CS300 : Your Support Means The World To Them


Accident 28 Aug 08  


This morning I was at a meeting when I received 5 missed calls from Thailand - which was a bad sign. When i finally did manage to excuse myself and called back I found out to my horror that our staff met an accident while sending the children to school.

As I later found out, a truck came overtaking at high speed from the rear and smashed into my truck as it was making a turn, causing it to spin out of control and down a slope.

Here are the pictures.

Now for the other party's truck

Its almost funny when i look at these pictures. The damage is so disproportionate, with us sustaining a dent and broken rear lights while bonnet of the other car simply folded with engine damages.

Fortunately no one is injured :)


RADION : Truck Fund Raising Update  


We are looking to purchase an additional 2nd hand truck for expanded operations to shuttle reliefs into difficult terrain which the existing truck can't go. This 2nd truck will also be critical in our expanded outreach routines in the next quarter.

To date, we have received a total of SGD 7000 for the 2nd RADION truck. We are working to raise the remaining SGD 15,000 before the dateline on 31 Aug which is next sunday.


Home Again  


Apologies to my readers for the late post. My computer was keeping me up all night with bugs, Trojans and viruses. All the nice stuff.

Anyway I've safely arrived back in Singapore for about 3 weeks of meetings and briefings. Things in Phetchabun will be taken care of by Ben who is stationed there right now.

p/s : one more streetkid on the block under assessment. Once we approve the kid, we'll put him up for sponsorship. :)


Meeting Schedules  



I'll be heading back to Singapore for about 3 weeks. During this period, I'll be doing the usual caught up in the string of meetings, presentations, awareness building etc etc.

For those who have been asking if I can do a presentation at your school, groups, cells, church etc etc. Yes I can, however you would need to let me know the dates and venue. I'll try to slot these into my schedule as best as I can :)

I'll be back till 15 Sep before flying back with the next team, so that's when I'm available till ! Email me at eugene@radion-international.org if you would like to arrange a meeting !


Streetkids : A week of turmoil  


This week has been rather challenging-with Chaan(david) leaving the program. Its a mixture of emptiness as well as grief.

As we sat there explaining to Chaan's grandmother the reason which Chaan left, the granmother quietly nodded, maintaining a strong front. Towards the end, we offered to pray with her and there she broke down and started sobbing. Between sobs, she told us "Thank you, thank you so much for helping my grandson. No one loved him, but you guys sheltered and cared for him. Chaan did not cherish the opportunity given him"

It was heart wrenching.

Just 2 days after departure of Chaan(David), it was mother's day(thailand) and just as my staff was coming to terms with having one less child, another two of our streetkids (Chay and Lieng) followed suit, wanting to be like Chaan.

We allowed the boys to return home as they mentioned that they wanted to spend mother's day (Thai : 12 Aug) at home. Instead these boys went missing for 2 days and did not return home.

Just last evening the two boys returned and we had a word with their guardians/parents. Lieng's grandmother came as well and we explained to them the situation. The grandmother broke into tears, speaking to Lieng between sobs. Tears welled up in the little boy's eyes and the brother who sat far away started to weep as well.

This is what the grandmother said "...my grandson, the doctor has told me to eat whatever I wish from now and not keep too much savings. He tells me that I have only a few years to go. What little I have, I chose to spend it on you. I want you to be happy and have a future, not like me who lived my whole life poor. I will not live to see you graduate, but study hard. I love you.."


Streetkids : New Kid On The Block  


We have just accepted a new boy, he is 13 this year.
His family history is complex to say the least with his father abandoning him to care of his mother after he was born. Just recently, the mother re-married and the new man refused to take custody of the child. So the mother went ahead with the marriage and left the son by himself.

This boy runs away from school almost every day, going out stealing with his group of friends. Before the interview, I was expecting a loud spoken boy knowing his history. But instead I found a quiet, reserved and shy boy.

I spoke to him privately and he nodded when I asked him if he wants us to help him. So this boy will be on 2 week probation, once that is over, we'll put him up for sponsorship.


My part of the world  


You guys remember the newletter where we spoke of Somchai's brother ? The young boy who had his throat slit after he did not pay back a debtor ?

Few nights ago, just I was finishing up some work in the Shophouse when I heard people shouting downstairs. I opened the window and saw a group of 30-40 youths stutting down the main road, brandishing long knives, planks and glass bottles.

We alerted the authories, but before the police could arrive, the gang managed to find the opposition gang member and chased him down a dirt road. Nothing was heard after that.

As I looked through the window, I'm reminded of so many stories of lives being lost amist gang disputes. It's sad when life holds such little value in this part of the world.

