Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Do for ONE what you wish you could do for EVERYONE

As I sit down to write this the words of Andy Stanley come to mind, “Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone.”

So this story has been a few weeks in the making. It is pretty long, but I feel detail in necessary. 

Today I had a pretty laid back day scheduled. I needed to fill out a few papers dealing with my visa, planned to talk with one of the girls mom, and then dinner and a Christmas movie with my neighbors. The paperwork was done pretty quickly. Then we headed out to Nimol's house.

 Nimlo's House, This is Nimol's and the mom's 

Where they collect water and the Bathroom

A little about Nimol and her family.
Her father was killed in a car accident an few years ago. She was able to study in the orphanage after that. She has an older brother, Sambata, who is 19 and a little sister who is 13. She lives with her mom, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, cousin, grandmother, and dads sister. The mom goes to "wholesale" market every day at 4am, buys stuff to sale, from 6-11:30ish she sales, then goes home to eat and rest. Then at 2 she goes to sale again, if everything sales quick she is able to come home around 6:30, but if not she will stay last to sale til around 8 or 9. All that work to make $2.5 on a good day, many days less. The brother works 7 days a week, but is paid very little.

A photo of Nimol's Family

One the ride there Ly Phalla explains to me that her brother wrecked the family moto last night. It was his fault so he would have to pay for to fix his and the other guys. This means that until they had the money to fix their moto the mother could not get to the market to sale and make money. You can see the cycle.  The journey to the house was off the main road, down a small street and then onto a smaller dirt road. It took us about 20mins by tuk tuk. Nimol rides it every day by bike to the training center, and is normally the first one there every morning. When we arrive at the house, which was very small, just room for three beds with the kitchen and eating area was off to the side. Nimol had fixed French fries (better then he ones we made at school this week), cut mangos and apples, had green tea and bottled water waiting. After looking around and seeing the moto, we sat down to talk with her mother. We want to help the mom with some kind of business where she would grow stuff for the restaurant. We would have top choice and then she would be able to take the rest to market. Or we could put her in contact with other restaurants. As I talked to her and thought about the lot they live on. It seems it would be very hard to have a garden. I saw a chicken run by, and then ask her what she thought or would like to do. She looks at the aunt and explains raising chickens would be nice. But knows it would cost a lot more than a garden, so she said whatever we would like her to do. I smile at her and told her we would be serving chicken in the restaurant. Then I ask did they want to raise chickens to eat or for eggs. They talked to other with the family and she said both if possible. They explained to me that there is a short class to learn about how to raise chickens. I tell them that I have to talk to Chris and other people in America first, but I will do everything I can to help.

I then walk over to the wrecked moto and ask how much it is to fix the moto. They tell me they didn't know since there was no money to fix it. I talk with Bouth la, he thinks it could be fixed somewhere between $30-$50. I stand there looking at the family; their means of being able to survive is riding on not having $50 or less. The amount I spent on a pair of jeans to bring with me, or the amount I have spent on food the past 3 weeks. I tell them ok let's get it fixed. Nimol look at me and quietly ask when chef. I tell her why not right now. So we load the moto in the tuk tuk and took it to a shop. As I started to get in the tuk tuk, Nimol looked at me, I could tell she was about to cry.  I hugged her and hold her that I loved her and so does Jesus.

Loading the Moto in the Tuk Tuk to take to get fixed.

We got the moto to the shop. I was able to talk with Ly Phalla more about the family. The cost to fix the moto came to $37, but was going to take a few hours to fix. So I left to cook what I was taking to dinner and meeting the Internet man twice. We went back to the moto shop to check on everything and pay. They were just finishing up. When Sambata took it for a test drive, I could tell it shook. I asked the shop owner why, he explained to be because it had the wrong kind of tire. A few weeks before the tire had a hole, so a friend gave one that he had. They tell me that the mom had turned the bike over last week, and it's prob why he wrecked. I then ask how much the right tire is. As with most things, the reply was expensive. I ask how expensive, $8.25 for the tire and $1.75 for the tube. I instantly say put the big tire on. The total cost came to $47. He was so happy. As we were leaving I reminded him why and how I was able to help.  When we got back to the training center, Nimol called and asked if we were going to church tomorrow. We tell her yes, and then she asked if her mom could come, I reply of course!!
A note: The family borrowed the money to pay for the other man's Moto, from a neighbor. I talked with Ly Phalla about how they would be able to pay it back. She said they will pay alittle at a time. If the person they borrowed from is nice he will let them to that, if not he will demand the money quickly plus some for the loan. Then they will borrow from someone else to pay that guy. And so on til they get paid off.

The brother, Happy and grateful for the moto was fixed.

I later talk more to Nimol’s mom about the chickens and how to help the family. We decide that chickens were not the right fit for her. This was a learning experience for me, not to always jump at the first thought. She expressed to me that starting a coconut shredding business would be easy and would be able to make profit quickly. Here in Cambodia coconuts are plentiful, and are used in almost all the traditional holiday foods. We figure out the cost of the coconut business was just under $150. This amount included the shredder, a battery (so she could work in any of the markets in town), and a cart to carry the supplies. How this works is CGI has a program called the revolving fund. What happens is people in the states give money to the program, then the money is used to help families. CGI strives to give people hands up instead of hand out. This helps the families not just in the present but in the future as well. As the family begins to profit, they pay the money back over a year to a year and half. Then that money is used to help another family.

So on Saturday I went ago town buying the items. Once we had everything we called for Nimol’s mom to come to the training center. Present her with all the items she needs to start the business. We agree that she will pay $8 a month for 18months. She tells me that she would pay it back faster than that. It was such a joy to be able to make a difference in this families live. I prayed for her, the family, and the business and got do explain the love of Jesus to her.
 The Shredder, something so simple could make such a change for this family.

Filling the battery with acid, no gloves or anything. Stuff like this makes me shake me head and wonder.

Making the Cart

Presenting Nimol's mom with the Cart. Shredder, and Battery. 

Nimol's mom getting 7 snut of bananas from the trees on property to sale at the market. We sale them to her a reduced cost, since we have more then we can eat and she can make money from them.

Driving away with a huge smile on her face!!

This week I will be going to the market where she works, to see how business is going. I also plan to work with Nimol on how to take sales and figure out what the family is making.

Please be in prayer for this family. 

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