Monday, February 07, 2005

What a day.

My morning started out with a very stressful conversation with Kori about a major financial setback we have suffered as a family. I was very discouraged, and very discouraging. I had to call back later to apologize for my lack of faith and leadership.

When things hit the fan, it's difficult to be on the other side of the world. I actually considered cutting my trip short, but I PROMISED the kids in Battambang that I would return before I left. I miss my wife and kids a lot today. A lot. I'm not very good at this long-distance-husband thing.

(Regarding the setback, I'm now either experiencing the peace that passes understanding or an exceptional level of denial.)

Then we went out the orphanage in Phnom Penh and spent a couple of hours with the kids. There are two children with whom I've developed a special attachment: Sophat, a 10 year old boy, and Sreyvat, a 5 year old girl. When we left, many of the kids said, "See you tomorrow, Daddy." For a number of reasons I'd prefer the kids call me 'Uncle' or 'John,' but it's a very touching sentiment nonetheless. I still feel much closer to the kids in Battambang -- I've known them for much longer -- but the little ones in Phnom Penh are really quite special.

(Speaking of special kids, Dave returned from Thailand yesterday and has a heartful of ideas for orphans in that country. All we need is money. We have a turnkey operation there: great staffers available, a willing and energetic coalition of indigenous Christian leaders who are excited about working with us, and a desperate need. Pray that God will use us to advance his kingdom in Thailand.)

Later in the afternoon, Dave, Tim and I went with Pheakday to help a girl named Sreymom move out from the home of her boyfriend who was abusing her. We arranged for her spend the night with Pheakday and then relocate to another province to live in a Christian women's shelter. Very emotional for all of us. Thank God I didn't deck the guy.

Then we had dinner and spent a few hours with the university students. As we left the student center, Dave got a phone call from Pheakday. Bad news -- Sreymom had left Pheakday's apartment, and against strenuous urging from Pheakday and her sister Vottey, had returned to her abusive boyfriend. She said she just wanted to say 'goodbye,' but we're not sure that's the case. If she doesn't return tonight, the offer from the shelter goes off the table. Very sad.

Now I'm going to try to call Kori and see if we can do some more damage control with our situation at home. Just pray. We know God will provide. We see it here every day.

Praise God.



Meestah Jeem said...

Hey John,

I got your email and am ready to help as soon as Kori calls me (see my email reply). Not to worry unduly though... errors like this happen all too often. I'll have things in control and a reconstruction plan by the time you arrive back in Columbus!

God never burdens us with more than we can handle...


John McCollum said...

Thanks, Jim.

You come highly recommended as a cpa. Honest enough to not cheat me, but just dishonest enough to find me all of the deductions.

Just kidding.

You and I share the same philosophy: render to Caesar every last cent that belongs to Caesar. But not any more if you can help it.


Karen said...

fighting long distance SUCKS. i'm sorry that happened. especially the fact that there was a money setback. that sucks even worse. :(

i love hearing your stories. i love hearing about what is going on there and your attachment to the kids, as well as their attachment to you.

it's so frusterating when a woman/girl goes back to an abusive spouse/boyfriend. if she went back to say goodbye she's not ready to leave. all you can do is offer.