Thursday, July 16, 2009

Cambodia Update #6

Hello Everyone!

Well, amazingly enough, there are now less than two weeks left of this mission adventure. We taught at the Vietnamese school again tonight and I was really sad thinking that we only have two more times with them – I’m going to miss them! Only God knows what He has accomplished through us for the people He loves in Cambodia while we’ve been here, but I know He has accomplished a lot in me. It has been a good refining process: dealing with pride, learning to be slow to speak and quick to listen, finding my strength and security in Christ. All of these are areas in which He has already been at work in my life prior to coming to Cambodia, but it seems like the process has been stepped up a notch – always a good thing, whether I like it or not!

Since my last update our team took a weekend trip up to Siem Reap to see Angkor Wat and some of the other famous ancient temples. It was quite interesting (and really good exercise as well). Siem Reap is a lot different than Phnom Penh. It is much less congested & more geared toward tourists. One of our tuk tuk drivers while we were there is a solid believer. His name was Van San (though I’m not sure if that’s how it is spelled). The other is not a believer, though he seems to be searching. He speaks English pretty well so we were able to have a few good discussions. It is clear that he has a lot of respect for Van San and that his friendship has had an impact on him. We gave Van San a Khmer Bible before leaving which he immediately gave to the other driver. Pray that God continues to draw him to Himself and that he will respond to the truth he sees lived out in Van San’s life. While we were in Siem Reap I also had the opportunity to meet up with a couple, David & Lara Narita, who are friends with my friend Kathy (Smith) Phelan. Kathy and Lara were in medical school together at the University of Iowa while I was in PT school there. They are involved in church planting in the Siem Reap area and both are doing medical work part time. David is a doctor at Angkor Hospital for Children. It was very encouraging talking with both of them. I enjoyed hearing about what they are doing in Cambodia and learning that we even have some common Cambodian connections (including that their kids went to Logos when they lived in Phnom Penh and they know Kim, our connection with the Vietnamese students we are teaching English). Also, they gave me very positive feedback regarding the prospects for someone with my particular set of skills and experience finding a place to plug in here in Cambodia.

Over the last two days I got to tour the Veterans International center and the Cambodian Trust center. Both provide physical therapy services as well as prosthetics, orthotics, wheelchairs, and other equipment for people with disabilities. Both seem to be fairly well-equipped and are really great resources for people living in the areas they serve. I got to visit with a Cambodian physiotherapist and watch her treat the cutest little boy with cerebral palsy yesterday. It was so fun!

Today I had lunch with some of the Cambodian Christians who work for Daughters. It was so encouraging to hear their stories. Most of them have come from a Buddhist background. One of the girls said that her father had been a very strong Buddhist but he was the first in her family to come to Christ. After that all the rest of her immediate family eventually became believers and some of them are now pastors, including her dad.

There is much more that I want to write, but I’ll never get this sent if I do. I look forward to filling you all in on the rest later, maybe after I’m back in the states and, for some of you, in person – it won’t be long now! Thanks again for all your prayers & support!

  • Praise God for how He is at work here in Cambodia and pray that we will be sensitive to how He would have us participate for the rest of our time here and make the most of every opportunity.
  • Pray that I will be able to finish the work I’ve been doing on the catalog for the cakes and cake decorations that are made at Daughters. It seems to be coming along, but time is getting short.
  • Praise God that we have continued to stay healthy for the most part. Pray for continued health & safety, particularly that everyone would make it home safely.
  • Pray for the Christians in Cambodia. It is very difficult for many of them because their culture demands strong family loyalty and many of their families are not happy about their being Christians.

Grace & peace,