Remember Me

While we were at Angkor Wat, the children were everywhere with all kinds of trinkets to sell.  One of them tried to get our attention by stating flatly and with a straight face, “Obama is my father.”  Another came up to me and said, “Where are you from?”  I said the U.S.  She said, “Your president is Obama, your capital is Washington, D.C.  What state?”  Ohio, I said.  “Columbus is your state capital.”  As I walked into a restaurant to eat, she said to me, “Remember me.”  She was asking me to remember her when I came out so I would buy something from her.  I took it another way.

The thing I remember most about Cambodia are the faces.  Here are a few of them.

Sokhom leading worship

Sokhom leading worship

Children at Light of Holy LIfe

Children at Light of Holy LIfe

Children at Light of Holy Life

Children at Light of Holy Life

Kitchen ladies at Light of Holy Life

Kitchen ladies at Light of Holy Life

Phina, Sokhom's daughter

Phina, Sokhom's daughter

Theary, our Cambodian daughter

Theary, our Cambodian daughter

Children at Light of Holy Life

Children at Light of Holy Life

Children at Light of Holy Life

Children at Light of Holy Life

Child executed in the killing fields

Child executed in the killing fields

Family in the dump

Family in the dump

Child digging through trash at the dump

Child digging through trash at the dump

Children at the dumpsite ministry

Children at the dumpsite ministry

Children reading at the dumpsite ministry

Children reading at the dumpsite ministry

Child at the dumpsite ministry

Child at the dumpsite ministry

Girl in class by the dump

Girl in class by the dump

Dancers at the orphanage

Dancers at the orphanage

Children at the orphanage

Children at the orphanage

Children at the orphanage

Children at the orphanage

Children at the orphanage

Children at the orphanage

Joseph shows us how to use a Khrama

Joseph shows us how to use a Khrama

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Home

We have now arrived home in Dayton after a long drive back over snowy roads today.  Glad to be home.  More pictures in the next post.

Columbus

Arrived on time in Columbus last night. Liz and the boys were there at security with signs and cheerful faces. I was so glad to see them. We stayed the night at an airport hotel because the weather is really bad here. I’m glad. It was good to hit a bed rather than face a longer-than-usual, slippery drive home. It is still snowing heavily here, so we are debating timing for returning to Dayton.
On a down note, my bag that made it every step of the way somehow did not make it from Chicago to Columbus and, as of now, has not been found by AA. Hopefully it will show up soon.
I have a few more pictures to share and, since we are stuck in a hotel anyway, will see about ways to post some.

Chicago

We’re in Chicago awaiting our last flight to Columbus. I understand it is snowing. I pray we can get home tonight. Looking forward to seeing you all.

Flying across the international date line is a trip. Today is 36 hours long. We watched the sum rise twice and set twice–same day. Weird. I think of all the times I have wished for more hours in a day. It’s not worth it.

See you all soon.
PT

Tokyo

We are at the Yahoo! internet cafe at Tokyo Narita awaiting our flight back to Chicago. So far no delays. Looking foward to being back. Please continue your prayers for us. I look forward to seeing you all when I return.

Leaving

This morning we left Cambodia.  As much as I am looking forward to being home, I am sad to be leaving.  We have made good friends here, friends in Christ, who will always be our friends, even around the world. 

Esther and Nicholas will be itinerating again this summer in Ohio, as will Beverly and Emmanuel Barte (from the Philippines)  I look forward to seeing them again, but cannot forget Sokhom, the pastor we support, and Joseph (in Khmer: Chilleo).  Their enthusiasm for Christ is infectious.  We have so much to learn from them.  Listening to Chilleo pray for us in Khmer this morning sent chills up my spine and tears to my eyes.  I look forward to returning.

We are now safely in Bangkok and will be leaving in the morning for the three flights home (via Tokyo, Chicago and Columbus).  Please pray for no delays and safe flights. 

May the Spirit of Christ that animates the church in Cambodia blow across the waters and fill the church in America.

Angkor Wat

I wish I had a picture to upload on this one.  There is no way to capture what we saw today.  The size and immensity of the temples of Angkor Wat is amazing.  Built in the 11th and 12th century, these formerly Hindu, now Buddhist temples are an awe inspiring sight.  They easily rival the monuments of the greatest civilizations, Egypt, Rome, Greece, Babylon, Maya, Inca and all the rest. 

Though I have never seen it, the Cambodians are very proud that Tomb Raider was made here.  If you’ve seen it, you have perhaps some idea of what we saw today.  It was hot (very hot) and that made for a lot of water consumption.  The children were everywhere with all kinds of goods to sell and share.  One little girl came up to me and said, “You are from the US?  Obama is your president.  Washington, D.C. is your captial city.  Where do you live?”  When I replied, “Ohio,” she said, Columbus is your state capital.”  Amazing the things they pick up.  Of courser it was all to get me to buy from her rather than the next child, but it was endearing nevertheless.  I ended up buying a book about the history of Ankgor Wat from her, and some bracelets from other children.

Quilters, we went to the silk farm today and Michelle caught video of the silk making, staining, and weaving process.  This is a government run facility, but the Methodist church is trying to replicate it in another province to provide jobs and economic empowerment for women.

We also heard about the CHAP program (I’ve forgotten the acronym, but will look it up), which is a Heifer Project style program run by the Methodist church here where one can give a cow or a pig in a family and they pass the blessing to another in the village.  So much good work going on here.  The church is really growing, thanks be to God!

Michelle got a wonderful video of Pastor Lun Sokhom telling part of his life’s story and how he came to Christ.  We are supporting a gifted leader with a real heart for the gospel.  I can’t wait to share more when we return.

Tonight we are going to the royal ballet.  Then tomorrow morning, we’re off on the two-day journey home.

I am praying for you all as you rise this morning and prepare for worship.  I miss you all and look forward to sharing with you all that God is doing through your faithfulness, and the faithfulness of so many others.

Galilee?

The boat ride was about 6 hours long but took us on a fascinating a different view of Cambodia.  The river was full of fishermen casting nets.  I felt like I was visiting Galilee.  There were hydroponic gardens floating in the river, and women coming to the riverbank to wash clothes.  What stuck me most were the number of villages that rely on the river for their livelihood.  Tonle Sap is a river that branches off of the Mekong in Phnom Penh and leads to a giant lake that floods to twice its size during the rainy season.  When we were crossing the lake, we went for over an hour without seeing shore anywhere.  It is huge.  To think how much it floods when it rains.  Esther said that it is not safe to take the boat ride in the rainy season because of the storms and the waves get so rough.  Again, I think of Galilee. 

In the early afternoon we arrived in Siem Riep, the biggest tourist attraction in Cambodia where foreigners (like us) steam to to visit Angkor Wat (of Tombraider fame).  We ate at a restaurant last night called the Red Piano that had a picture of Angelina Jolie eating there.  There was also a caution in the menu about dressing modestly, which we found humorous when juxtaposed with the picture of Jolie.  Siem Riep is much more western than Phnom Penh, and caters much more to western tourists.

I think we are all tired.  Though we are looking forward to the silk farm and temples today at Angkor Wat, we are all ready to come home.

Taking the boat

We are taking the boat up the Tomle Sap river and lake to Siem Riep today. Not sure when I’ll have wifi again.

Taking the boat

We are taking the boat up the Tomle Sap river and lake to Siem Riep today. Not sure when I’ll have wifi again.

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