• 1
  • 2

Make A Difference

Monday, 25 February 2013 17:12

Life's beach

D. and C.L. approaching the beach for the first time


Well, life isn't always so. But today, the girls experienced a life so beautiful and grand. Generously sponsored by one of OBV's partners, we took the girls to a private beach resort from January 11-12. Many of them have never seen an ocean before! Others have never been in a hotel. None have experienced such fun and luxury. It was a joy for us to see the girls so happy and carefree. They were able to be and act like real children. The sparkle in their eyes shone so bright that I had forgotten their past. 

Thursday, 21 February 2013 15:27

Family matters


The purpose of this mission trip was to SEE, HEAR, LEARN about our surroundings, from rural villages to urban hotspots, in order for us to understand the situation in Southeast Asia, particularly Vietnam and Cambodia. Not only did we dig deeper into the human sex trafficking issue, but through conversations with local were we able to understand other important problems like extreme poverty, human rights violations, and social marginalization and discrimination of Vietnamese people. 

Wednesday, 20 February 2013 17:49

Setting the stage

I met the girls for the first time yesterday. But before I get into that, I have to share with you a heartfelt story. I woke up in the hotel yesterday morning and logged into Facebook as part of my addictive daily routine. I see a post by Father Martino announcing that he just rescued a young girl who was trafficked to Singapore. I thought to myself, "Wow, what an incredible story to kick start my mission with OBV". I went downstairs to have breakfast with the group and sitting across from me was the same girl that Father Martino mentioned in his post. My heart dropped into my gut. She's beautiful. Her hair is long but tattered. Her skin is soft. Her face is gentle. She's quiet.

Father Tuan - taking care of the mental illness - with OBV volunteers

This was the second time I stayed in Can Tho after the first time here for work related reason five years ago.  Can Tho city is flourishing with the famous Ninh Kieu port because it is the commercial center for all Mekong Delta areas.  However, under the flowery cover, this city carries with it many sad secrets which threaten human capacity of toleration. 

21h30  Jan 12th, 2013.  Led by Father Martino Nguyen Ba Thong, a group including OBV staff and volunteers from USA started the trip to Can Tho.  After 3 hours of travelling, the mission group arrived at Can Tho at 1:00 am Jan 13th 2013.

Tuesday, 05 February 2013 07:00

Mission trip 2013: A green roof house

Volunteers with OBV children

It seemed that OBV children didn’t want to go to school this morning because they had known that the Volunteers were coming today. Perhaps all they wanted was a permission from Mama N. to stay at home. However they didn’t receive one so they took their bikes and slightly went to school. They couldn’t have concentrated in the classroom because of the desire to come home as soon as they can to meet Papa and the others. At home, three adults waited impatiently, kept looking at the time or walking in and out…

Not sure if the air in Lao Cai was getting warmer or is it that I have in some sense gotten used to this place. Today, I no longer felt the coldness as much as the previous days. It is the last day, therefore everything is much lighter and more relaxed. We are allowed to sleep in until 8 a.m. at latest because we have an appointment at half past 8 a.m.

The group stood at the hill on the way to Sapa


This is the third day that I am on this frigidly cold, gray, gloomy land which is lack of life and to be honest, I am starting to hate it. It is making me tired, sleepy, and the burning inside my body is causing me the inability to focus on anything. For instance a moment ago, my eyes are like this two locked door that haven't been oiled in days, refusing to open.  However, today is an exciting day with the fact that I don't want to accept because I do not want to get emotional drifting with my thoughts, I clutched on to my laptop.



Before this trip, Hanoi was the farthest North destination that I’ve been to. Many people said: “A trip to Lao Cai – Sa pa this season? Are you crazy? Want to die?” I’d never known how frost of the North really was so I wanted to have experience there - a place where my father was born.


Six of us met at Tan Son Nhat airport as we had arranged before. Then we flew to Hanoi and waited for a friend from the USA who wanted to join us. Five of us are from the USA, some had come back to Vietnam over a month ago, some a few days ago and one just this morning. On board, I tried to take a nap to recover from a 3-hour sleep night.

Sunday, 20 January 2013 17:21

Mission trip 2013: A Reality

This is the first time John has been in Vietnam

All my life Viet Nam has always been a spectra or a dream to me. With all my close family members in the USA, there's little emotional attachment or incentive for me to travel back. This dream of returning, however, reluctantly became a reality for me this week. 

Page 7 of 11