As usual, every year on his "vacation" in January, Father Martino leads a group of young people to Mission Trip. OBV Vietnam welcomes Father and all the Mission Trip members to Vietnam.
In this Mission Trip from 1/8 to 1/19, they will experience the reality of OBV activities in Vietnam, Cambodia and Singapore.
OBV Vietnam wish Father good health and the mission trip group will have joy in apostolic commitment.
I am going to Vietnam and Cambodia in January, 2014 for Mission Trip! Today I found an old article and wanted to share. Even though I have work to do for organization, I still spend my spare time at night with young people that I've never met before – just know each other through Internet – to wander with disadvantaged people at nights near Lunar New Year! (Money for "night trip" was my own money not money from organization, so if you have helped OBV, please have peace in mind that your money is used for the right purposes.) You can access to my website to read articles and see pictures of "night trip"! Now, I invite you to accompany in the Lunar New Year's night trip through the narrative of "night rider"
Every year, Father Thong organizes several mission trips. On January 2014, there will be a trip travelling between Vietnam, Cambodia and Singapore. Each trip will generate a whole new experience. To learn more about them, please read the posted article of last year’s trip:
Compared with my previous trips to Vietnam, this one was different with a special mission – to explore the OBV (One Body Villege) activities as well as visiting its children. For a long time, I had known about Father Thong and the OBV but have not had a formal conversation or official collaboration with them until about four months ago. And I wanted to give my contribution and a strong voice for the organization and the OBV children.
After having heard some of the situations these girls have been through, I truly do begin to count my blessings having been born in America. These children have all become part of us during this short period of time knowing them. They've taught us many things that cannot be learned or taught elsewhere without having been on this mission trip.
Mission trip group in Singapore
Fourteen years ago. This was the last time I was in Singapore. Singapore is, for lack of a better term, different. It's much cleaner than Vietnam and Cambodia, but that seems to come with a few minor flaws to the country.
Making friends with Vietnamese children in Cambodia
Today on the second day of Cambodia we got to go visit the Vietnamese village, that is a group of about 14 families living very close together. One thing that I really like about the visiting is that it totally opened my eyes to see a completely different world from the world. I am living in right now.
Mission trip group with Vietnamese workers in Cambodia
I found the idea of going to a rustic village in the middle of nowhere is unappealing from the start; however, the village was worth the travel. Even though, the village houses were extensively cluttered, it only made the villagers closer to one another. In addition, the houses were divided merely by wooden sticks and plastic papering. Nevertheless, the relationships between the villagers are strong. It truly displays what OBV Stands for. One Body Village originated from the idea that it takes a village to raise a child. In this village, the villagers help one another for the better of the village. Together, they cook, eat, and live with one another-which is what a true village does.
Mission trip group with Vietnamese children in Cambodia
We arrived to Cambodia after a very long ride. The heat here is already different. I couldn't wait to meet the OBV kids here so we took tuk tuk to go to the hotel. We checked in very fast and and not waiting any longer we took the tuk tuk again to go straight to OBV House.
Mission trip group visit Vietnamese village in Cambodia
Cambodia is country that suprised me, its beyond my expectation. I came to Cambodia as a mission trip, concluding 6 other missioner. As soon as we crossed the border this morning, we went check in at the hotel with my group. After that, we went visited this small village at Kòm Pung Đo Areysak. Its a small village that Vietnamese property live, very poor Vietnamese. As I walked along with the all other missioner, we gets to learn about the historical story about the village and how it starts.
Dear Daddy and the volunteers,
After the trip, Mom N. told us to write a reflection. Actually we were afraid of doing this not because we didn’t have any feelings but we had too much feelings that we didn’t know how to write. Daddy and Mom, please don’t laugh at us when reading this.
Daddy, you are very busy with your business but you didn’t forget your promise with us six months ago. You said you would take us to the beach on holiday. This time you came home with the volunteers and brought us lots of love and happiness. We couldn’t say anything but thank you all.
Here we are at the central market in Phomn Penh. Father Martino is taking M., D., and G., to Singapore the following day on January 20th to have paperwork done in order to facilitate their potential future studies in the USA. It would be their first time in Cambodia, first time on a plane, first time in a big, beautiful city like Singapore. Life wasn't always so grand and spectacular for these girls.
Buying sex with a 12-year-old girl in Cambodia takes less time and effort than paying for a telephone bill. For $1 USD, a shady motorbike will take you on a 20 minute ride up the haphazard highway north of Phnom Penh to the dark and grim village of Svay Pak. Also known as Kilometre 11 or K11 (11 kilometers from Phnom Penh), Svay Pak is internationally famous for its tainted collection of shanties, brothels, and karaoke bars that exploit young Vietnamese and Cambodian women, and children as young as five.
An imaginary black cloud hovered over my head as I gathered the sights and sounds of suffering and despair of the past few days. However, where there is bad, there must be good. Amidst all this anguish and misfortune, there are angels who shine a rays of hope for all of us. I can't forget about Father Tuan of Can Tho who dedicates his life and medical skills to those whom society has casted aside as not worthy.
We visited a rural village further inland from the docks. If the church is this small and unkempt, then you know that the people are poor
Cambodia is deceiving. Hidden in the shadows of its vibrant city streets, modern architecture, eclectic culture, and majestic mosques is the discrimination and enslavement of Vietnamese people. Worse, the diseased tradition of trafficking Vietnamese women and children. Pitted from generations of hate and antagonism towards the Vietnamese government for exerting control and influence as early as the 13th century, the Cambodian government and its people directly disfavors the Vietnamese.
Father Martino and volunteers with OBV children
After a couple days in Can Tho connecting with the local church community, we head back to Saigon for a BBQ with the girls. It would be the last time we would see them. I carried mixed emotions on the bus ride back to Saigon. On one side I was super excited to see the girls again, on the other side I dreaded the inevitable bittersweet goodbyes at the end of the night. We all know I'm an emotional person!