Diarrhea reduced her son’s ability to attend school and to study. The 35-year-old mother spent many hours caring for her family, and took out loans to pay for medical care. In her home Kunthea had just one water jar. The same water scoop was used for bathing, washing clothes, cooking, and drinking by family members and their animals. The water was untreated. Like many other people in the village of Boenung Kratieh, Prey Veng province, Kunthea did not realize that her family’s unsafe water practices were contributing to their poor health.
In response to this problem, World Renew and its local partner, New Light of Unity, organized a community meeting in Kunthea’s village about using chlorine to make drinking water safe. The chlorine was produced using a small and inexpensive system designed by Safe Water International Ministry (SWIM) in Iowa, USA. Many villagers came to the meeting, including Kunthea and three of her family members. Kunthea explained “I was really curious to learn about what chlorine is and how to use it to make my water safe to drink.” In the past she had been too shy to attend training in her community, but she wondered what New Light of Unity was doing in the community and decided to attend.
At the meeting, Kunthea was an eager student, so eager to learn that after the event she was assigned to take care of chlorinating water in her village using the materials provided by World Renew. She began producing chlorine and using it to purify her water. She bought a few big water jars in order to separate water for cooking, drinking, and washing clothes. In the beginning, the family was not familiar with the taste and smell of chlorinated water, and they did not want to drink it. But Kunthea pushed them to try it for just a while, and they became accustomed to its taste.
Right away, Kunthea noticed that, with the use of chlorine, her water became clear, and dirt went to the bottom of the jar. After a few months, the whole family saw other effects. They no longer suffered from frequent bouts of diarrhea. Her son could attend school with the other students. Kunthea’s financial condition improved because she spent less time caring for sick family and more time earning money. She no longer needed loans to pay for health care. These dramatic changes occurred thanks to the simple solution of chlorine in water.
Written by Ratha Sorn, Partner staff
Translated by Kimhuoy Seng, World Renew staff
We are grateful for the warm reception Kathleen received on her Connections Tour in Grand Rapids, Michigan; Pella and Peoria, Iowa; and Guelph, Drayton, Burlington, Grimsby, and Strathroy, Ontario. Kathleen was able to speak in eight churches and meet with numerous schools, youth groups, and small groups. Participants on this 20th Anniversary Tour were especially gracious in organizing outstanding events to welcome Kathleen and share the work of World Renew in Cambodia.
We give thanks for the wonderful work of the World Renew staff in Cambodia in organizing a conference in Cambodia in May. Local partners celebrated the impact of their work in our last fiscal year and learned more about continuing to improve our work in Cambodia’s changing contexts. We are thankful for the way God has worked through this event to bring His Word to these partners and encourage them in the spiritual formation aspects of our work.
Following the Discovery Process and Evaluation of our work with Cambodian churches, World Renew has presented a bold plan to expand the way we work with churches. The plan seeks to build stronger partnerships between North American and Cambodian churches and to share our Christian faith more deliberately in the communities where we work. Pray that the many partners involved in this transition are able to work together smoothly to make sustainable, effective, and relevant changes in the lives of the people we serve in Cambodia.
We pray that plans for another Discovery Tour in November 2017 will progress smoothly. Please pray that 10-12 people from North America will apply to join this tour and will be blessed and transformed by it. Will you be one of them?
World Renew Cambodia