Read and look at the pictures to see what we've been up to in Poipet.

Plowing Ahead in Poipet

This has been a good last couple of months, especially since the arrival of our daughter, Samara. Samara is in good health and she is a well behaved baby. We now have her Cambodian birth certificate and soon we will travel to Phnom Penh to have that translated to English, and then I will take that to Bangkok to get her Canadian citizenship at the embassy there. Noah is also in good health, although he recently contracted scabies (a wonderful disease where microscopic bugs burrow into the skin and cause little red bumps all over and lots of itchiness). It is contagious by direct contact, so the whole family is washing with special soap now. Noah most likely got the disease from playing in some water outside. We traveled to another city to visit a skin specialist. All sorts of interesting pictures of people with various skin diseases hung on the specialist's office walls, including pictures of enlarged genitals. Good times. But he helped us out, and Noah will be fine. I don't know which will fade first, the little red bumps all over Noah's body, or the images of grossly enlarged genitals seared into my mind.
A construction company recently worked on the road in front of our house. It's a dirt road, so to improve it, we simply added another layer of dirt. We don't pay taxes in Cambodia so when we want something like this done it's up to us to approach our neighbors and organize it. Each neighbor paid what he was able. We contacted our local government rep and he contributed some too (there's an election coming up). Makara and I took care of the rest. I would love to pave the road but that would just divert all the traffic from all the other dirt roads to our paved road. In time all the roads in Poipet will be paved. 

Currently our family vehicle is a 125cc Honda Dream motorcycle. This is actually a great machine. For the time being it is no problem to drive the four of us around the city, but of course we will soon need something more practical. Our financial support at this time is sufficient for us to set aside money each month to save up for a car. I'm confident that by the time we really out-grow the motorbike we will have enough saved to buy a good car. We want to thank all of you who support us for what you have given and for your continued support into the future.
I've set the wheels in motion to get ourselves NGO (non-governmental organization) status here. Currently we have "church" status, which allows us to have Christian meetings, teach informal classes, and allows us to run our current school (which is an informal school). NGO status will allow us to do a lot more and at an official/formal capacity. We will be able to open a fully licensed Christian school. We will also be able to buy land and buildings in the name of the NGO. The wheels turn slowly in Cambodia, but I anticipate it will be a smooth process.
Our dream is to get a strong Christian school established here in Poipet. 
Read some quotes below and enjoy the pictures. We hope you have a great summer. God bless!
Harley and Makara

"Cambodia's educational system remains abysmal. According to a 2011 World Bank report, Cambodia spends just 2.3 percent of G.D.P. on education--less than other low-income countries--and the share of the budget allocated for teachers' wages has declined over the past few years, even as the budget for military wages has increased significantly.
Primary-school teachers are so badly paid they often collect bribes from students before class. Only around one-fifth of students progress to high school. At even the best universities in the country, the quality of education is poor by international standards and graduates learn few of the skills sought by the labor market."
~International Herald Tribune, May 9, 2013

"When schools flourish, things go well and the church is secure . . . God has preserved the church through the schools."
~Martin Luther

"As a pastor, I would much rather preach to people who are biblically literate than those who are not. I would much rather pastor people who have had the advantage of a Christian education than those who have not. This is not because the preliminary work is begrudged--it needs to be done and done gladly. But when churches and schools are in partnership, the schools do a lot of the necessary spadework first. And this means that those who are responsible to see to it that sound doctrine is pervasive in the Church have a much easier time of it."
~Douglas Wilson

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