Happy New Year, the Year of the Pig!
I want to tell you a wonderful story: the story of Trang, who has worked for me and We Love Kids for over 12 years. When Trang (who is now 46) was recommended to us by a missionary colleague she began working in our We Love Kids neighborhood school of 50 Vietnamese children in Phnom Penh as an assistant.
She had a 6th grade education, and had worked as a hawker selling food on the street, utilizing the one skill she possessed: cooking. She was a single mother of 2 lovely children, Du a young teenager, (pronounced “you”) and an 8 year old boy, Khang, entered our school along with the other neighborhood Vietnamese migrant children. Trang had escaped a horrific contract marriage, in which, beginning at 18 years old, she was abused by a husband who did secret loan sharking for his income.
She escaped with the two children by pretending to visit her grandmother, and fled across the border to Cambodia to live with her younger brother, and forced to sell food on the streets to support herself and two children. About this time, someone told her about a church (she had never been to one) in which there were some foreigners who might be a possible connection for work. “I went to church to find a job” she told me, “and found God instead.” Trang became a dedicated Christian, and we hired her, though we knew she had no experience.
Never have I seen someone work so hard to “pull herself up by her bootstraps”. Within 2 years, under my direction, Trang was leading our first kindergarten class. Eventually, while I was home recuperating from chemotherapy, she became the director of the whole school!
Less than 2 years ago, due to a mistaken Facebook text, she met a wonderful Christian man, Tai Le, who had recently lost his wife. Last May I had the privilege of marrying Trang and Tai Le in Phnom Penh, and in a few months, Trang will begin her journey to San Diego, where her husband, Tai Le, has lived for over 20 years.
Trang’s daughter, Du, with the help of We Love Kids received her university degree last year and now has a managerial job with a big telecom company in Phnom Penh! Khang, her son, has just started English language training at university, with the hopes of continuing once he reaches the US with his mom.
It has been wonderful to see God at work in a true “Cinderella story”, and not just for Cinderella- God promises to save each of us as well as our entire household!
Together in Reaching the Unreached,
Joni Director, We Love Kids