This is a reflection of I.V. – a volunteer for OBV, working in a hospital in Chicago. She attended an auction in OBV’s fundraiser night and won a special handicraft of an OBV girl – a cross stitch painting. This painting is hang in her front room making many people interested and curious about its origin. When hearing I.V.’s explanation, they are so touched. The painting is about a beautiful girl and become a motivation for I.V. to arrange her job only in one day to join mission trip in Vietnam, Cambodia with Father Martino in November, 2012.
This is a reflection post written by Vy Dinh. Vy Dinh is a volunteer usually helping OBV to organize many Awareness night. She joined the group during the mission trip in November 2012 and these are some of her thoughts about it.A bulletin board in the kitchen is decorated with a calendar and a long list of chores for the children living there. On Monday, X and Y takes care of cooking while Z takes care of the bathrooms. It appears that the duties rotate for each child so that no one gets stuck with the same chore each month and everyone picks up range of domestic skills.
Dr. Thanh Tam with Vietnamese children in Cambodia
How can I possibly share with you the experience and emotions that I have gone through during my 8 days/3 countries trip.
I am not a stranger to poverty, hunger, suffering, loneliness, pain, illnesses, tears, and separation. I knew before the trip that what I will see would be heart-breaking. I know that as a woman and a mother, I will be touched by helpless, innocent, suffering children, that I will cry easily by the sights of their outstretched skinny little hands begging, or their ribs-showing bodies sleeping on sidewalks next to their street vendored mother. Little did I know that what I have seen, especially those eyes, would stay in my mind deeper and stronger.
Father Thong, Singer Hien Thuc and the children of OBV
This year is almost over, before the passing of time, we all feel a sense of something significant. We can’t help but think about all of the blessings God has given us. Exclusively the children of OBV, even though they are not followers of Jesus but they all know how much blessings they have received from God, Father Martino as well as many dedicated individuals.
Father Martino, Dr. Nga Vu - member of Board Director and volunteers in Mission trip 2012
Mission Diary Day 1
Went to the airport to pick Father Thong, seeing him carrying so many things, including two coolers of frozen foods, promising to be a fun filled party with many special things. And……
Members of Nhịp cầu hạnh phúc (OBV VN) and volunteers "flew" at night
Translated by Ngan Le. You can read the original in Vietnamese - entitle "Chuyện bên lề hành trình xuân"
Every year, during the days before the Lunar New Year, Nhịp cầu hạnh phúc (NCHP) usually has a series of events lasting several days with different activities such as consultation, charity and communication.
Same as last year, NCHP had a lot of activities from January 6 to January 16 including: a course on “successful communication” for college students, exchange of experiences in raising and education children with parents in Chanh An, giving out free medical care as well as medicine, sending gifts to poor families and giving presents to homeless in Ho Chi Minh City. All of the main activities have been reported on the NCHP website nhipcauhanhphuc.org. As for me, joining NCHP as a guest, will tell the side stories along the way.
Finally we meet the children that we have heard and read so much about
I felt excited waking up today because I will finally meet the children that I have heard and read so much about. These children are the reason why I have left the comfort of my daily routine to embark on this mission with Father Martino. It was a bit frustrating hearing from Father Martino that we will not be doing anything; he will be taking us on a journey to observe and learn not only that of OBV’s children but other unfortunate path of life.
Group picture before the “flight”
One of the many activities of the mission trip “Lend a Hand” 2012 is the “night flight” especially created for Vietnamese who live in the United States. Besides the opportunity to see the reality and the secrets of the streets of Saigon at night, they could also bring a little joy to people living in poverty or homeless for the New Year. This is a reaction from one of the participants from that night:
In this spinning pace of life to make money for food and shelter, have you ever stopped to listen to other people?
We were strolling on the streets of Saigon around 3 AM after the “flight”. Saigon was sleeping at this time; all of the stores were closed. There were still some people but all of the sounds, noises and dust have calmed down and give way for some fresh air and quiet environment to take over the streets. We exchanged our thoughts and feelings about the flight as we were walking. The excitement of sharing some gifts with people was still visible on our faces.
Father Martino with OBV's children
"As usual from previous day, the children came by the hotel to had breakfast with us. Then we all took the children shopping to prepare for the new years. They all had something in mind that they want to buy stuff stuff either for themselves or for others such as their family, friends, or even for themselves. I was supper surprised as to the amount of kids that actually thought about their parent first and sisters. Knowing that bring tears to my eyes.
Father Martino with children in Cambodia
"The trip to Cambodia was an eye opening experience. I would like to call it the "ugly truth" about reality, but however, we all have to accept what God had created for us. First of, I want to recall many memorable moments that I had encounter on this trip. It is when we meet up with Thầy Tùng and was taken to the village where he help to educate the younger kids, their age range around couple months old to 15 years n older. These kids are recuser kids from the street, whom are very unfortunate that they lost everything, especially their parent and home.
Father Martino, Dr. Nga Vu and volunteers in Mission trip 2012
Every year, Father Martino leads many mission trips entitles “Lend a Hand” - This year the trip began on Jan 3 and ended on January 15, 2012! There were 13 young professionals from US and Canada – paid their own way and took their two week vacations to be on the trip – including three members of One Body Village’s Board of Directors. Nga Vu, MD; Young Hoang, PhD; and Pham Tiffany, MSW! Father Martino continuously repeated the purpose of the mission: “When you are on the mission with me – you don’t do a lot!! I want you to open yourselves, watch, listen, see and learn! The DOINGS begin when you return to the US!” so you can talk about it and do with passion, to be the VOICE and the HAND of these children being sold/forced into sex slavery!
Mission trip 2012
Do you have a loving heart? Are you a dynamic and compassionate person?
Do you want to be a contributing member to society? Do you want to help those in need but do not know where to start due to your limitations?
Do you want to spend your time meaningfully?
If so, journey with One Body Village on this "LEND A HAND" mission.