Today, Fr. Martino, Mother Ngoc, OBV VN staff, and the staff of '5 Thang 2' and 'SPA Thien Y' left the office at 4AM to attend the wedding of an OBV child in Ninh Thuan. Therefore, aunts Thom and Thuy joined the OBV Cambodia staff and the Mission Trip 2015 pariticipants took the children to an outing at Dam Sen Water Park from morning till afternoon.
Every year around January, a Mission trip takes place under the guidance of Father Martino. This year is no exception. The trip took place with much anticipation and enthusiasm from the participants. All participants must have had the heart to love to be able to set aside all their personal plans to participate in this trip.
First day: Everyone gathered to listen, observe, and get a sense for the works of the mission that OBV is pursuing, and complete the required paper work; followed by the introduction, reviewing the agenda and the engagement rules for the trip.
Today we held mass for Vietnamese Labour Workers in KL. Many are working illegally, meaning their visiting Visas have expired. They come from all walks of life looking for a "better" opportunity to support their wives, children, and parents. Father Martino shares his personal struggle with poverty and homelessness and encourages them to keep faith, dignity, and respect for each other and the church. He also shares with them about OBV's mission and asks for their help in informing us about victims of trafficking. After mass, many people disclosed some cases that they knew of that received no help from the Vietnamese Embassy. OBV will help these people and many others like them return to their homeland and families. We are grateful that God has placed us in touch with these people who will the the voice and lending hands to make a difference in the lives of so many struggling Vietnamese people!
Another free morning and afternoon for our group to visit Central Market and Chinatown while the OBV directors conduct their business meeting!
Today we spent the day with Cha Tuan in Can Tho at his "Trai Tam Than" for the mentally unwell. We cooked lunch for the people who live there and learned about Cha Tuan's honorable work. He lives with them, feeds them, teaches them life skills, gives them medicine, and above all, he gives them the love, dignity, and respect when family and society has rejected them.
The Angel God sends to obv family- Her name is Angela - A Ped Nurse from Calvery, Canada
Day 3 - Jan 10, 2015
One big happy family - OBV Cambodia and Vietnam children had a blast today at Dam Sen Waterpark!
It was a good day to go swimming. The kids wore us out! Luckily, they were also good babysitters for my daughter! (Schulz)
Jan 7, 2015 (Day 1)
Preparation for opening mass!! Obv mission trip 2015 is about to begin!! (In picture: Sang Le from USA and sister Thao from Italia!!!)
4:00PM on Nov. 14, the day of the event "Give Back the Innocence", Phat, a member of the event committee announced: "The committee has been flooded with calls for reservations. Over a hundred people expressed the desire to attend the event but we had to turn them down as the event was sold-out."
Amid the cold night in Saigon, Vietnamese New Year's atmosphere filled quiet streets with emptiness along homeless people were wandering. Did you ever accompany them overnight yet?!
For me, a girl had stepped foot onto Saigon for 10 years, and had witnessed the heartache scenes of society that is more specifically where a bustling city is a refuge for those pity people. I wanted to tell you my feelings of overnight accompany. To me, it was incredible significant, and I thought if you were me, then you should experience it once.
Due to my career job schedule, I arrived in Cambodia 2 days later than Mission trip group. Therefore, I only had 12 hours to do my planned works for this trip: the visit of new OBV (One Body Village) open house and together with the group to visit the Vietnamese labor worker site in Cambodia. The meeting of the OBV children and open house visit were in quick process but helped me understand the OBV children's life partially. It made me feel proud that majority of them do well in academic and very obedient, conscious thinking and sharing with others. I wished that they will continue to mature with a positive attitude in life. To that mean, they were taking the opportunities that OBV provides and will take advantage of those to change their lives and their families. The majority of OBV children's families were illegal Vietnamese immigrants in Cambodia. They knew where their native land is but could not go back home because they did not have identity documents and had no money to return home - where intimacy relatives are but the gap in time and wealth made it a virtual distant and unfamiliarity.
1/23/2014 North Vietnam - Sapa
A few of us took a small hike up Hàm Rồng mountain in Sapa. We're having lunch at a local restaurant, and then cha Thanh is taking us to a church for local minority groups in the area.
Group on the road visit Labor Worker site
Time flew by, and today is the last day that Mission trip group farewell Cambodia to continue the journey to Singapore. The flight took off at 3:00PM, so the group took advantage of the final morning period to visit Labor Worker site, and cooked the last intimate meal in Cambodia.
Labor Worker Site - is the ghetto of Vietnamese people who worked as a bricklayer for living in Cambodia. Though, these are not solid decent house but they are only "temporary" housing that assembled from pieces of old bamboo plank, put up by the investors next to towering buildings. The winter is cold and summer is humid.
Our group had arrived and felt a warm atmosphere.
1/21/2014 North Vietnam
Turns out that our trip to north Vietnam includes Lao Cai and Sapa! It's midnight and we just got into LC (after an 8hr, harrowing drive), off to Sapa at 8am.
There's a reason OBV has come to Lao Cai. Since Lao Cai 1) is less developed relative to the other major metropolitan cities, 2) has poor villages of ethnic minority groups, and 3) borders China, underage trafficking is said to exist here. Today has been a surreal day.
We met with Fr. Thanh early this morning to learn about his work with impoverished ethnic minority groups in the area.