Streetkids : Minus 1  


Last night, David informed us that he would be pulling out from the STREETKIDS! program. It was rather difficult evening as it was terribly difficult to let this kid go, after all we have been through.

Now, what happened was this. Last week, David was given special permission to go out for 1 hour (as per curfew) but he failed to return for the entire night. Just after 2 days, he sneaked out in the morning breaking curfew. In the evening, special permission was given to him and he broke our trust again.

I guess the temptation is too great for him outside and he feels caged up with the 1 hour free time. Especially with his friends coming by and chiding him to join them.

Last evening, I sat down with him for more than 1 hour and I told him that he has to decide for himself what he really wants in life. I cannot force him to stay, but I told him that he is always free to come back when he is ready to join the program again.

My work.

For my Christian friends, do pray for this little boy.


He will provide  


People have always asked me, how long do you intend to do this (referring to our outreaches and stuff). And I've always replied the same thing - As long as God provides.

You see, we have over 500 supporters who have assisted us in one way or another. Be it prayer, manpower, financially etc etc. Among our financial supporters, most are "one-time" givers but the reality on the ground is that our operations are not "one time" but continuous - 24/7.

The most faith stretching moments are times when we look at the monthly expenses and compare it with the bank reserves ! And what makes it worse ? We continuously spearhead new outreach projects in new grounds, and this depletes the bank reserves further.

Sometime back, I was having lunch with 2 bible college students who are both very established businessmen. I was asked about our outreach expenses and they looked very concerned and asked "So Eugene, for sure one day the bank will dry out right?". I looked at their petrified faces and said, "Yeah, it was due to run dry sometime 9 months back, but it hasn't run dry till today !"

You see, I believe in God. I believe He provides.

An extract  


An extract from a friend's blog. Loved the final line.


May God bless us with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships, so that we may live deep within our hearts.

May God bless us with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that we may work for justice, freedom and peace.

May God bless us with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation and war, so that we may reach out our hands to comfort them and turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless us with enough foolishness to believe that we can make a difference in this world, so that we can do what others claim cannot be done.



Streetkids : A Longan Story  


For all my regular readers who are familiar with the streetkids program would know about a boy named David. Famous or rather infamous for his rebellious "heck-care" attitude.

This kid has been with us since the start of the program and has been one of the most hardened cases we have encountered. Today, a relative of his came by and gave him a small bunch of longan and if you know the streetkids, they would be the first to gobble it up leaving the stems behind.

Just after dinner I headed up to my office to finish some work and then i heard footsteps coming up. It was David the "ah beng" of the group, swaggering up the stairs, walked right into the office with a ganstery sway. He looked at me and pulled out a bunch of longans which he kept hidden. He took the bunch of longans and placed them on my desk, without saying a word. He swaggered down the stairs.

It was hillarious and yet touching to see a hardened boy do the sweetest thing out of his own heart. I guess we are really starting to see fruits from our sustained efforts (excuse the pun).


FAQ :Selection Criteria For StreetKids  


One of the most frequently asked questions.

-Both males and females below the age of 16
-History of substance/drug abuse
-Desire to change for the better
-Physically abused
(The above will be classified as priority 1)

Children who do not fall into Priority 1 category
- Single parented/orphaned families with parents who do not care
- Family history of substance abuse and major vices

(The above will be classified as priority 2)

In special cases, families below the poverty line and cannot afford to send their children to school and children roam the streets will be classified as priority 3.


Difficult Decisions  


Over the last couple of weeks was one of difficult decisions.

We have 2 elderly ladies who came over to our office to ask if we can take her child into the streetkids program. She is old, poor and not able to control her child anymore. This elderly lady's eyes welled with tears and pleaded for us take him in.

As I sat there, torn between helping this lady and helping the others who are more needy then her. I struggled for sometime before gently refusing her telling her that we only accept children who have no one to care for them or ones which have been abandoned by society.

As the news was translated by my staff, both the elderly ladies eyes filled with tears and smiled gently back as if to say "thank you for taking time to speak to us"

Every week, we have many parents coming in to our office, asking for assistance. As much as I would like to help everyone, we need to keep our major priorities our focus.

Irregular Internet  


Apologies for those who was trying to contact me over internet the last few days. The village telephone lines all went down for the 4th time these 2 weeks.

Standby, will start posting again !


Streetkids : October Outing  


In mid-October, we'll be bringing all 11 of our streetkids on a long distance education field trip.
They have been bugging me about bringing them to see the sea, something which they have never seen in their whole lives.

The nearest beach is at Pattaya and that is very likely where we are headed !

This trip will be a 4D3N trip and we are looking for volunteers to come alongside us to assist us in this outing.

Pre-requisites ? - You must be ready to get wet !

Email me at eugene@radion-international.org to obtain more details on this trip !