20 April 2006

Cambodia, Here I Come (again)

My Dear Friends & Family,

I’m so excited to have the opportunity this summer to return to Cambodia, with Hope Chapel (Santa Rosa, CA) to serve a Foursquare Children of Promise (FCoP) Orphan Home. I would love to share a little about last year’s trip and how you can support me this year.

Last year, I was blessed and amazed by the outpouring of support you showed. Your prayers, kind words and financial support are eternally appreciated. It’s hard to put down in words how much of an impact you have made. After an entire day of plane travel, we arrived in Phnom Penh (Cambodia’s capital). Upon arrival, we visited the national training center, received a short “orientation” from Anna Blake (the team coordinator for FCoP in Cambodia) and had our last western-style dinner, before spending one night and traveling by bus for two days to reach the Chhuk Orphan Home in the Oddar Meanchey Province.

We were immediately and whole-heartedly welcomed by the orphans and the staff at the home where we spent the next week digging, laying brick, pouring cement, painting (88) shutters & railings and window frames. Also, we blew bubbles, made crafts, had a puppet show, learned Khmer (the Cambodian language—I can count to 29), taught English, played soccer, dodgeball, and baseball, and so much more. We ate pork & rice for nearly every meal. Yes, even breakfast-although a great alternative was the fresh French Bread sold by young girls in the town. One loaf cost 500 Riel (about 12.5 cents). The peanut butter we “smuggled” into the country was delicious on this bread.

We instantly loved the children, who were such a bright contrast to the children we saw begging on the streets of the larger cities. Although, they had lost so much, they knew that life has so much more to offer than poverty and approached each day as a blessing. The time to say goodbye came much too quickly. On the way home, I had the opportunity to tour Angkor Wat and other beautiful temples in Siem Reap (including one featured in Tomb Raider), shop in the Russian Market in Phnom Penh (what deals I made), and a couple days of site-seeing in Hong Kong. All of this was amazing, but none of it compared to the time we spent with our friends in Chhuk.

This year, our current plan (which is subject to change—as we discovered last year) is to travel to the Ratanakiri Province in Northeast Cambodia (near the Thai and Laotian borders). We are expecting to build a cafeteria and also hope to offer a dental clinic, as one of our team members is a dentist. The area we are headed to can be best described as very tribal. Many of the people do not wear modern clothing and each of the 12 tribes in this province has its own distinct language.

I am eager to embark on this adventure and look forward to sharing with you upon my return. I would be blessed to share this experience with you. Would you like to have a part in this adventure? The most important way to get involved is to pray for me, and the team, in the months leading up to our trip and especially during our trip. You can also support me financially. The approximate cost, per person, will be $1800.00. Please pray about how you might be able to support me. Thank you for your love and support.

Go to warmblankets.com to read more about Cambodia and the FCoP Orphan Homes and visit www.hopeforcambodia.net to learn more about this year’s team, the project and our journeys—both here and overseas.

Love and Blessings,

Liz Jones

Please email me to let me know you are praying for me, or to find out where to send financial support.