May 18, 2021

Turning a Foreign Place into a Home with Love

Due to family financial difficulties, 10-year-old Hulk has been receiving subsidy through the Mustard Seed Mission's Sponsor-A-Child program. To support him and his little sister, his mother has been working day and night. As a result of years of such physical strain, the warning bell to her health began to ring.  Coupled with the impact of the pandemic which reduced her working hours, her monthly salary has been adjusted to daily wage. This sudden and drastic reduction of working hours made the family unable to make ends meet and eventually she was laid off. On the suggestion of a friend, Hulk's mother decided to relocate the whole family to southern Taiwan and started afresh which on one hand could reduce their daily expenses slightly and on the other hand, to give her a chance to recuperate.

Before moving to the south, Hulk was a child easy to smile. Losing his former classmates and friends all of a sudden, he couldn't cope with the change and smiled less and less. His sister was still very young and needed lots of adult attention. As such, slowly but surely, he started to display signs of behavioral disorders because of the combination of several factors: the loss of focus in his daily life, the lack of the attention from his mother, and the limited play-time options available to him of either staying at home or going to nearby convenient stores after school.

On the phone, the social worker heard Hulk's mother saying worriedly, "Hulk recently stole toys from a convenience store, and the manager called me to warn...".

She went on "Hulk wasn't like this before. He didn't say anything when I asked him why. I don't know what to do with him...".

The social worker comforted her and said, "Hulk may not know how to express his emotions because of his young age. So, he tried to misbehave in order to attract adults' attention. I remember you once said that Hulk liked participating in MSM community service center activities. If you permit, I would like to bring teacher Chen from our community service center to visit you. They offer a lot of activities there. I think it would be worth trying to let Hulk participate, to divert his attention and make new friends. There might be some changes."

On the day of the visit, Teacher Chen took the initiative to talk with Hulk, learned about his hobbies and praised his academic performance in a timely manner. Soon Hulk opened his heart. Teacher Chen seized this opportunity and asked him "Hulk, we have a children's camp every Saturday. Would you like to join us? You can make many friends of your age." Without hesitation, Hulk agreed to accept Teacher Chen's invitation.

Hulk makes new friends during the community center activities
Hulk makes new friends during the community center activities

By participating in the children's camp, Hulk gradually displayed smiles one hadn't seen for a long time. After making new friends, every weekend is his happiest time. He eagerly looks forward to seeing friends and participating in many activities. The teachers in the community service center inquire about Hulk's life every week. As time goes by, Hulk has become more and more mature and well-behaved, and he received recognition and praise from the teachers. In addition to learning to play drums for free, he also recently performed on stage at events to build self-confidence. The love, care and companionship from the teachers not only helped correcting Hulk's misbehavior and bringing out his smile again, it also warms his heart and turns an original "foreign place" into a real sweet home for Hulk after the move.

Through the community service center, Hulk learns performing drumbeat and gains self-confidence
Through the community service center, Hulk learns performing drumbeat and gains self-confidence
May 10, 2021

The Dream of Becoming a Doctor Amid the Pandemic

Meang, a Cambodian teen served by the Mustard Seed Mission. He is in the sixth grade at the National University of Health Science and Technology in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Meang comes from Kandal province in rural Cambodia. His parents are farmers, and his five siblings are all married. But his family was poor, it was difficult for his parents and siblings to support his studies. His siblings only went to secondary school. There are only five medical departments in Cambodia, but Meang was able to enter the medical department of the National University of Health Science and Technology, with the longest history in Cambodia, so he became a child supported by the Mustard Seed Mission.

Meang studies in the Department of Medicine and had busy schoolwork. For three years in college, he had to go to the hospital for half a day internship. The schoolwork was heavy but the finances were not enough to support. When he was just entering his senior year, referred by the our local working, the Mustard Seed Mission started to support his educational expenses. Life at school is busy, Meang’s optimism and diligence amid the bustle. In addition, he volunteers at the church's medical spot every week, and when he returns home during winter and summer vacations, he also works as a medical volunteer and medical mission team.

Amid the pandemic, Meang excelled his best at this time, wearing a full set of protective clothing, and assisting the Ministry of Health in carrying out epidemic testing. Meang went from being a child to a medical student and doctor who can help others, just like a light in Cambodia. 

Thank you again for all you have done to help this cause.

Mar 31, 2021

My Dear Child, Thanks for Your Understanding

"Mom, if I don't eat as much, can you just work less hard?" Erica's mother is a foreign spouse, who came to Taiwan away from her hometown. After separating from her husband, she has been alone in raising her child.  Especially this year is extraordinarily difficult. Due to the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, the store she works at for a part-time job was closed down. She has been unable to find a stable job easily but can only work as temporary worker everywhere to meet basic needs for daily life.  

Faced with such an embarrassment, the sensible Erica knew that her mother was busy from morning till night, just to allow herself and the daughter to get by for a minimum wage. One day she looked at her exhausted mother and suddenly said " Mom, if I do not eat as much, can you work less hard?" The child's sensibility and consideration made Erica's mother feel deeply sorry. She was apologetic of how Erica feels about the current situation with the precocious response and blamed herself for not being able to give her child perfect care.  

Erica's mother also tells our community common good partner, "I really appreciate the Mustard Seed Mission Community Network sponsorship service, and this immediate anti-epidemic emergency relief fund has allowed our family to spend during hard time; the staff of Mustard Seed Mission visits and cares us from time to time, while they also help comfort our uneasy and confused mood."

Looking at Erica's thoughtfulness and feeling the care from society, Erica's mother said that "even if I face lots of uncertainties ahead, because of companionship and support from many people, I can have the courage and strength to continue and moving forward. I also hope that Erica will be the help of others in the future, able to spread joy to children, and help more people in need just like we are being helped now."

The Mustard Seed Mission Community Network works together with families in distress and gives caring for those in need. The love of you allows the community to take a big step forward, and help disadvantaged families and children stand up again and keep moving on. With emergency relief, vulnerable families can be timely supported and resettled for the next page of life.     

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