Joaan’s Run for Restoration

Update posted by JOAAN FOO PUI YAN On Jul 31, 2017

I would like to thank everyone who contributed to my Run For Restoration fundraising campaign so far. We've raised RM1400 (around 330USD) and 321USD up to date and we still have a couple of upcoming donations to add to the amount :)

I thank God for sending wonderful people into my life to support what He is doing for the women and children of Cambodia. You guys are amazing and I hope that you will continue to support me with your prayers and thoughts.

I will be running the Spartan Beast this 8th October and it will be the most challenging race I've ever faced. It'll be 20+km with 30-35 obstacles and judging from my recent Spartan Super time, I'm hoping to complete the race within 8 hours. I will have to train consistently to prepare myself for the challenges I'll face. Please feel free to still contribute as this fundraiser will end after my Spartan Beast race.

To find out more about who and what this fundraiser is for, please don't hesitate to contact me personally. In a nutshell, the funds will be going directly to Alabaster House, which is a drop-in centre for women and children in the heart of Phnom Penh's red light district. It provides food, shelter and a safe place to be loved by the amazing staff of Open Arms Cambodia, an NGO that provides care, rehabilitation, education and job opportunities for the underprivileged as well as former sex workers.

God is FAITHFUL. Hallelujah.

#RunForRestoration #OpenArmsCambodia #AlabasterHouse

Camilo and Zhengyu, thank you for literally walking with me through this race. I love you both

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Update posted by JOAAN FOO PUI YAN On Jun 25, 2017

Just a brief update taken from my latest Facebook post:

I've been visiting Alabaster House regularly on Wednesday nights before I came back to Malaysia this summer break. I started ukulele lessons for selected children who are interested in the instrument, and I also spend time singing worship songs in the ladies' common room. I know I am called to love and minister to these wonderful individuals and the best way I can do it is through music.

I've seen mothers dropping by to shower their babies, have a meal and have a safe place to spend the night. The staff and volunteers at Alabaster House always, always, always welcome them with unconditional love and would treat them with respect and dignity that every human being deserves - something that is quite rare when you live on the streets or work as a sex worker.

I have yet to master my Khmer language to be able to hold deeper conversations with the girls so I usually just sing to them. The last Wednesday I went there, one of the ladies came into the common room and asked if she could just rest there while I sang. Before long, she laid down and fell asleep as I sang words of love, hope, grace, freedom, and peace over her... Even as I'm typing this, I have tears in my eyes because the thought of her being so comfortable and trusting just moves my heart. It's been impressed upon my heart over and over again that Alabaster House is a place of restoration and rest for these ladies. Whether or not they decide to leave their lifestyle, they are loved with no questions asked. If they intend to start a new lifestyle, the wonderful people at Open Arms will be more than happy to help them transition. It is a place where they don't have to put on a front to please anyone; a place they can just be themselves and be loved.

It is always wonderful to hear touching stories from this place and it almost feels like a fairytale with an eventual happy ending. I usually do not share heavy things on Facebook because I think the world has enough of crazy stuff going around and I prefer to share personally if anyone is interested to find out more. But I think it's time to call a spade a spade. The reality is things are much more challenging than we imagine them to be. There is still so much to do in this country that many times people who come here to help feel discouraged because we either don't know where to start or when it will ever really get better. All we can do is to focus on loving one life at a time. Alabaster House needs support with donations (funds/items) to keep it running. There are 2 full-time staff who dedicate their lives to love the women in the area and their salary needs to be paid. Rental needs to be paid every month with utility bills. As much as Alabaster House is receiving, or has received, financial support, the need is still persisting because it is an ongoing effort. I pray that one day we will not need Alabaster House anymore but until that day arrives, I pray for providence for this wonderful place.

I will be running my Spartan Super race this 9th July in KL. I hope that you will support me with your prayers. If you would like to donate to my Run For Restoration fundraiser for Open Arms Cambodia, please do not hesitate to drop me a note and I can give you more details.

If you have a PayPal account or if you would like to donate via credit card, you can do so on my fundraiser page:

If you would like to do a bank transfer, please drop me a private message and I will give you my bank details. I've raised 271USD so far and any amount you wish to donate will play a part in loving and transforming lives.

Since I am only a volunteer on a weekly basis, I won't be able to give you a full report on Alabaster House but If you would like to find out more about my experience to get a better idea of the situation, please talk to me and I will find a way to meet up with you to share. There are certain things that I am not allowed to share on this public platform and I also cannot share photos here because our top priority is always the wellbeing of the ladies and children, and therefore, we have to protect their identities.

Thank you


When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. He said to his disciples, "The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields."

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Update posted by JOAAN FOO PUI YAN On Mar 16, 2017

Since many people don't use PayPal or credit cards, they passed some cash to me instead. It was very moving when one of my students came up to me and passed me $1 saying,

"Here Ms. Joaan, it's my last dollar and I want you to have it."

A colleague passed me another $20 together with some toiletries for the ladies :)

My shiest 13- year old student and his family donated $50. He walked into my classroom and just quietly passed me the envelope. My heart warmed up when he gave me a nod and a smile, and left.

Everything adds up to $221 including the online donations and I am more than grateful for every single contribution <3

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Update posted by JOAAN FOO PUI YAN On Mar 13, 2017
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Keep up the good work.

Vive Supramaniam

Backed with $50.00 On Jun 27, 2017


You rock! Can't wait to hear about you crushing the next two Spartan races.

Caitlyn McElroy

Backed with $25.00 On Mar 13, 2017


You're amazing!

Rupert Moore

Backed with $5.00 On Mar 13, 2017



Backed On Mar 10, 2017 Amount Hidden


Good luck Joaan! Great cause, happy to support you!

Ali Lonie

Backed with $20.00 On Mar 09, 2017



Backed On Mar 08, 2017 Amount Hidden

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Ah Boy Muthusamy

Following Since Mar 08, 2017

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