In previous years, I have had a perspective about respecting authority which may not have been Biblical. My perspective was, that to “respect authority” all I needed to do was not break the laws. At least not break significant ones! I feel strongly that God’s law comes first and man’s second.
On February 9, 2010 Steve Hyde was awarded the medal of the Royal Order of Sahametrei for distinguished services to the King and the people of Cambodia. He was given the rank of “Officer” or “Sena” in Cambodian. Steve has been working in Cambodia since 1994.
One of the rarest phrases I have heard in Cambodia is “Thank you”. I have literally provided millions of dollars of assistance to Cambodians over the last fifteen years. I can count the number of times that I have been told thank you. On December 25, 2009 the Governor of Banteay Meanchey publically expressed his gratitude to Noit and I for our efforts to help the children.
What makes a superhero? Of course, in our fantasy world, the most important thing is the fancy costume, huge muscles and tights. But all superheroes have characteristics which make them amazingly above the rest, almost super-human. Here at Words of Life Ministries we have two superheroes who have worked tirelessly for 80 kids in Kracheh Province. Dan Groves and Heidi Petersen. Dan and Heidi have spent the last three years living with 80 kids.
In Cambodia, most people (some 80%) are rice farmers. Rice farming, in Cambodia, is very labor intensive, and requires cows for plowing the fields. If a family does not own their own cows for plowing a field, they have to rent them from another family. The rental cost is usually 50% of the harvest. That means if you do not own your own cows, you automatically will lose 50% of your potential harvest. If we just gave a cow to a family though, they would likely sell it for cash. So we decided we would not sell the cows to the family, but we would loan it to them to use. The initial cow always remains the property of “Cows for Cambodia”. We would then pay the family an “annual fee” for taking care of our cow. That annual fee is the offspring for the year. Native cows in Cambodia are highly resistant to disease and have a calf every year like clockwork. Therefore, they get to use the cow free of charge, then they can keep their first calf for themselves. The second calf (second year) we keep as a “usage fee” for the use of our cow for two years. The third they keep, fourth we keep, and on and on. The asset keeps growing and the benefit to the people keeps growing.
We were in an exclusive zone next to the Thai border were access was limited. What shocked me further was that most of the people, hundreds of them, that were just hanging around were children. Their parents were off trying to find work and the kids have no choice to just wait, often for days for the parents to come back.