Friday, October 05, 2007

More from Phnom Penh

So many things to think about, so many things to write about. First of all, I don’t feel very well right now. I’m lying in the guest house bedroom trying to get a little rest, but I have a big knot in my stomach that hasn’t decided if it’s going to stay down or come roaring up. I haven’t vomited for a long time, and I’m hoping today isn’t the day.

I don’t think it’s anything we ate, since Chien is feeling fine, and we’ve shared all our meals. We’ve eaten pretty well so far. This morning, we got up early (as noted in the previous post) and ate breakfast at Psar Tuol Tompong, the so-called ‘Russian Market.’ We arrived at about 6am on a motorbike which was, incidentally, the same mode of transport that brought the freshly slaughtered pigs to the food court of the said market. We took our seats alongside Cambodian workers and school kids and ordered two bowls of rice soup with beef broth and various beef parts. It came from a boiling cauldron, so I’m pretty sure the soup was safe. Can’t necessarily say that the bowls or spoons were properly washed, so that could be what’s eating at my tummy.

After breakfast, we returned to the guest house, hung out for a while and headed off to the Asia’s Hope Christian School. Chien seemed to have a really good time. We sat in on a few classes, and Chien got to show off his typing skills in the computer lab. The kids were all impressed; he got the high score using the Mario Brothers typing software. (As a native English speaker, he did have an advantage, though, and probably would not fare as well typing in Khmer.)

I think that this trip is making quite an impact on Chien. We’ve had a couple of great conversations. He’s noticed (and it’s been pointed out to him repeatedly) that he looks more like the people here than I do, and he’s embracing his ‘Asian-ness.’ He volunteers the fact that he’s Vietnamese, and that he was adopted.

At lunch, he asked me if he could be in charge of Asia’s Hope when he grows up. I told him that it’s not my decision, but if he gets involved at an early age, he might get voted onto the board. He said “Well, I’m already involved.” I agreed and we talked about how he is not only a participant, but a very special ambassador as the first and youngest kid to ever visit these orphan homes and the school. We talked about how God called Dave and I to start Asia’s Hope, and about how the Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed. It starts small – barely noticeable, in fact – and grows to huge significance when empowered by God.

I believe that I’ve already gotten what I came for, and that is ‘buy-in’ from my son. I believe that he will always feel a connection with and a responsibility for this ministry. Praise God for that.

Tomorrow we’ll head off to Battambang to will visit our newest orphan home. From there, we’ll take a boat to Siem Reap, where we will visit the ancient Angkorian temples before taking a bus back to Phnom Penh.

I don’t feel like we’ve really gotten a chance to spend enough time with the kids and staff in Phnom Penh to be leaving them so soon, but it’s just the way the schedules are working out. We have some important meetings we need to work around, so we’ll just roll with the punches. Hopefully we’ll get a chance to just chill with our Phnom Penh people next week before we head to Chiang Mai on the 16th.

Please continue to pray for our health. We have a lot to do, and we’ll need the stamina. Tonight (unless I’m barfing, an outcome that seems more likely by the minute) we’re spending the evening with the kids from our university student center.

I’ll give you more info as I have the time to write. I’m doing everything on the laptop at the guest house and uploading at internet cafes as they become available. I’m looking forward to the day when decent internet access is affordable everywhere. Chien has about 10 minutes’ worth of patience for sitting around at the internet place while I check emails and upload stuff.

Peace to all of you. Thanks for supporting this ministry with your prayers and finances. God is doing some amazing things in the lives of these kids. It’s an honor to represent you all here.


Update: I’m feeling better this morning, but I’m still jetlagged. No vomiting, no nausea. Which is good, since I have to travel 5 hours over bumpy roads this today.

Chien is struggling a bit with the jetlag/fatigue, but I think he’ll be better soon. He got a more or less normal amount of sleep last night. I’m hoping today is a great one for him.

He’s really had some moments of sheer joy. He loves exploring the city, and he loves riding the motorcycle taxis (motos) with me. He’s already had one or two “best meals ever,” and he’s expressed some very grown-up thoughts and emotions. But when his stamina runs out, he crashes hard and becomes pretty sad and discouraged. I’m praying that today is a turning point in terms of sleep patterns/energy. He’s resisted taking naps during the day, but he really needs them.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the updates, we pray for you each day. Blessings,

Amanda said...

I'm so glad Chien is getting so much out of this trip. That's excellent news. And also, glad you didn't throw up. :)

Anonymous said...

Cool! Wish I was there with one of my kids!


Anonymous said...

Glad you got there safely.

Chien, why do they call the place you ate breakfast (Psar Tuol Tompong)the 'Russian Market?’

Was there anything in the school you visited that was the same as at your school?

Love you both,