The New Year welcome me with the worst flu then turned to severe coughing as I landed in Ho Chi Minh city on Jan 4, 2018.
Laying helplessly in bed, it took away 4 important days of my mission trip. I was so anxious and sad. Despite of all the preparation and planning, it got disrupted because of a bad flu 🤒Hiazzz☹️.
All I could do was pray God to help me recover quickly.
Thanks to my poor Mother running around to find me antibiotics, boil lemongrass and onions, cạo gió for me. I started to feel a bit better after 4 days and off I flew to Komtum, Pleiku to visit the BaNa, JRai ethnic group.😊
Vietnam have 54 different ethnic groups and the BaNa/JRai are 2 of them.
I got to spend 3 days with them. They are so honest, genuine and sincere people.
We couldn’t communicate much since they speak a different dialect from me but the Sisters who took me to see them help translate.. their friendly and kind actions speaks more than words.
Their lives are very hard and poor. They lived in very remote forest and jungle. Many villages does not have electricity or clean water which causes many diseases and living health is very low. People have to work hard in the farm to find food. Children have to work with their parents and doesn’t have a chance to go to school.
Thank you for the donation of many wonderful donors, we are able to sponsor 5 JRai village children go to school in a near town for a year and help build a safe house for a family of a mother and 4 children in need.
Thank you so much to the wonderful donors. Your help definitely goes a long long way! I will update photos of the homes and the children in a few months after it’s accomplished ❤️.
Năm Căn, Cái Nước, Cà Mau
For the last three days I had an amazing experience visiting the southern of Vietnam.
Chi Tuyet, an admirable lady that lives in Ca Mau. She is now retired and does full time charity work (unpaid, 💯 volunteer). l have learned so much from her. We spend the whole day visiting very very remote places where desperately poor families and children need help.
One experience was me crossing this river. I have seen this online but I didn’t believe it.
I never would imagine children would cross the river like I did to go to school.
But they do. They don’t have the money to go with the motor boat. So they have to stand on this dangerous boards with these very thin strings that could break anytime… not to mention in raining and storm seasons where the river water is very dangerous. And yet, despite of the water, they would never miss school. Some would even swim over the river…😰. I got a chance to talk to them. I asked them what is their wish if I can give a present 🎁. They want no ipad, no toys, but just want to have money to go to school. They don’t want to have the hard life like their parents.
People wonder why I love to go to remote places. This is why, because the children here desperately need help and have very limited access to it.
I don’t know how much I can do to help these people. But they have help me tremendously. They open my eyes to see how lucky I am. They make me feel the simple, sweet, kindness..I would visit some poor families that don’t have food to eat. And yet, whatever they have saved for their supper, they would invite me to eat.
The more I go on these mission trips, the more I learn and love the poor people. They may be poor physically, but their hearts are never poor. They have taught me many valuable lesson that I could have never learn if I didn’t go to see them…
We are raising funds to help build a bridge. It usually cost between ~ $2,500-$7,000 CAD (depending on the length).
The length of the bridge I cross was 33m long and the cost is approximately $3,000 to build each one. So far we have a very kind donor Khang Linh who donated $1,000 US ($1,241.04 CND).
We still need to raised roughly $1,500 left to start building the bridge. If you are interested to lend a helping hand. Please let us know.❤️
No help is ever small. Thank you for your love and kindness.
Lao Chải, Lào Cai
In the Lao Chai village, 1,500m above sea level. We walk “yes walk” for 3+ hrs up the mountain. I nearly died as it was the first workout I have done in a year. Going down I had to use a motor bike.
We are visiting the poor H-Mong ethnic children. When I say your donation for the children go a long way.. I truly mean it.
If anyone wants to join me next year. It is the best experience ever.
Phìn Hồ Thầu, Lào Cai
Thank you for the generous donations from my coworkers. We gave them all away and there were more than dozens families who couldn’t have had their chance because they came out a bit too late. Father Thanh van Nguyen and I were all prepared before the crowd came: one will distribute and one will take pictures and crowd control. FAIL. After a short while of waiting the crowd just grew and grew and we emptied the boxes of clothing in a blink of an eye. Outgrown, demoded, old clothing items are usually taken for granted but my coworkers have entrusted me to bring to those who really need them, and they have found their new owners. Thank you thank you. No help is too small.
