Children of OBV Cambodia
There was nothing new or special happened to our lives. However, I felt one thing and consider it as a grace of Mekong Mother. It was children who visit Mother after finishing school. I think Mother may feel touched when she sees her little children visit her everyday, so she gives grace for our family: all of the kids want to stay here. Ngoc Yen said: "I feel sorry for sister N.B, don't know how she is doing now."
With Mother's grace, we all feel warm in our famiy. We all pray and thank Mother everyday.
Translated by Tram Dang . Original version in Vietnamese entitled "Nhờ Ơn Mẹ Mêkông"
I felt sadness looking at the little girl. I feel resentment towards her mother and sisters.
M. lives in Arey-ksath, her family practice Buddhism, orphaned by her father at a young age. They are of Vietnamese origin and very poor. A year ago, she was still a little child with runny nose. But now she is a 14 year old developing girl.
Father Martino with A.T.
In the past when Father Martino wanted to bring me to OBV, I denied the suggestion because I did not want to be far away from my family, be separated and be in a different environment, because it would make me to remember the past. Furthermore, I did not want to receive too much help from others….Those were my thinking back then.
However, meeting with children from OBV house through various activities and events have changed my mind. Gradually, I have realized that the help and protection from Father, Sisters and OBV staffs are totally different from previous experiences.
OBV jus received a child through the introduction of Archdiocese Caritas Saigon.
When we talked with her mom, we got to know that her family situation was so tragical that the mom had intended to apostatize as the Cross God gave her was too heavy. She prayed to Mother Mary, if Mother Mary hadn't helped, she would apostatize and send her daughter to a house in a pagoda. Luckily, as Mr Huynh Truong, her catechist, knowing her situation, came to Caritas office to ask for help.
Ms Ngoc Phuong is now the manager of OBV Cambodia. Bellow is her sharing on Christmas Eve with OBV children
There was no need to sit beside fireplace, no need to bring many clothes, no need to wear beanie...
However, this Christmas I feft even warmer. Sitting beside me were children, they also felt the same with me: different from previous Chrismas
I missed all my friends and relatives...
OBV family is celebrating Christmas
Sunday: The first day of a week, the day that children were waiting for as they could rest and play
According to our program, tonight Sunday, December 12th, we took children to watch performances at church. We walked around to see rock shelter in the parish. Our children were prior to seat in front where was only for Priest and Seour. During the performances, when every performance ended, priest looked at our children and clapped his hands proudly, people in the church were watching, but only Priest clapped most loudly, clap even the performance was good or not, he gave soft drink to them and said "Drink to have energy to clap your hands". M found him happy and cheerful; she touched him and sang "I ask u why you became a Priest?" He could not answer, Mother N helped. He said: I know, this song is Father Thong's, right? It turned out that he knew Father Thong! He also said: When our Parish has performances, Seour will let you perform some, OK!!! After the performances, we walked back, two youngest children felt weary in their legs, so her sisters carry on their backs. What a happy day.
I have tried to write this article about K many times and have deleted many times because I do not have the courage to write about her because her memories contain too much pain.
During the 2012 mission trip that Fr. Martino organized, there was a presentation at St. Paul church; the staffs there informed us of K‘s situation. K’s situation was one of the situations that required our immediate attention. Two of our directors along with Dr. Sy Pham went to K’s house and it was quite a journey.
“This house is our house, the hardship that our father have found”
With the ambition to rescue the youth that have been forced into sex slavery, at the same time create the conditions to bring happiness to the children. Although in the hands of its founder has nothing, but he is now ready to roll up his sleeves for action. First off is to rent a house for the children, set a requirement so the children will continue to arrive at school, give a small amount of money for food and neccessities in the beginning phase, then…slowly figure out. The founder (Father Thong) often say: "I am not rich, but I don’t want my children suffer, because they have suffered enough”. Because of that, the children that live here are more stable materially and spiritually.
Father Martino and OBV children
Although being back to work in Vietnam for 3 short days, Father Thong has held a BBQ feast for OBV children in a land mass of 1300m2 in Cu Chi. This is the feeling of G. and D., both have recently return to the home of OBV for a month.
Suddenly, it is finally time for the entire household members to visit Cu Chi to hang out at the house where the children would soon reside in the future.
"Em" and "Bé" were hanging out with OBV house
According to OBV news, our daughter, H.D (aka Bé), has passed the entrance exam and has been accepted into the College of Technology and Industrial Management. This is the story about our oldest daughters, Bé and her older sister (aka Em). They are reintegrating into the communities.
"Bé" is an average student with sociable temperament, innocence, and thoughtful. She does not know when to rest and relax. She is currently waiting to pass the second round of admission to Saigon University. If she does not pass the second round, she will go forward with the alternative university. At that time, we will help her financial assistance for her schooling.
She is the first child of OBV to entered college. Besides going to school, she spends her free time working as a receptionist for a little coffee shop. She also tutors children in kindergarten during her spare time.
During her “father’s” (Fr. Martino) last mission trip during New Year, he saw how unsafe it was for her to have to go to work after a long day at school and to come home late with an old electric bike.
Papa Thong visiting the OBV children in Vietnam
“Papa will be the wings that take me to far places…. Papa will be the leaf that protect you for the rest of my life”
Perhaps you are already on the plane flying back home; we started to sing the song because we miss you so much; our eyes are stinging from the tears. What destiny has allowed us to meet you? Maybe there is some good fortune in unfortunate things. We know we are truly blessed to have you in our lives; to care for us as your own and to build a bridge to happiness for us.
“House of Love- OBV” will light up their dreams and make them become a reality
The first story: “I’m in pain, lots of pain, I can’t sit!”
We know and find her through information from a newspaper:
“Taking her 6 year old daughter to six different hospitals in the city, visits to the many police departments, pleading to have her daughter examine because she was raped. But the sad mother only received rejection while her daughter is in excruciating pain…
The 2nd of February is another day that our “father” and all of his volunteers came to re-visited us, the children of OBV, for the last time before returning back to the United States. Most of us was at school and only some of us are home. Thus, in the afternoon, we all finally made it home one after another and gathered inside our little house filled with love and laughter in the atmosphere.
“Try to the best of your ability, the results is up to God…”