Sunday, June 9, 2013

Father Truc's Church

Another part of this mission is to provide for the impoverished people in remote areas of Southern Vietnam. This is our second visit to Father Truc's Church. This church serves as a school to the poorest families outside Vinh Long. The church operates on donations, which allows the children to attend tuition-free. We arrived at the church to find 175 school children, dressed in their uniforms, ready to greet us. Father invited our group up to the front of the alter and said some very nice words about our mission and goals here in Vietnam. He told the children we had gifts for them, but that we would distribute them after the mass. Prior to the mass their was an award ceremony, recognizing outstanding student achievement. We assisted in the presentations of the awards and took some very nice photos with the students. We then sat through a wonderful service, with children singing and reciting the readings. Following the service, we had an opportunity to play with the children in the school yard. We brought soccer balls, Da Cau birdies, and badminton equipment. The children were so happy to have us join in their activities and get a chance to interact with us. We are the first international group ever to be welcomed by all the students at one time.  Even though they live very difficult, poor lives, these children are happy, smiling, laughing, and singing. After we worked up a good sweat, it was time for the distribution of our gifts.
Here is another example of where all your generous donations have gone. We purchased the following:
Pencil cases

Enough for all 175 children.

The look on their faces was priceless. Often the bags were very heavy for these sometimes malnourished children, but they were so proud to have been given them, they wouldnt put them down.
They were the most respectful and thankful children. And of course, there is this little girl: She approached me, looked up and said "Hi, my name is Nguyen!" She had this glow of joy and happiness that I couldn't resist. And of course I asked for my favorite, a nice big kiss on the cheek!!!! She was more than happy to grant my wish!

As we departed, I formally thanked Father Truc saying, "We are so very proud of the good acts you do for these needy children. The students seem to get much joy from our visit and our modest donations, but truth be told, by interacting with these students, it has provided US with just as much joy and happiness. Our hearts will always remember our new friends and If God permits, we will see each other again next year." God Bless You Father Truc and your Children!!