June 23, 2015

Dear friends and partners,

This morning there was an article in the Cambodia Daily about a Cambodian woman assisting in the trafficking of 4 teen age girls to China for a life of prostitution. One of the women had her sentence commuted – the judge said: we treated the woman leniently because she is dying.  “Because she has breast cancer and she is waiting for the end of her life, we allowed for mitigating circumstances.”

I am so saddened by this story because I am horrified on the one side that one woman could treat other young women so callously – yet – I am horrified that she is dying from breast cancer and felt she had no other recourse for some relief in her process of dying.  It is so easy for me to judge the actions of another because you see, I have all kinds of options and choices with my breast cancer – but what would it be like if I didn’t have those choices? What kind of choices would I be making if I am dying of breast cancer – the pain, the shame the tremendous loneliness – what would I do if I knew I could get some relief at the cost of another life?


You and I have made a choice – a choice to give people like this woman dying of breast cancer to have a place to come for treatment, for comfort, for dignity! It is not an easy choice nor is it a simple one. It is a choice of commitment - a choice of effort and patience – a choice of perseverance so that other women in Cambodia may never have to choose between themselves and the lives and well being of other women or of their own children.

It is a choice that you and I have made in the building of Nokor Tep Women’s Hospital. It is choice that costs us personally – commitment that is not fleeting or for a day – a commitment that costs us financially – a commitment that costs us spiritually as we search our souls for why am I so blessed and not the women of Cambodia.

It is a commitment to the women here that in the future no one woman has to make the horrific choice of sacrificing the lives of their children or of other women just to be heard, to be comforted to be helped.

Each month we are one step closer to making Nokor Tep Women’s Hospital a reality. This month we poured 242 square meters of flooring, we prepared another 12 support posts, we poured 2 more elevators and two more sets of stairs, we received a direct water line to the hospital.


 I asked for 2000 people to stand with us by committing $100 USD per month for the next 12 months and so many of you answered and we made 60% of this goal for the month of June. How good is that!

And now you and I must make that commitment again for the month of July – not because we have to or because we don’t have choice – it is simply because the women of Cambodia are as valuable, are as precious - as each of us are. I thank my God for that gift of life – I thank my God for the gift of each of you, I thank my God that each of us considers even the least of the women in Cambodia worthy of the same rights and choices as we have.

Thank you all for being a part of Nokor Tep Women’s Hospital – of choosing to make what is wrong – right! How good is that!


Stories of Cambodian Women


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