Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sunday Cambodia Style

This morning we were up and ready for a wonderful day of praise and worship. Little did we know what surprises lay around the corner for us! Sokhom had invited his friends, Paul & Debbie Pinckley, who manage the Ship of Hope to come worship with us. Paul taught Sunday School. I taught the Sunday school for about 20 children. Garrett preached...but not before Sokhom and Srey Nang surprised us with a Cambodian soup for breakfast. Sokhom gives Srey Nang a little break on Sundays, and we ate out at lunch with Debbie, Dian, lLinda and Paul at a fancy tourist-type restaurant downtown. The food was delicious, but we all prefer eating right here at home with Srey Nang cooking for us!Debbie came back to watch me with the children. The children are precious! Their twenty shining faces are eager to learn both English and stories from the Bible. Today we reviewed songs and colors from Friday's lesson. Then we delved into the story of how the butterfly and the frog are born again as the song declares. Srey Nang made her debut translating for my class. It reminded me of Jyoti's debut, but I found Srey Nang to not be as familiar with the stories thus adding to her stress. She did a fabulous job, I think. We talked about the butterfly effect and how one single person can change the life of so many others. I used the sotry of the little boy who had only five breads and two fishes but was wiling to give all he had to Jesus. Then we added Make a Heart for Jesus to their singing repertoir. Debbie enjoyed the sticker storyboards as we retold the story over and over for the cildren to create their own take home version. We hit it off tremendously, and I shared with her ideas that they might be able to incorporate into their programs in villages as the Ship of Hope sails up and down the Mekong River bringing medical attention and Bible sotries to the children of the villages. They usually have an audience of 100+ children for the games and Bible stories at the end of the day. The ship is staffed by Cambodian medical teams with volunteers who come from the States for a month or two at a time. Paul & Debbie sold everything, leaving his career at Pepperdine and the beautiful home they had to commit to a life of service here in Cambodia. After nine months, they are making wonderful strides in the culture and have come to love the people who share their home onboard the ship. After volunteering for a month, Linda went home and sold her belongings to return to Cambodia for an undertermined length of time as well.After lunch Sokhom took us on a very personal tour of the Killing Fields. We walked where a short time back the blood of over 8,000 innocent victims was shed. We found bones, teeth and clothing fragments still protruding from the pathways. WE stood in reverant awe at the edge of the indention which once held 100 women and children and were moved by the precious display of concern from hundreds of school children who have brought hand-made bracelets to adorn the fence surrounding it. Our hearts ached as Sokhom spoke of the experiences he had in a similar field where he too wa and kicked into a mass grave only to be "rescued" at the last minute by a supervisor who felt his youth and strength could better serve the regime in their prison. Tears filled his eyes and ours as we came face to face with the attrocities of genecide...the killing of all the educated, skilled and innocent. Over 3,000,000 Cambodians were killed by Cambodians between 1975 and 1979.From the Killing Fields Memorial we drove back into town to visit the school supply store for crayons to use with the activity books we brought for the children. WE were impressed with all the supplies available, but disappointed to find none of the products were actually made in Cambodia.A quick stop by the souvenir shops was profitable for Garrett on our way to the Cambodia Church of Christ where we worshipped with a packed ouse includingabout ten American missionaries working in various parts of the city. WE met thecousin of Faye Moore, a friend of Stuart Platte's, Julie who is supported by Terry & Cherie Creech, and good friends of Megan & Sean Miller! Imagine the small world in which we live!WE drove through town after dark in awe of teh twinkling lights adorning the trees along the boulevards. The sleepy town was lit for celebration of a wonderful day! We stopped by the supermarket to pick up sandwich supplies for tonight and tomorrow lunch and headed on home.Srey Nang had taken advantage of a day away from the stove to relax, but she snuck time in to take care of my laundry as well! I am set to go again to face a new week of excitement and joy in the Lord!

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