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Archieved Newsletters (click)

Dear friends,                                                                                                                    (Jan / Febr / March 2022)

69 1First of all, we wish you a wonderful year of many opportunities. We hope it will help you to meet your goals for life. This can happen in many ways. A few months ago all over the city, local green services were pruning trees. This must be done because of the danger of falling trees and branches during heavy storms. It helped also to clear sights and have better views. Naturally, a clean-up like this reflects also the things of real life. Sometimes we need to be pruned too. As we reflect on the past year we all felt this. Many things happened and for some of us, it was heavy. We’d like to dedicate this letter in telling you how we and several friends of our work have been pruned.

69-2 A great loss
69 5One of our greatest losses after this year's pruning was the death of our dear friend Henk van de Duijn Schouten. For more than 15 years he was one of the representatives of our work in Holland. Although a man of great health, at the beginning of this year he got problems with his esophagus. They found a growing tumor. Although treatment stopped the spread, other tumors in his kidneys and brain were found during the next months. After many prayers and medical care, the doctors hesitated to give more treatment because of his 69-3increasing weak health and he was left with daily care at his home. Finally, on November 30 he died in peace and we lost a dear friend. All of our staff joined the online funeral at our Center and showed our respect to his family.

A short memorial tribute
In 2006 Mr.Henk decided to join a home committee in Holland in order to support our work and also Mr.Hans, our Dutch staff member. In 2007 he visited Danang during Environmental day with a friend. He was impressed and loved what we were doing. When we shared our desire to build a center that year, he spontaneously contacted people for financial support. We were able to pay all our bills in time, because of these great 69-4contributions. When we finished the third floor in 2010 and celebrated our official 10th anniversary, he came again with another friend to visit us in Danang. We stayed in close contact with him and he was always willing to help and to give us advice. Three years ago in 2018, he visited us a third time with three other friends. First, they made a trip to the North. At that time he was 78 years old and still in good shape and even walked each year 120 km during a charity walk for four days. He was still impressed with what we were doing. He was a great encourager and we’ll really miss him. Our sympathy goes out to his wife and family. His loss was also painful for us but good memories will always stay with us.

In memory to others
69-669 7We also lost other supporters in 2021. One of them was a short-term Vietnamese employee (photo right) who worked for us in 2002. We have shown, as far as possible, our respect and sympathies to all their families. Not only we were pruned but also these families have to live with an empty place. Let’s pray for comfort for all these family members and remember the good memories of those who passed away. When we wrote down these losses we received our latest loss when the mother of our director passed away due to heart failure. She had lived this year at our center for medical treatment in Danang. Because of the lockdown, she was not able to return to her village. Finally, a few weeks ago they lifted the traveling restrictions and she returned to her long waiting husband (photo left). A few days ago there was an emergency call but she recovered. But her heart could not keep going and she passed away after Christmas and finished her task here on earth. We closed our Center for a few days and send our condolences to her family.

Repairing our flat roof
69-8Another test became our flat roof and wooden windows. It rained heavily a few months ago. The roof of the building beside our Center started to leak in several places. The roof is flat and our intention is that we will build another floor on top in the near future. The flat roof is unprotected against sunshine. The heat of the sun caused cracks in the concrete and it started to leak after heavy rainfall. Ja Pheth was asked to repair it because he is very handy. He used to repair engines before. A-Samel was a good helper and both have been fixing the cracks. We are okay for now, but it will be a short-term solution because summer is coming. Therefore we have to consider a metal cover in order to protect the concrete. Also, the wooden windows need to be replaced. They started to bend because of the heat. It caused leaking after heavy rain and the strong wind during the typhoons caused incredible noise through the cracks.

What are we doing at this moment?
We are still making new clean stoves. We are waiting for the green light in order to distribute the clean stoves around the country. Many have been made and are ready to be used. It is a real challenge. So many people could be helped, but restrictions for transportation and local regulations made it hard to organize a good solution. 69-9 We have not added new workers, so we can keep our present employees and give them enough work to do. We were able to purchase new material and also some improvements in making the stoves. We are also busy in applying for a new work permit for our foreign employee. This year new regulations require a different approach. It is not possible anymore to extend a work permit, but a whole new request had to be made. A lot of paperwork again, but till now we have made some progress. The FBT course is also waiting for local authorities to allow new seminars. This is a great pruning time and we need a breakthrough too.



What are others doing?
Under good weather conditions, one member of a Dutch supporting workgroup has been picking pears again. She is doing this every year and starts early in the morning. This year there were not so many pickers so it took almost three weeks. The harvest was late, so young people could not help as in previous years because of schools. Another way of supporting our work was selling caramel syrup waffles. People had to order them, and volunteers delivered the delicious waffles to people's homes. Because of this year's restrictions, it was a little bit complicated, but it worked out well. Even a volunteer was creative. Her children helped her by sitting on the back of her bicycle trailer. Amazing!


 Being thankful
Around the world, there are many celebrations after a time of harvest. Given regional differences in climates and crops, harvest festivals can be found at various times. Some of the festivals are thanksgiving parties. But most of them are celebrations after an agricultural harvest. Now-adays it can be anything to be thankful for. We did this in our Center and were thankful for our Creator, even the circumstances that tried to hinder blessings. Tho, the wife of our director decided to cook and Ja Pheth one of our employees offered the last of his five chickens after the other ones were stolen or suddenly died. It was great to add delicious curry soup, shrimp, and sticky rice. One of our friends had bought Chinese pears for dessert, and another friend gave us a bag of rice each and some other goodies. It was a great time of singing, sharing, and eating and being thankful for a special year of pruning and testing.

Latest News
● Although we were able to decorate the Christmas tree together, Christmas and New Year’s celebrations were postponed due to the sudden loss of loved ones.

● Thang already served in the Navy for almost one year. They moved him from Danang to Cam Ranh and now he serves on Phu Quoc Island near the Cambodia-Vietnamese border.

● We like to finish this letter by wishing you a blessed New Year, and knowing that there will be a change after pruning.


Green Impact team

Called to Serve

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