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Summer 2022 newsletter

 

Hang Tran, Cambodia

Seyha watering the vegetable garden

You are the light of the world.
A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.
Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket;
it is set on a lampstand,
where it gives light to all in the house.
(Mt 5:14-15)

Seyha is living with physical and developmental challenges. His physical condition is such that he is able to sit up straight or lift up his bottom from the ground, using the two feet and two palms to glide forward or make a turn. He had no relatives to look after him and was lucky to find a refuge at the Home of Hope.

A recycled wheelchair was combined with a plastic lawn chair to aid Seyha’s mobility. Later on, an upgraded version was custom-made to fit his measurements. He has learned to operate the wheels and developed significant strength in his hands and arms. During the morning physical exercise, Seyha delights in a stroll alongside those who can walk.

Seyha coloring a pineapple and berries

Seyha approaches coloring with great gusto. He holds a piece of crayon horizontally in swift back-and-forth motions. Before others can get half way through one drawing, Seyha has nearly finished his and asks me for the next drawing.

In food preparation, he observes with keen interests and can follow examples to clean vegetables or crush roasted peanuts. Seyha is highly dependable and shooes away any rascals that attempt to steal the peanuts. 

At our community garden, the uneven terrain does not deter Seyha. Other kids are good at lending a hand to push his wheelchair over a few rocks. He enjoys a wide range of activities, such as tilting the soil, sowing seeds, weeding or watering, etc.

Connecting to the elements of nature calms many of our residents. Afterward, they seem less agitated, more refreshed and ever ready to have a bite to eat.

Some of these youth have experienced terrible traumas and/or ill will in their lives. However, they have amazing survival skills.

Over the years, Seyha has continued to flourish with other differently abled peers and people who care about him. His personality shines through luminously each day. He is a remarkable role model for other kids and me.


Seyha crushing peanuts

Please consider making a special gift to Maryknoll Lay Missioners’ “Walk With Us” campaign, which raises money for the recruitment, training and ongoing support of all of us lay missioners. We can only “walk with” the people here because you are “walking with” us. Thanks to matching gifts, every $100 given to the campaign in effect becomes $150. To donate ONLINE, click the “Walk With Us” button below. Thank you so much for your generosity! 

 

Hang Tran Hang Tran
A Maryknoll lay missioner since 2013, Hang Tran works with young people living with disabilities at the Home of Hope in Chom Chao, Cambodia. She also serves as Maryknoll Lay Missioners' regional director for Cambodia.