Cam on nhung an nhan da tin tuong va gui gam nhung mon qua vo cung quy gia den nhung nguoi ngheo dan toc H Mong va Dao thuoc ban Phin Ho Thau (cach thi tran Lao Cai khoang 2 tieng lai xe voi toc do 5 km/h 😂). Nhung nguoi dan toc nay rat don so chat phac va tham chi rat ngai ngung khi nhan qua. Con xin cam on nhung an nhan da tin tuong va giup do nhung manh doi khon cung nhung rat luong thien chat phac nay a.
Mái Ấm Phan Sinh (Francis Shelter), Đồng Nai
I sincerely, truly bow in appreciation to all of the donors and supporters who help lend a helping hand by donation or gifts to the desperate people on Better Futures For Kids Foundation mission trip. Our mission trip was mission accomplished because of you!
We, together, have brought love and compassion to these desperate people. If you are reading my post, you know who you are! We couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you❤️.
WARNING: DISTURBING IMAGES
Chuyen di tham nhung nguoi khon cung o Mai Am Phan Sinh – Dong Nai.
On Feb, 14 2016, this is where I spent my Valentine’s Day at Mai Am Phan Sinh. There are about 120 patients, both young and old (Francis Shelter), and it was the best Valentines’s Day I have ever had. Of all the places I have visited on this mission trip, this place makes me cry like a river. My heart’s in pain listen to the stories of the lives that lives here.
All the helpers here are volunteers (unpaid). I bow to these volunteers for their unconditional sacrifices. They cook, clean, change diapers, bath, feed , care for all these patients…etc.
They do it in the name of God and their faith in God which helps them to overcome all the hardships.
May God bless these volunteers.. because without them, all these kids, youth and elderly would be left to die.
This shelter is not funded or helped by the the government. The care giver “Thay Chau” drives his moto with 2 buckets at the back. Each day he goes to restaurants that throws out food at the end of the day to bring back to feed these patients and the rotten food, he use it to feed pigs and cows that he raised so he can sell to make money and take care of the patients.
If you can, please give a helping hand to Francis Shelter …
One of the stories that heartbreak me:
1. There was a boy that got his leg broken and was in sever pain. The care giver “Mr. Chau in the video” brought him to the hospital, paid the doctor already to help the boy. After taking the money then looked at the boy, they refuse to treat him and said why treat when he is not going to walk anyway. Mr. Chau said, I don’t care whether he can walk or not…I just want the boy not to be in pain. (At this pointing, My eyes were balling in tears as I listen to this heart breaking story). I can imagine how that poor boy felt inside…Mr. Chau then took the boy back to the shelter and band-aid the boy himself and told the boy “I am here for you”..The boy then stop crying. Sometimes just kind words and caring truly changes someone’s pain into comfort.
2. Some of the girls here were my age, yet our lives are so different. They were abandoned by their parents, thrown on the streets. Gets raped, abused and now are mentally unstable.
3. I got the chance of feeding food to this poor boy “Tri”. As he lie there helplessly, I can’t stop crying as I looked into his eyes..in my heart, I can truly feel his pain, his sadness to why he was born into a life like this.
To society these people are useless and non existence, but I believe that they are still human…they feel the same as we do, just that they are not as fortunate as we are.
I don’t dare to complain about my life anymore after seeing them…
This is one Valentine’s day that I had will never forget.
This year 2019, I revisited Francis Shelter. The number of the desperate people went up to approximately 171 and growing.
I am so happy to revisit the Shelter to see these people again. They have inspired me. Helped me and give me strength when I face have obstacles and challenges in life. But at the same time, I also feel sorrow. It is still truly an eye opener for me. They helped me understand that life is too precious to be negative and miserable. No matter what I go through in life, I am still 100 times more fortunate than these people I met. I have a choice, a chance to be happy. They don’t.
My advice of the day:
1. Truly appreciate what you have. Because this could have been you!
2. Don’t take things personally. If you are too sensitive to every little thing, every constructive criticism, every obstacles in life. Then you may not be in pain physically like these people, but you are always in pain emotionally.
3. When I was younger, I thought the world is just about me and any feels. But going on these mission trip have opened my eyes that I am nothing!
The world is bigger than my pride and egos. I either pull myself together and help contribute to make this world a better place or just be miserable and rotten in my own pride and egos.
4. You don’t need to be rich or powerful to help these in need. You just need to have love and compassion. No help is small. And trust me, when you help others, that is when you are helping yourself too. It is an amazing feeling!
Francis shelter always need a helping hand. You can help in anyway.
If you would like to join me on 2020 mission trip, you are welcome too.
Together, we can make difference.
Special thank you the humble man Nhat Phung, always behind the scenes taking photos. Thank you for capturing these moments for us