How is your Spring shaping up? I’ve heard that some of you are still snapping on the skis and shushing down the slopes, while others are suiting up your ‘Boys of Summer’ already. Gotta love the weather variety. We’ve had a cool Spring here which means mid-70’s. I know, it’s almost freezing. But, I think we are going to hit our April stride and the mid-90’s pretty soon. April is generally the hottest month here and usually sees lots of, or too many, 100 plus days.
So, it seems March was all about the numbers; how many, how much, how long, how far…..? I’ve picked up four more classes and forty-five new students. In March, I began teaching English at our newly opened bible college which is lots of fun. The ages range for late teens to early retirement, and I am blessed by their eagerness, diligence, and boundless humor. You know: ‘Love is patient, love is kind, love is not jealous…’, however sometimes in our class it sounds a little more like, ‘Love is pungent, love is fine, love is not jelly….’ Thus, we may need to work a bit more on pronunciation, but I have to say that they are all incredibly ‘pungent’ with my pronunciation of Khmer. I guess that’s one of the many reasons we have so much fun.
Now, how many pounds of pork, how many chairs, tents and tables, how many mats and mosquitos nets,
and how many mics, cords, and cameras does it take to put on conference for over a thousand. Yes, that’s right! A lot. We just finished hosting our annual Cambodian Foursquare Conference and everything went beautifully. As I have mentioned before, it is truly amazing to see everyone jump into their respective roles whether it is designing banners, preparing music, coordinating the kitchen, or sweeping, painting and polishing. For all the sweat and muscle aches there were equal or greater amounts of smiles, laughs and love that went into it. This year we had a huge turn out of youth, which was really exciting. In the past, the annual conference was an ‘all expenses paid’ event, but this year attendees were asked to cover their own transportation expenses. Whether it was five dollars or fifteen to twenty dollars, a significant amount considering some may only make one dollar per day, it brought an incredible atmosphere to the conference. This change broke the feeling of being impoverished, and injected confidence, courage and commitment. Each of the three days was filled with the Lord, learning, laughing, singing, dancing, games, and great food.
Speaking of food, and ‘how manys’; how many mushrooms can you grow in a month? Our latest enterprise to go along with crickets and quail is mushroom farming. It starts with a thatched hut to serve as the farm or barn, not that mushrooms need to be corralled but they do need a place to grow. So, up went the hut.
Then fresh soil was bagged, later is was seeded and then shelved. Now it’s a waiting game. But, within a few months we should have a few hundred pounds of mushrooms and a few hundred dollars. Well, that is if they don’t all go into some tasty soups, salads and savory dishes. Mmmmm…… mushrooms.
What’s up with the English and Vocational Training Program?
Wooo Hooo… We have three new designs that have now been cut and distributed to the girls so they will soon be zipping through the machines and on to the shelves for sale, just in time for our busy Spring and Summer season. The girls are doing great. A couple are now in twelfth grade and going through lots of school tests so they have been excited to utilize some of their Personal Education Fund to help pay for additional materials and classes where they feel the need. It is so fun to see their creative and sewing talents grow right along side their confidence and independence.