Saturday, February 19, 2005

Some recent photos at this link, in case you're interested.


It's been a long day. Gary and I borded the bus in Battambang at 7am, and made good time to Phnom Penh. In fact, we got there before the rest of the team, so we had a chance to do a little shopping. (If you're interested in buying some really cool stuff at vastly inflated prices for a good cause, we'll be doing a silent auction some time in the near future.)

We had an outreach at the New Life Church. I'd say there were close to 1,000 college-age kids. They were invited by their Christian friends to hear some music and to hear about the good news. We paid for dinner. Dave and I sang a couple of tunes. The church band played a few Khmer worship songs. The kids did some drama and dance sorts of things. Caleb spoke briefly, and Vek Huong closed. A good time was had by all, I think.

Then our team headed down to the river to the Veiyo Tonle restaurant. We've become regulars there. The food's okay -- they do a pretty good pizza. I had an excellent Thai curry. Very spicy, very tasty. The rest of the team went back to the guesthouse, while John and I headed off via tuk-tuk to an internet cafe with a good connection. Praise God for decent bandwidth.

Tomorrow, we're going to teach various classes at New Life, the country's largest evangelical church, and parent to more than 70 congregations nationwide. We'll also head out to the orphanage, and then we've decided to charter a couple of riverboats to take the kids from the student centers out on a picnic on the Mekong. Or on the Tonle Sap. Or the Bassac. Wherever they want to go. We're meeting where the rivers converge, and we'll take it from there.

On Monday, we have a few more immunizations at the orphanage, and I'm going to bring some hair gel for the boys. Last time we were there, I sprayed them with water and spiked their hair. They loved it. But as soon as it dried, the new look sorta fell apart. This time, I'm going to do it right. I'll take pictures.

We've got a few more things to do in the afternoon and evening, and then we're out. We leave Tuesday morning for the USA. I'm very excited to see my family, but I'm also sad to leave. I really do love this place; it feels like a second home. Whenever we fly into Cambodia, I get a warm, familiar feeling as we approach Phnom Penh. This place really gets into your blood (Just ask my doctor).

I wish I could take you all here. The smells, the sights, the sounds can all be described, but even photos and video don't do the place justice. It's really unlike any place I've ever been. I hope that some day, each of you who wish to experience some of the things I've written about will be able to join me. I want you to smell the diesel and dust and charcoal, to taste the curry, to feel the heat. I want you to meet Kosal and Sophat and the other orphans, to listen to Vek Huong tell about his escape from the Khmer Rouge, to walk the rolling hills of the mass graves at Cheong Ek and to feel the weight of the martyr's bones with your own hands.

Cambodia will blow your mind. But in a good way, I trust. This place would be completely depressing if it wasn't for the Kingdom of God unfolding across the land. It'll expand your conception of 'church,' and it'll give glimpses of evil that words can't even begin to describe.

As Saint Richard (Mullins) said, "With these our hells and our heavens, so few inches apart. We must be awfully small and not as strong as we think we are."

Anyway, I'll probably write at least once more before I go. Thanks for hanging in there with me. I know that my punctuation has been pretty bad, and my prose a bit haggard, but I'm just shooting from the hip, trying to give you a brain dump. I hope you've been blessed, or at least a little bit entertained.

Peace and love.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good Morning or goodnite to you!!

I sit here at the computer this Sunday AM with my Element mug, thinking of you. I trust your last service at New Life was great and we eagerly anticipate your return.

I go this am to Church praying for opportunity to uplift and share as well as encourage and learn.

The same I have prayed for you each day in Cambodia....

Love you,