Newsletter - March 2018
Dear Friends, Family and valued Supporters,
I believe that from the beginning of 2018, Cambodian Harvest turned a corner into the river of God's blessings and we give Him all praise and thanks for His great love and help. Last year was the hardest year I can ever remember, especially in the area of finances, but also with some real disappointments too. Sales improved amazingly once I stopped begging God for help and started to praise and thank Him instead. New customers, like the airport shops suddenly opened to us after years of trying to put our products there. Big supermarkets opened new shops and prospered. Korean missionaries returned with tour groups from Korean churches. Tours had been cancelled because of fears of war in their region. Sadly the serious political problems have only gotten worse here, but the economy seems to have adjusted to the shocks and moved forward. Everyone is holding their breath until after the July elections.
At the same time it was necessary to reduce our overheads in two areas. Firstly we moved the office into another house down the same street, considerably downsizing and only half the rent. We moved at the end of December and it has not been easy, because It has no separate apartment above the offices for Marion and it is a tenement house on 3 floors,
New office building with narrow steep stairs. Staff who left for various reasons, weddings and family issues, have not been replaced. I really miss my housekeeper and cook who left for England to be married. It has involved considerable adjustments for all of us, particularly because my bedroom, on the first floor is in the middle of the first and 2nd floor offices and the kitchen is on the ground floor.
looking inside single Carport Marion's small office Sitha in her office
The Lucky Supermarket Group (ten shops) sets the prices for our products and other supermarkets match theirs. They have refused to allow us to raise our prices due to the rising cost of living. Secondly, we stopped production of mango from mid-December till mid-February because we ran out of funds to purchase the fruit. This gave us the opportunity to pay suppliers from stock sales. Our own mango trees failed to have a crop this year due to the unseasonal heavy rains extending all through November, destroying the flowers and stopping the fruit from setting at flowering time. The price of mango rose extremely high and we simply could not afford to buy them. Now that mango prices are lower from trees that came in later, we have gone back to mango production. This is a huge problem and we pray we will have enough in stock for the six month's period from June to November when the next mango season starts again.
In January, John and Judy Thomson came to stay for 10 days, which was a real joy for us all. Judy audited our 2017 accounts and John greatly improved the living conditions in the house, stopping up rat holes in the kitchen cupboards and making 2 cutlery draws and installing towel rails etc. in the bathrooms. We took a few days break to take them to visit the villages where both Bunthoeun and his wife Netha grew up. It was gorgeous weather and so interesting to meet their relatives and see their old schools. Judy, John and I also stayed 2 nights at a lovely resort which may make a really great place to give the staff a day trip before next Christmas.
Bunthoeun's nephew Vong is now working for us as night security while he studies at university. We met his family and
other relatives of Bunthoeun's whom he hasn't seen for years. We scheduled two ministry trips to go back to those
villages and showed the Jesus movie there. None of the people in those villages had ever heard the Gospel.
Bunthoeun's relatives had heard from his family that his land mine injuries had been healed but they had never heard
his testimony about that before. It was an amazing event, with almost the whole village coming to see the movie and
remaining for hours afterwards, discussing the film and arranging for our mission team to come again. Our team
returned to Phnom Penh at 1.30am! Truly the harvest fields are ripe and waiting for us to go and reap these precious
Marion and Bunthoeun's wife Netha will be in Australia from 5th April until 22nd May. If you would like us to speak at
your church, Bible studies and home groups, please email Marion Fromm. Starting in Shellharbour, April 6th-10th,
then Canberra, 11th-15th, Melbourne from 16th-18th, then in Adelaide from 19th April until 17th May while Marion has
some medical checks. Then off to Perth and Dunsborough from 18th to 22nd May. If you can help us with
accommodation in Adelaide, Perth and Dunsborough we would sincerely appreciate that. We would like to hold a
supporter's afternoon tea in Adelaide, so if you know of a venue where we can hold it, please let us know. Our Board is
very short of members to give us a hand for this type of event, especially because John Wilkins is currently so unwell.
Please consider joining us and blessing the amazing things that God is doing in Cambodia. We will let you know when
the supporter's event is scheduled.
1. Pray urgently for Cambodia's coming elections to be peaceful.
2. Pray for our Church and our outreaches and the other Churches in the nation to explode with new life.
3. Pray for sustainability for our Company and provision for 10 new airconditioners for our dehydrators in urgent need of replacement in the factory.
4. Pray for Phallet and Thany in Seim Reap, who are looking for another suitable office because their landlord will not renew their lease which expires in July.
5. Pray for some people in each state to join our Board and help us with event planning for Marion's visits every where she travels.
6. Pray for a miracle of healing for John Wilkins.
7. Pray for Marion Fromm and Netha Phy as they travel to and around Australia and for good medical test results for Marion. Pray for Bunthoeun and their son Esai back home in Cambodia.
Our new factory is a delightful place to work and the staff are really enjoying their new homes. Unfortunately the builders did a poor job of applying a surface coating to the floor in the fruit cutting area and the fruit acids have eaten away some surface of the cement floor. This will be repaired and replaced by the builder after the end of this mango season. By next mango season we plan to install 6 more dehydrators and increase our capacity 100%. Since January we have been running to keep up with the orders, which is a wonderful problem to have! Phallet and Thany have really settled in Seim Reap and have bought a block of land with plans to build their own house in the near future. Ny moved to USA in November (just after her son Nin's wedding) and she was married there on 24th December. We wish her happiness. Thank you so much for your faithful prayers and support. We give thanks to God for each and every one of you. Your prayers are vital for all of us out on the frontlines in Cambodia. May God bless you above all you can ask or think.