Thursday, October 13, 2005

Written last night

Tonight, for the second night in a row, we had a nearly perfect meal. Actually, last night’s was as close to perfect as I can imagine. We went down to the riverfront, and found a little restaurant called “Lemongrass.” From the moment the beautiful hostess opened the door, we knew we were in for a treat. The decor was warm and vibrant; dark wood fixtures, deep-red pillows, and silken wallhangings with tasteful gold accents accompanied by soothing music and a tantalizing aroma redolent of ginger and kaffir lime. We reclined tableside on soft, red cushions and ordered three curries; one white, one green and one red. We also ordered a dish made with chopped pork, hot chilies, basil and lime leaves.

The plates arrived, each one beautifully presented; some came in covered lacquer bowls, others on platters with flowers carved intricately from vegetables. As we ate, each delicious bite elicited sighs and coos and oohs and ahhs. None of us could remember a better tasting meal. My dad said, “I could live on this.” John Ward said, “And people think we’re over here suffering for the Lord.” I said, “Dave Atkins [notoriously picky eater and Executive Director of Asia’s Hope] doesn’t know what he’s missing. Kate Ward said something that sounded like, “Gaaahahaharrrr....mmmmm...”

Tonight, we ate at The Boddhi Tree, a restaurant so beautiful it made us forget its awful location, across the street from Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. Kate and I both ordered the tuna steak -- $4 for a meal that would cost four times that in Columbus -- and my dad and John Ward got Khmer curries. We also ordered fruit smoothies to drink with dinner and creme brulee for dessert. Again, it was amazing. I’m batting about .950 on meals this trip. The Mexican restaurant wasn’t great, but everything else has been delicious. And cheap. Breakfast for the team, for instance, costs about $2.60 at the Bayon Bakery.

All this to say, God is blessing us with warm fellowship, productive work and outrageously good food.

After dinner, John Ward, Kate Ward and I went to one of our three university student centers for an evening of teaching and worship with our 60 college students. I’m sad that our schedule will only allow us to spend one or two nights with those students on this trip. I miss them all terribly, but I know that I’ll be back, and that we have the rest of eternity to get to know each other.

Now it’s late -- around 11pm -- and I’m beat. Jet lag has still not released me from its grip. I’m praying for a good night’s sleep. We have a big day tomorrow, and leave for Battambang the next day. Please continue to pray for us.


Karen said...

the food sounds amazing.

thankyou for taking the time to post about so much and in so much detail...i love it. :)

i'm praying for you, for your health especially. take care and get some sleep!

Kim Dravenstott said...

John, I'm so happy things are going well his trip. I hope you will stay healthy. I miss it more everyday! Kiss the kids for me! I'm praying for you.

Kim Dravenstott

Alex said...

Has anyone here heard of You review home decor right?

caleb maskell said...


great to see your reports. praying for you guys.

we have a young woman named megan hubbard coming to our home group here in new haven who is from columbus and says she knows you (or at least knows of you)....small world i guess.

lots of love...-c.

erica said...

mmmmmmmm ... red curry ... green curry ... mmmmmmmmm

That was a sublime description. Now my pregnant mouth is watering. I think I might make me some of that food this weekend.

I am especially glad to hear that you are eating food from clearly safe restaurants as it is my deep and on-going prayer that you stay healthy on this trip. These are just the sorts of restaurants in which safe food usually happens. Well done, good and faithful servant of the Lord. You CONTRIBUTE to that developing economy. And eat some more for me.


John McCollum said...


Pregnant mouth?

That's probably my favorite phrase ever.