Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I returned about three days ago from my 6th trip to Cambodia. When I think how far we've come, it's astounding. The girls in The Daughters Project are changed people. They have so much joy and confidence now. Just a few months ago some of them would barely look Chris and myself in the eyes. Last week, while riding in the van together, they schemed and surprised Chris with a game of 'squish the guy in the middle seat', laughing hysterically each time he pretended to be in agony. It brought us so much joy to see them be so comfortable and so full of happiness!
We accomplished so much at the workshop this trip. We set up divisions for working on different projects in teams of three working together. We made plans for the future- some of the girls will be graduating soon. Speaking of plans for the future, Chanary asked me, "What are your plans for my future?" I said, " Well, what would you like to do?" She responded, " I want to work for you and make dresses." I said, "Ok! Then that's my plan for your future." :) It was special because now she is allowed to plan for her future. She is allowed to dream and hope.
"I'll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out-plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for." Jeremiah 29:11 The Message

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Faith and voices...

Sometimes I have too many expectations when I come to Cambodia. I think if I can get away then I could really hear God's voice. The truth is there are distractions everywhere- even when we make many preperations to keep them out. I know that, often, God allows and even imposes the distractions on us because He is trying to train us to persevere in our pursuit of faith.
"For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body." 2 Cor. 4:17
This is the constant tension between flesh and spirit and Spirit.
I am thankful because it makes his presence 'sweeter'. - "Get away with me and you will recover your life. You will learn the rhythyms of grace."Matt. 11:28-30 The Message

Friday, March 30, 2012

Clay Jar

As I Flew to Korea to catch another ride to Cambodia I began to chat with God about this whole crazy trip and this astounding work He is doing. I asked Him, "How are You going to do this next thing? And why are You using me for this?" "
I really don't know why He allows me to be a part of such an amazing thing and be so very blessed by it. It moves me to tears as I think about it. In tears because He chooses to use me for this extraordinary work- I get this front row seat to an amazing show- to see Him manifest Himself in a land of ancient mystery, brokeness and buddhas. He is making Himself known amongst a people who are so wounded, broken and lost but still smile and live day to day in desolation, corruption and humility.... so much humility. Maybe that's why He is here now. Maybe He sees their tears and has heard their cries and felt their suffering. Come Lord Jesus, come!

"But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.... We carry around in us the death of Jesus so that His life may be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that His life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work but life is at work in you- so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God! 2 Corinthians 4:7-18


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Switching Gears.....

Well, I'm preparing to leave for Cambodia in a few days. I am so excited for this trip for several reasons. The first being, I will be teaching the girls about abstinence, hygiene and the Word! Second, I will be introducing some new items for production- a handbag line! Drae and I decide to expand our options since prom is such a small season and only marketable to a small demographic. We are trying to come up with new opportunities for the project to produce income and be sustainable.

This last year has had its ups and downs, but we have learned from all of our experiences. CGI has been working hard to form a skilled team around us and I am very pleased with all the progress! Thanks Chris, Nathan, Joyce, Gary and Ryan! I can't wait to see what is accomplished in 2012.

I will keep you posted throughout the trip. Please keep us in your prayers!
Nicole Krajewski

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Year Later...

It has bee exactly twelve months since we first went to Cambodia to scout out the possibility of starting a line of fair trade prom dresses. I still cannot believe all that has happened!
I just returned from another visit to Cambodia, my fourth in twelve months! This plane trip is not for the faint of heart! If I have to eat one more tiny tray of korean airplane food!.... that's for a different blog.
As I was saying, I just returned from another trip to Cambodia. I am amazed at all that has happened, but mostly, I am amazed at the growth I have seen in the girls in The Daughters Project. The three girls that were our first students has grown to 14. Unfortunately, we have lost two or three, due to the perils of human trafficking. But the girls that have been able to remain have grown in their confidence, happiness and security. Three of the girls have just completed their first dress from start to finish! It brought us great joy to be able to give them their financial reward- you should have seen the smiles on their faces! With their new skills as seamstresses they will be able to support themselves financially, and probably their families. This is huge! All of the 'Daughters' have little sisters that are at risk of being sold. If the 'Daughters' can provide financial stability then their little sisters will not be sold and we are even closer to stopping the cycle of extreme poverty in this part of the world!
The Daughters House is a very happy place. We got a glimpse into their lives on our visit. One day, after returning home from the workshop, the girls began to play soccer in the driveway. Suddenly, rain poured down, monsoon style. Surprisingly, the girls kept playing soccer, soaking wet, laughing, giggling, smiling, running. My friend Heather, stood there watching. She was so moved by their newfound joy she cried. She said that for a moment, she felt the kingdom of heaven there.
Needless to say, I am 'sop-bai'. This means happy in Khmer and it is a word the 'Daughters' use a lot now.

Nicole Krajewski