Sometimes I just gotta wonder. It's funny how things play out. This morning as I looked out on the Danang city from the gym. A thought came to me that there is not much poverty in the city.
Later as we drove out to visit Dia Loc. I quickly was reminded it takes only a 30 minute drive out of the city to see the Vietnam of old. The tall buildings and neon lights of the city are replaced with weathered stores and homes made from whatever can be found.
My first meeting was with Chairman of Dia Loc People's Committee. We have had a wonderful relationship in Dia Loc. One reason is the friend I call the charity guy. Until recently he worked for free for Dia Loc. We would fund a compassion for a poor family and he would raise funds to add something extra. He is a committed friend of gibtk.
In our opening conversation the chairman spoke of his gratitude for NGO's and especially GIBTK. He shared that there is much need in Dia Loc. There are about 10,000 families needing support in his district.
I listened intently; sometime ago we had made a decision not to just give support but to try and find sustainable transformation in those we hope. Transformation vs. Transactions.
Listening intently as he spoke of his area still reeling from intense war, floods and tough situations. I began to think (those that know me may say me thinking can lead to trouble J) what could be something to make a real change. Then he said it, 40% of the students graduating high school and passing the stringent University entrance exams are unable to attend because of financial funds. Many students do poorly because they're families have no funds to spend on the much needed tutoring and most eventually drop out of school completely or do very poorly.
Then the pieces began to come together. A second Dorothea's Project legacy. A place for the underprivileged kids to come and get tutoring in Math, Physics, Chemistry, computer, English and basic life skills as well as emotional health programs. A place poor families can bring they're children and receive much of what is offered to the kids in our homes. A Hope for a brighter future.
I brought up the idea to the chairman and it took off. Though I changed the direction of the conversation several times, he returned to it. Finally asking "can we do it in 2017? Can we start soon? I will get all the govt permission you need."
Later the charity guy brought it up again. And said he could secure land, free cement and brick to build our own facility. I sorta put brakes on going that far but did say let's show me a budget and let me think (read pray about it).
Funny how things sorta fall together. My friend Robert Barriger told me early on, "find an itch and itch it" maybe just maybe this may be the "itch" God was showing me. Another friend Bruce Binkley "always" says "Robert you just have to figure out the what God wants to do and He will provide the how" folks it seems real to me, I see it already. Looks like possibly Dorothea's Project Legacy is taking step 2! A second location, reaching out to rural Vietnam where there is greater needs then I dare attempt to put into words. I see not only the education I spoke of earlier but also growing our new Program "A Mother's Love." A place for single moms who have homes to live but can come and learn about raising they're children. Building self-esteem into them and also sex education and life skills.
Gosh and this was supposed to be a day of just social meetings.
I finished typing what's above in my office. As I walked downstairs I began to second-guess myself. Thinking how will we fund, maybe I should wait before I put any of this in writing and share with all of you. The budget is already high for 2017 and on and on. I had to wait at our front desk for a moment; it is there I saw the sign you see below. I still do not know where it came from but it spoke to my spirit. Maybe just maybe God has a plan. Go figure huh. Maybe I'm not such a quick learner after all.
Giving It Back To Kids