Thursday, March 4, 2010
Getting ourselves organized.
This afternoon I headed out to have a look at our other building project. Actually a remodeling project. The Transitional life Skills program is a program that gives girls seeking the leave the sex industry skills that will provide them an income and in the long run work that will be a blessing to them rather than destroying them. (There is SO much more to this program but I wont re write it all here – see project description on website) Ratanak is funding the refurbishing of an old shop building into a store front for the products made by the girls in the program, Clothing, bags table runners and wall hangings are among the many products. In addition the girls are being trained in food preparation and will operate a small café/ tea room (An English version of a coffee house!) on the upper floor.
The interesting and unique thing about this new venture is that there will be a display and education center teaching tourists about Child exploitation and sex slavery issues. This is the first public educational project of its kind in the country. The Shop is superbly situated right beside the national museum and fine arts training center. It's on a street unofficially called “Art St.” since it is full of painting and carving shops. It is a great place popular for tourists. It is hoped that it will act as a retail outlet for the product produced by the girls as well and a training center as they serve the public.
The building is nearing completion and the move in/opening should be within a month, I think. Two women from Ontario, with lots of business savvy and experience, arrived yesterday to assist with set up management training etc. They will be followed shortly by the two building finishing teams that will be working in Svay Pak. Beth (Ratanak Strategic planning – Ontario) is already on the ground here doing orientation and setting things up to facilitate the teams as they work.
Meanwhile Sotheary (Project manager – Cambodia) and me are making sure things run smoothly with the film crew. And Stew and Sue Mckecher (Ratanak Reps Saskatchewan) are here for several months doing orientation and training of new reps working with new reps… so things are pretty busy.
With all of this activity it is easy to forget the spiritual side of things… you would think. Well, not right now. We are dealing with very considerable spiritual issues that leave us with no doubt at all re the principalities and powers with which we contend. There is a need for you all to be praying for our safety and protection as we move forward in what is very clearly an extremely spiritually hostile environment right now.
So we push on seeing the hand of evil all around yet over and over again being witness to Gods changing power in lives. We are privileged to work under the shadow of Gods wing as he moves forward into the darkness.