However, given that we were not sure if there were any snakes at the back ''jungle'' we thought about hiring someone to clean up the area but couldn't think of anyone until the Lord brought to mind some of my favorite young friends ---the disciples in Svay Pak. So I called up Pastor Chantha and asked if any of his male disciples would be willing to help us out for the afternoon. We would bless them with a small stipend for their efforts given what was involved. We shared this with the young women at RAP that 5 young people were coming to help clean the backyard. The first question I was asked was ''Bong (older sister), who is coming? Are they male or female?'' Hmmm....I responded ''males.'' I got a few smiles from the young women.
|Pastor Chantha's disciples|
|One young woman gathering leaves in a basket|
Pastor Chantha's young male disciples are great guys. They have been trained to respect young women and to treat them with dignity. So it was a pleasure to have them help us out. They went into the high grass with their rubber boots and gloves and started chopping and cutting away all the overgrown vegetation. Slowly, other young women began to appear to participate in the backyard project.
|Helping Pastor Chantha's disciples|
|Raking leaves and toiling the soil|
Other young women were quite happy to do their own tree chopping and clean up. As time passed by, they all started to come outside, one by one as the clean up continued. No one had prodded them to help. They just started showing up.
|Cutting down dead wood|
|Cleaning the ditch|
After a couple hours in the hot sun, the clean up crew took a break. We bought some local ''meats'' for them all to enjoy. Where there are Asians, there is always food and so Malak our Psychosocial Coordinator had come into work that day and enjoyed cooking up some food for the young people.
|Malak cutting up some meat balls|
|Khmer snack - meatballs with cucumbers and hot sauce|
|Pastor Chantha's disciples having a snack|
|The young women hanging out with the young women sharing some snacks|
|Young woman with 5 of Pastor Chantha's disciples taking out garbage|