Latter-day Saint Charities (LDSC), the humanitarian arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, recently recognized the hardship of drought that ravaged rice production in outlying Provinces of Kampong Thom and Svay Rieng, Cambodia. On Dec. 7 and 27, the Church responded to their plight, and season of suffering. Tons of food and supplies included, rice, noodles. oil and sauce which were delivered to over 1,200 families.
His Excellency, Him Chhem, Senior Minister of Cult and Religion, along with many other government officials and ministers, came to support the event. After he entered the huge pagoda, he spoke to the hundreds of families assembled, His remarks were part of a formal ceremony with the express purpose to recognize the generosity and kindness of the Church while presenting a plaque of recognition. "We are grateful for the concern and love always given for people of Cambodia by LDSC and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," said His Excellency Uong Vibol, Under Secretary of State, Ministry of Cult and Religion, who was among government officials and missionaries who traveled the 4-hour distance from Phnom Penh to participate in presenting the food to citizens who gathered. He continued, "Your action is gracious for our Nation."
The families whose needs were most critical were identified prior to the distribution, by Village, Commune, and District Chiefs. Recipients were notified and given instructions as to the day, time and place to receive the food. These grateful families gathered for hours ahead of the distribution, waiting patiently in the heat.
History has written a story of hardship for many citizens of Cambodia. Wars have ravaged, injured and disfigured. Poverty has prevailed, untimely, unexpected drought, a deterrent to an adequate harvest to sustain families and communities. History also writes the story of resilience; a grateful people who remain hopeful in spite of their hardship. This day, relief came to bless these humble recipients, in the form of much needed sustenance. It was a truly a day to remember.