The promise to Chan

A documentary film crew visited Chan and her family in 2009.  They were living in abject poverty in Cambodia, drinking water from a local pond, and suffering from all the health effects of doing so.  Hope International came in and installed a well.  The difference to that family in just a short number of years was staggering.  They are now happy, healthy, entrepreneurial and self-sustaining.

I had a vague sense of this when I arrived at the Hope International Banquet last night to do a live painting of Chan, but I didn't know the full story, nor did I have a full appreciation of the heart of how this family's lives were fundamentally changed because an NGO made, and kept, a promise.

The organizer was very clear with her expectations.  I would need to be substantially done the piece by the time we killed the lights in the room to watch the 25-minute documentary called "A Promise To Chan", which will be available on Vimeo in a couple of weeks.

"No problem," I said as I grabbed my gear and got set up right away.  I started painting by about 6 pm; people started streaming in by 6:30 pm, and the film was screened just before 9 pm.

As I picked up my brush and made some final adjustments, the painting suddenly took on a whole new meaning.  It was like this remarkably resilient mother in rural Cambodia came to life in front of my eyes.

The painting raised $850 last night and was purchased by Justin Mywaart.  It was a lovely way to spend an evening.


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