I'm not one who likes rules too much. Growing up, rules became frustrations to me. And often times, they were meant to be broken. I know...not a Godly perspective, but honest!
In the past few weeks, we've had to establish some rules for our job creation program in Cambodia, LandMine Design (www.landminedesign.org). I'm learning some things about rules even now...
Running a job creation program is...well...it's a lot of work. None of us at LightBridge have business backgrounds. None of us began this work with a vast understanding about development in a third world country. By God's grace, much has been done and we've seen some pretty amazing progress. We're learning a lot and daily realize how much there is still to learn in this work. Case in point? Establishing policies for a productive workplace in our job creation program.
During our latest trip to Cambodia, we worked with the women in our program to establish some rules for their work environment. At their request, we set up contracts so that expectations and requirements were consistent and fair for each one. The contracts included the consequence of losing a job should an offense happen too much. Seemed like a great idea that would benefit all of the women, both current and future.
One rule involved being late to work. A consistent problem for one specific lady, we had to pull her aside to give her a stern warning. She received it with a graceful and respectful attitude; and then shared how she didn't have a watch or clock so she was telling time by watching the sun. She asked for forgiveness and promised to do better at watching the sun so she wouldn't be late anymore.
This probably seems like no big deal to the normal reader. To me, it was yet another reminder of the unexpected challenges that come up as we continue with this work. Understanding the reason she was late gave me pause. In fact, I felt like we were being pretty demanding and unruly bosses. We set the 'being on time' rule without thinking about whether the women had the resources to follow this rule. What seems like perfectly normal policies in a first world culture may not transfer as easily as it seems in a culture where telling time is based upon following the sun. Who knew that we'd have to consider things like this as development of this village continues?!
Two of my staff, Kristie and Amreitha, are headed back to Cambodia this week. They will be bringing something special for the ladies -- watches! Not just any watches, solar-powered watches so that the ladies won't have to figure out how to replace batteries from a minefield! They will continue with training for this program as well as advancing all the initiatives that are happening out there.
Would you join me in praying for safety, protection from the enemy, and health for these two? Also, please pray for wisdom as they continue working with the MineField Village? Please pray for clarity and understanding as they proceed to work through the new policies for LandMine Design. More importantly, would you pray for receptive hearts as they share and teach about God's love and His Word with these precious villagers. Evangelism, discipleship and development work doesn't just happen; it happens because God is moving. He is attentive to our prayers. Join me in praying, would you?
Grateful for you...
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