Meeting the young generation at the Svay Pak congregation
I welcomed the OBV team at 7am on May 27, 2012. This team was headed Fr. Martino. According to the schedule, we will meet and work with three congregations: Svay Pak, Somrong Thom, and Kompung Chomlong. These are three congregations that belong to Mekong, Diocese of Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
That morning we went to see and work with the young generation at Svay Pak, one of the hot spot for prostitution. After celebrated the mass with Fr. Vincent, the pastor of Svay Pak parish, Fr. Martino met and share with the young generation about the topic of “the value of the human body”. Fr. Martino strongly emphasized “we are not for sale”. Fr. Martino also share OBV’s mission and work with the group.
That night, on my way home after teaching the students in a suburban district of Ho Chi Minh City, Mr. T asked me, "Would you like to go to Cambodia with me tomorrow morning?"
"Oh yes uncle" - I replied without any hesitation.
The planning for my trip outside the country was like that.
It takes about 3 hours from downtown Ho Chi Minh City to Moc Bai border gate; it was enough time for me to keep acquainted with the crews.
This journey, I went along with three beautiful, young, Vietnamese Americans women who have gone back to Vietnam for the first time. Like me, these women had never set foot in Champa. In addition to the young members of the group, there were some members who were of much older age. There was also a young lady who joined the group and she happened to be my cousin.
N.N. at OBV store
How can I help OBV to Lend a Hand, or BE A VOICE! Here is a reflection of a young girl who help OBV at VYC 4 (Vietnamese Youth Conference) at California State University at Fullerton from July 27 to 29, 2012! Thank you Girl for your LEND HANDS! - You can do it too in your community!! Here is her reflection!
From: Hoang-Vy Nguyen
Sent: Wednesday, August 08, 2012 8:53 PM
To: Father Martino
Con xin chao Cha,
My name is Vy Nguyen and im 18 years old. I'm from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Last weekend was my first time attended Marian days and I was very honored to get to be in two of your preaches. It was also my first time hearing about child sex slavery, and you have changed me.
We got this picture and the following message from a 14 year old young man! Thank you for being a voice!!!!!! You who read this can be a voice too! OBV will have this picture printed on T-shirt! If you have a good one - .. sent us!!! or design one!
In Euro Cup 2012 season, Sister Manager of OBV house volunteered to be the CEO of "Society of Soccer Betting" and asked every member of OBV VN to join. Although it was just a recreational game, it helped to de-stress us significantly, especially Father Thông and Sister while confronting with many obstacles for OBV VN. Below was Sister's reflection during this Euro season
Dr. Thanh Tam was trained in Pediatrics/Adolescence as well as Internal Medicine. She has been a physician for 20+ years and has worked in the hospital, academic settings, primary care private practice, sex abuse clinic in Reno, Nevada and is currently work as public health medical officer for Orange County, California.
Stop child sex slavery
I think that OBV is a very worthwhile cause. As demonstrated by the Kony 2012 uprising, a movement to change the world seemed slightly overcompensating. OBV is great because it focuses on one problem only, which would enrich the lives of many. Also, OBV's faith is what drives them to do what they do. It reminds me of an old story, "The Star Thrower". This is one version:
Tram with OBV children
It all started with an email from Cha Thong.
And there I am, nestled in the back of a Pandan-scented Vinasun taxi in the heart of a humid, grey Saigon, awaiting my arrival to the One Body Village home. The taxi pulls up to a seafoam-stained building in a narrow alleyway void of any signs or windows. My heart pounds against my ribcage, breaking the steady ambiance of the afternoon.
As I walk through the white gates, Loan, the one who coordinated my visit to the One Body Village home, approaches with arms ajar and a sunshine smile. The high building walls suddenly wash away. I am entering a place of love.
I want to share with you the people I met that day at the One Body Village home and what they have taught me. I hope that halfway across the world, this story will bring you closer to them as it has for me.