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Dear friends,                                                                                                                         April / May / June 2022

70-1 It is good to set our minds on good things. New material was purchased, so we had work enough for everyone. We had to reduce our working speed, but we were very thankful to finish the old year and were able to welcome the Vietnamese New Year at the beginning of February. The wife of our director managed again a wonderful meal on the roof of our building. Testimonies were given that even in difficult times, we were provided with everything. Afterward, we had dinner together with some neighbors. It was great and everyone enjoyed it. Now we are looking forward to the year to come.

70-2 Encourage each other.
A well-made video (click) about the life of Vincent Van Gogh helped us to see our friendships differently. He came alive in the video and was taken to a museum where his paintings were exhibited. In his life he was despised for his paintings, misunderstood, and remained poor. A tour guide gave his thoughts of the paintings, not knowing that Vincent was listening. This was so beautiful and moving. While listening, Vincent became completely emotional when he heard the description about himself and his paintings. He finally was affirmed in ways he had never known. A really beautiful scene. How nice it would be if we could affirm, encourage and appreciate each other more when it is still possible. Let no circumstances withhold us.

Protection against the sun.
70 3 Last year we fixed many cracks in our flat roof next to our center. But after a while it needed more protection, so we have been considering building a cover. A donation from friends in Holland came available and we designed a solid construction of iron bars and galvanized sheets. We asked all workers to play their part and for the last several weeks they did an outstanding job. We were very happy that the weather stayed cloudy during this hard work. It needed to be solid, because a typhoon could easily destroy a light construction. After six weeks of hard work we were very happy with the results.

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Amazing transportation.
70-10 Just a few pictures of how they transported the long, galvanized sheets for our roof. The sheets were about 7 meters long and fixed on a kind of long trolley behind a motorbike. Last week the director of the shop transported 1500 kg of iron sheets on one such cart behind his regular motorbike and drove it through traffic to our center. Our sheets were too long, so the trolley had to be extended. The photos below give you a better idea of how things are transported in Vietnam and even the animals are sometimes transported on a cart behind the motorbike.

On the road again.
70-11 Because of the Asian culture, it has been very attractive for visitors to participate in many activities. Eating on the pathways is very common and it is also a part of doing business or making relationships. Many small family business owners became very successful. Sadly, the last few years many of these businesses have been suffering and had to close down. Even our FBT courses had to stop, because of restrictions. But we are sensing that it is time to inspire the families again after two years.

Invited and doing charity.
70-1370-12 Finally, we were invited again to the second FBT seminar near the border of Laos. Some of the participants had put into practice what they had learned the last time. One lady invested in a small pig and now she raised 20 pigs already. Others were successful in growing bananas to fill the demand of a Thai company. Some of the old students from Laos could not come, but others joined happily. We also provided 400 clean cookers and some people recognized our last provision and are still excited about the stoves. Others could be helped now, although the cost of transportation became very expensive after the new year.

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Months of investigation.
70-17 More than two years ago, we were allowed to build 30,000 cooking ovens for an aid project in the north. But after that, our product was counterfeited and marketed under a different name. We then contacted the foreign sponsors, but they were not interested. Then we got a letter from someone who became very concerned and advised us to take legal action. We contacted the Department of Intellectual Property and after six months of investigation, they told us that we were correct and now the opposing party may appeal in the coming weeks. We feel that justice may eventually prevail!

70-18 Enjoying a social gathering.
In Vietnam it is not common to celebrate your birthday as an adult. But when adopting a western culture it is sometimes nice to do it differently. Some of our staff had their birthdays close together, so we decided to have a special pizza party. We ordered a number of medium-sized pizzas. Our minority staff had never eaten that kind of food, so it became a great experience. They loved it and could not stop eating. Sometimes it is good to have a change.

Being patient.
Due to new regulations, foreigners are not able to extend their visas anymore. They need to apply for a whole new one. We have one foreigner working at our company. Our staff has been working hard for weeks by doing lots of paperwork. Finally, the whole process will come to an end soon. Foreigners should appreciate more their Vietnamese co-workers, who are patiently and diligently doing this paperwork. This is obviously the strength of the Vietnamese people who overcame many difficulties in the past.

70-19 Wearing facemasks.
In Vietnam people are still wearing facemasks, most noticed when you drive through traffic, go shopping, do business or attend schools or church. So, everywhere you go you have to wear this. But wearing a mask is not always for protection, because it is nice to wear something in traffic to protect you against the sun but also against pollution. Sadly you will not be able to see the beautiful Asian smiles which make this place so unique.

A great example.
70-20 We have been thankful for friends who have been supporting us. A Dutch couple with their two daughters visited us in Danang several years ago. They challenged themselves in joining an ice-skating marathon in order to support a project in Moldavia. They traveled to the Gulf of Bothnia near Luleå in Swedish Lapland. In temperatures of -27C, they skated a 200, 100, and 75 km track. It was a great moment when they all reached the finish line. Their lives are a great inspiration!

70-21 In closing.
Our production has not been delayed. At the moment we have around 2200 clean cookstoves in store. They are ready to be distributed for charity or sold for personal use. We are also happy in working with local leaders and getting the stoves to their people. We received some very nice foreign support, which helps us to do our job more diligently. Feeling not to be pressured, it is wonderful to be a part of this movement. Thanks for all your spiritual and natural support. It means a lot to us.

Greetings,

Green Impact team

Called to Serve

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