Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Day two

Long post – combination of a whole day’s worth of activities. The internet equipment (modem, computer, hubs, etc) is all set up at the orphanage, but no service from the ISP, so I’m at the mercy of the local internet café…

Soooo busy

Well, it’s day two in Cambodia and all is well. The rest of the team probably feels underutilized, but I’m feeling a bit overrun. I’ve put a lot of time into scheduling and planning for the rest of the trip, and I’ve already had two administrative meetings since 8am.

Julie’s still not feeling well – not sure what the problem is, but she’s taking Cipro just in case. Pray for her; she’s feeling a bit discouraged. I think she just needs to sleep and get her body adjusted to the new place and time.

The rest of the team is doing great; they went shopping at the Russian Market today, and they seemed to have a great time. The Russian Market is a blast, but it can provoke sensory overload with its rows and rows of veggies, knickknacks, motorcycle parts, dead and dying food things and clothes. Every step one takes is dogged by vendors and beggars: “You buy something? Very nice scarf for you. For your wife? Okay, how much you buy for? Hello, please, nyam bai [eat something] please…”

I was hoping to wait ’til Chiang Mai to buy a suit, but as it turns out, I need one for my big meeting next week. Pheakday will be taking me to the tailor at 3pm. We’ll see how that goes. My Thai suit and shirts are great. I’ve not had much luck with Cambodian tailors.

Tomorrow will be busy for the whole team. In the morning, we’re heading out to the school to hang out with our kids for a couple of hours. Afterward, we’re going to visit the Tuol Sleng genocide museum and then the Killing Fields at Cheong Ek. Powerful, important, but not fun. We’ll spend some time at the orphanage in the evening, and then the university student centers at nighttime.

On Friday, we’ve got Cambodian cooking classes and an outreach with Narin’s new church plant team. Saturday, we hope to take the kids to the water park. I can’t wait.

All it takes is money

Just had a meeting with a good friend, a Christian pastor whom we’ve known for years. Dave and I have always dreamed of working with this man, but he’s never been available to us – until now. This guy is gold: humble, gentle, knowledgeable, capable, passionate. And boy, do we need someone like him to head up our Cambodian operations. Unfortunately, were strapped financially. We already send every cent we raise. Please, please, please pray that we can raise $300 per month to hire this guy. Having this guy on board would improve every aspect of our ministry in Cambodia, but we can’t afford it yet. We know God can provide. Please join us in praying for this specific need.

Buying a suit – or not…

Well, I just got back from the tailor. No luck. As I mentioned before, I really didn’t want to have to buy a suit here in Cambodia. My trip to the tailor reinforced that perspective.

First, I should mention that I’m exhausted. I really should have taken a nap today, but I didn’t have time. So I’m a bit fried.

When I got to the tailor, I realized that I’d forgotten to bring my copy of GQ, which I’d purchased as a guide. Unfortunately, the tailor had no recent magazines or helpful catalogs – only three brochures from the same tuxedo company. There were a few mannequins, but none of them were wearing anything I liked. On top of all that, I couldn’t negotiate a price I was comfortable paying for a suit that I might never wear again. Pheakday took me to another place, but no dice there, either. I think I’m going to return tomorrow at about 6am with Peter, GQ in hand.

I have to keep on reminding myself that this paperwork signing is plenty important, and that I should just settle for a mediocre suit if that’s what it takes.


Back on track

Shame on me for getting discouraged by a stupid thing like a new suit. We had a fantastic evening. I was almost ready to drop from exhaustion until we arrived at the orphanage. When we arrived only three three youngest were home from school. Sna, Rosa and Bruan (I jacked up that spelling, I’m sure) greeted us with hugs and smiles. We ran around with them for about a half hour until the other kids arrived.

After another round of hugs and greetings, the older kids ran upstairs to shower and change out of their school uniforms. When they came back down, they were ready to play. We tried to teach them Uno to only moderate avail. The paper football games were much more successful. Finally our team had a chance to connect with the kids – we each had children hanging from our arms and crowding into our laps. Truly a sweet time. I also got a chance to take some good photos (I don’t have time to post them now – I’m really sorry, but the internet place closes in 20 minutes). It was so great to get happy pictures of Sokthoun, who looked so miserable in the only photo we had, one that was taken his first day at the Orphan Home.

Steve and Jane fitted Milea (a new girl) and Soriya with glasses – the girls were delighted, and then we all left together for dinner with the directors, Sophal and Narin. We were joined by Quenie and Narin Chey, who have been my friends for years. We took them out to a relatively fancy restaurant and dropped a relatively large amount of cash. We knew it was a bit extravagant, but we wanted to honor Sophal and Narin for all of their hard work.

I’m totally beat now, but happy and encouraged. Thank you all for this opportunity to serve.

1 comment:

Karen said...

i will probably say this every time i comment, but thank you SO much for posting! i'm so glad that there will be happy pictures of sokthoun, and i'm sure you're working out all the questions that you and i had about the kids and their names. yay for glasses for the kids!
this is wonderful news. maybe when you get back we can come up with a way to help fundraise to fund that pastor being on staff?