Saturday, January 29, 2005

Good morning.

I will probably not write for long today. The internet connection is infuriatingly slow, and the keyboard was apparently made as some kind of industrial arts project in a local vocational school for the mentally deficient. To use the shift key, I have to hit it three times and then type a space and then type my letter. I could probably get the message to you more quickly if I had it shipped via passenger pigeon. Sigh.

Anyway, the good news is that Seda is fine. She had a concussion, but is doing well. She spent the night at the guest house under John and Carol's supervision, and returned home after breakfast. Thanks for your prayers.

I had a chance talk with her at length yesterday evening, which was good. She told me, "John, you are so handsome this year. Last year, if people don't know you, they think that you might be gay."

"What?! Why would they think that?"

"Because your bald head and musta, mustard, uh, mustache, and you have the earrings. Some people might think you are criminal."

"Okay, I understand the criminal thing, but gay? Do you know what gay means?"

"Yes, gay. Like you are in a criminal gay."

"Seda, do you mean 'gang?'"

"Yes, gay. Like group of bad men."

"No, Seda. G-A-N-G. Different word. Very different word."


Anyway, such is life in Phnom Penh. Her English is ten times better than my Khmer. I hope to God I haven't told anyone that I think they're in a gang.

Today, we're having more meetings and more time at the student centers. We're also going to visit Mr. Wattana and Mr. Tito, local massage therapists at a charity-run organization called Seeing Hands.

Seeing Hands trains blind people in shiatsu and swedish and other forms of massage therapy and gives them an option for employment other than begging in the markets. Mr. Wattana is very good. And he has very strong hands. And he costs $4.25 an hour. I want to bring him home with me. We'd put Charles Penzone's out of business in a week.

Huh. My shift key has suddenly started to work again. Very strange.

Please pray for Dave Atkins, he's in Thailand right now investigating new partnership opportunities in Chiang Mai. I'll give you more information later.

And please pray for our team. We are all healthy and in high spirits. Dr. John and I had a rather intense and depressing meeting last night discussing the magnitude of the difficulties facing the Cambodian people. Truly their only hope is that God will allow His kingdom to expand miraculously and rennovate the Cambodian economy, ecology, government and society. I know that we are a part of that now, but every day I want more and more for these people. Pray for our brothers and sisters here -- they are truly working against the odds. Pray for a massive infusion of power from God's Spirit. And pray that God will increase our committment to serve our brothers and sisters around the world.




Anonymous said...

How wonderful of you to call us last night. We do appreciate it, so good to be able to communicate even so far away.

As I sit here in my comfortable home, drinking coffee from my Element mug and eating toast for breakfast, I am carried away with you accross the world. Please know your family and chruch families are lifting you and Asia's Hope ministry each day.

I pray for direction and clarity for you and Dave as you make decisions. Love you...

Karen said...

first, you get the gay bashing comments when you and jeff are on the vespa, now it follows you to cambodia. BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

John said...

Hi John: This is Bobbi. Thanks so much for the time you take to keep the blog flowing. It helps me be there with you. (And it gives me a heads up on what Dr. John is doing.) Thanks.

teddy dellesky said...

your design background, whitty personality, and decor do leave you open to such comments...we won't even mention the vespa-sharing adventures by you and jeff...we love you greatly nonetheless. i've enjoyed reading your blogs and am praying for all of you