about our organization, and she just wanted to talk to us and see if we thought we could help. I answered: "we will help you."
When I said this, she broke down and wept like we've never seen a Khmer person weep. Emotions are heavily guarded in Cambodia, even among the younger generation, but she just wept uncontrollably for a few minutes, covering her sweet face, and we could feel the weight of her anxiety and fear lifted. We all had tears in our eyes, and we all felt hopelessness get kicked in the gut. It was a good feeling, that.
And the timing? All God. He knew we would be in Cambodia. He knew we would be at Bible Study. He orchestrated Sorphea telling Thavry about us, and getting her to come to the house while we were there. Just when she was at the end of her rope, He allowed our paths to cross.
She practically floated out of the house, excited to tell her family about this huge relief. We did, too.
Life change. BE-ing here. BE-ing where He needs you to be. BE-ing His hands and feet and attitude. We are so blessed to be able to do this work, and that He's chosen us to walk this path. We simply cannot imagine doing anything other than this.
April 29, 2013
You are invited to attend Threaded Leaf Project's debut of our Spring 2013 Liviya clothing and Jariya accessories lines. We will also have a VERY special guest for you to meet! Our Head Seamstress, Bopha Choup, will be flying in from Cambodia — her first trip to the USA. Come meet Bopha and hear first hand about the work of our seamstresses in Cambodia.
This is also a man-friendly event, so guys, come on and hang out with the Threaded Leaf Project men!
Hosted by True To Life Ministries, 105 This Way, Lake Jackson, TX 77566
Main Event: 7:00, with shopping to follow
April 18, 2013
Here are loads of pictures from our 4th Cambodia Trip!
March 4, 2013
Time to meet our newest Scholarship Student, Sreypov!
For the last 2 school years, Sreypov (pronounced sray-POHW) has been studying to become a nurse at one of Phnom Penh's medical schools. Her tuition is paid at the beginning of each year in one lump sum, and up until now, her family has been able to afford her school fees and dorm cost.
Due to the very limited income her family receives from their work in the country, this was going to be the last year Sreypov would be able to go to school. Not only that, her family was unable to continue sending money for her to stay in the school dorm — so she was in urgent need of a place to stay while she finished this school term.
Our Cambodian team member, Sorphea, knew about Sreypov's struggles, and she connected us with her while we were in Cambodia in January — and we started looking at options for helping Sreypov continue on her educational and vocational paths.
Her schedule is Monday through Saturday, working volunteer (clinicals) at a local hospital each morning through to lunch, then she has class all afternoon. Beginning in April, she will stop clinicals and be in class all day, six days a week. It's a VERY intense schedule to say the least!
So imagine what she must feel like — imagine what her family must feel like. All this time and investment, and now they are seeing it all about to come to an end. Her dreams, her family's dreams of her breaking out and doing big things — all just months away from stopping.
Thankfully, Threaded Leaf Project was able to step in and help this sweet, determined young student! She is now living in our Girl's Home, and she knows she can continue to focus on her future and her educational goals!
She attends the same church as Sorphea and many of our Khmer friends, and she is very passionate about helping others (one reason she wants to be a nurse). Her references confirm what we saw in her: she is kind, gentle, and a hard worker.
We have high hopes for Sreypov, and we're excited to be able to walk alongside her as she continues to work toward a brighter future!