During the recent winter Olympics in South Korea, the world’s attention was on the athletes who have trained so hard for a chance to show their skills to the world, and potentially qualify for a medal – preferably gold.
Gold, silver, bronze – they are all medals of distinction for the winners and out of all who compete, very few contestants receive them. Yet my wife made the observation that in certain situations (such as a hockey game, eh?), “winning” silver actually means you’ve lost the game. And when you see the disappointment on the team faces, you’d almost think that a silver medal was a disgrace. It’s funny how something so unattainable for most of us can carry such a weight of regret for others.
Perhaps that’s a good reason to not give our lives away for earthly “gold,” but for a heavenly treasure that will be handed out to those who define their life’s purpose as following the footsteps of Jesus. He came “not to be served, but to be a servant for many.” His was a life lived like no other and we have been invited to imitate that example.
At this time we have two MTM volunteer instructors, John Topham and Phil Cote, who are in Cambodia teaching students in photography and auto mechanics. Both of these life skills will actually provide opportunities for income for the Cambodian students, and we are very thankful for Darren and Minako Polischuk of Work of Your Hand who made all the arrangements to make this training opportunity possible.
Looking ahead, we will have a team returning to the Baja in early April, where veteran Team Leader Todd Green will continue the automotive training course at Los Olivos, the One Life One Chance mission base in San Quintin. There is a potential for one other mechanics trainer to join Todd on this trip. Those interested in our Baja location can contact us for further details.
And once again, our Africa trip is coming up fast, as Mission Director Rick Cogbill will lead another team to the Heart for Africa base in Swaziland. To date we have automotive technician and shop owner Ross MacPherson from Ontario coming to assist in our mechanics course, and BC millwright Craig Skinner is back for his third Africa trip to continue the welding and fabrication training. We are also excited to once again welcome Prosper Fernando from Mozambique to teach in the mechanics course as well.
There are still positions open for the Swaziland trip, especially for the month of June. In particular, we are actively looking for an electrician who could join us to help train others in that very important field of work. The construction of the children’s campus is ongoing and there is a great need for more local electricians to keep the building program moving forward. Other trades training opportunities exist at this location as well, so don’t hesitate to contact us if you’d like to be a part of this team.
While winning medals and awards of any kind is a good thing, some of the best “gold” in our lives comes from the times when we know we’ve really made a difference in someone else’s life. Mercy Tech Mission strives to “be there” for those who need what we have to share, so that they can realize a better and more sustainable future for themselves and for the ones they love.
Thanks for joining with us as we continue “Changing Lives, One Skill at a Time.”
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Here are a few more amazing photos about daily life in Cambodia, all taken by Team Leader Phil Cote.