Then the ones who pleased the Lord will ask, "When did we give you something to eat or drink? When did we welcome you as a stranger or give you clothes to wear or visit you while you were sick or in jail?"
The King will answer, "Whenever you did it for any of my people, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did it for me." .......Matthew 25

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Open letter from Esther Ding - SOLAR Ministry

This is an open letter from Esther Ding, with respect to her SOLAR Ministry in Baray.
(S.O.L.A.R...School of livelihood and rehabilitation)

Dear Friends,

We are grateful to God for sending a Chef all the way from Canada to help us to start our Cooking School 101 . We trained 8 High school students and some Solar staff joined in the 20 days course.

We learnt alot about the preparation for Western foods and some Chinese food.
We hope that this cooking school will be continued in another 6 months times with returm of Chef Tan from South America. Currently he has skill development ministry in Bolivia.
We completed the course and looking forward the second intake coming November 2010.

Our main objective is to provide a skill in cooking for high school leavers who will pursue for their Higher education in Phnom Penh. This will help them to find part time jobs at restaurants. So in this way they will be able to take care of their expenses while studying.

Solar Cafe has 13 staff. Our customers are not many at the moment. Please pray for us that Solar Cafe will provide delicious food at a resonable price, a nice and clean place, provide good services.At the moment SolarCafe looks the best amongst Highway stops.We do have the Japanese tourists coming to Solar Cafe for lunches over these 6 months. This is one of our good references.

Khmer Life in Phnom Penh has 11 staff. Out of the 11, 7 are students. This place is a place where students have hands-on training. Students hold different position and manage the shop. We thank God for the new place in Baray, next to Solar Cafe that will be ready in one month time. By then we will move in our sewing ,weaving,wood carving, embroidery and printing projects.
Please pray that we will have more stable buyers so that the sales will increase and this will help us to be sustainable. We will continue to train up more people in sewing . In June we will start another sewing class with a minimum of 10 sewers.

Our main objectives is to recruit the village poor widows and mothers to have a skill in sewing . This will help in their family economy and will help to upgrade their livelihood . Having skills will bring dignity and boost their moral because they will find happiness in their contribution towards the communities.

In Baray we have 5 full time staff and about 15 producers who work from Khmer Life production center and a few work from homes.We hope to have increase in sales as this will definitely bring food to the producers and their families.We need your kind support to buy our nicely handmade products.

Your purchase of Khmer Life products will give the poor a chance of an abundant life. You buy with a good cause.So far we do export some of our recycle rice bags to England and USA eventhough it is not a big quantity. We are very thankful to God for helping to open doors and hope for more markets.

Khmer Village Homestay business is getting better as school holidays in Singapore starting soon. We are going to join a mini Expo in Siem Reap, organized by Mekong Tourism. We hope to be able to get connected with tour companies and other Community-based tourism agencies. We hope to be able to get to know more people who could introduce Khmer Village Homestay to others who want to experience khmer lifestyle in the rural areas. Khmer Village Homestay has 7 staff and some tour guide work as part timers.

Khmer Village Homestay is getting to be known by many. We need lots of help in promotion by word of mouth. Those who has been here were kind enough to put in their blogs and introduce to friends. Weare becoming more specialise in organising for School groups who come to help in implementing community projects .

We handle many Polytechnics, Universities, high schools and primary schools' educational tours. We hope that more will come to experience true khmer lifestyle at our Khmer Village Homestay. We are praying for connections to schools and colleges throughout the world to come to experience and to help the poor and needy communities. The coming of school groups and tourists will definitely bring good things like in aspect of motivating higher education for the rural students, better knowledge of people from other culture, exposure to foreigners, having the good chance to speak English, to proudly present Khmer culture and rich heritage to the world.
We at Khmer Village Homestay would like to bring the WORLD to Baray District, Kampong Thom Province, Kingdom of Cambodia. At Solar Cafe we would like to see that this is a place where the WORLD meet!! At Khmer Life, we show to the WORLD of our rich cultural heritage of weaving, craft making. Khmer artisans at work at Khmer Life production center.

Most of my guests at Homestay will ask me...why are you here 15 years ago? There are only two answers either Esther is a mad woman or Esther heard God's calling in her life to come to help the poor and needy in Cambodia?? This is a very good opportunity to share of God's faithfulness in my life as I choose to be in the heartland of Cambodia. His GRACE is indeed sufficient for me. HE will supply all my needs according to His richest in glory..My favourite chapter in the Bible..Psalms 23. Some friends commented that I am a pampered and a rich missionary. Amen to that.

Making God's Glory known is the ultimate objective of all these programmes which only act as a mean to the end.

I am also helping to network with Churches and friends who want to experience first hand of mission work in the fields . We welcome volunteers to come to give yourself a few days then a few months and a few years in partnership to serve God in this nation.

Thank you for praying for us and your kind support in giving the Cambodians a better life.

To God be the Glory

Dara...Stars in Cambodian language

Khmer Life...abundant life
Solar Cafe..the place where the world meet
Khmer Village Homestay...experience true khmer lifestyle
S.O.L.A.R...School of livelihood and rehabilitation
Station of Life and Refuge

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