Last Monday night, we drove to the airport to begin our journey. After more than 21 hours in planes, 25 hours in airports, a seven hour bus ride from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap and two Tuk-tuk rides we finally arrived at our project site on Friday afternoon. We met our missionary, Ahkim, who is from Indonesia but has been working in Cambodia for five years now. A cooling rain welcomed us to Siem Reap, but we were able to unload our bags just before it began to downpour. We are sharing the property with the Bible School students. Our girls have a room downstairs with a shower and toilet. Our boys are on the second floor, they have access to a shower and toilet in the kitchen below them. The windows have screens and we have some fans, so it cools down enough for us to sleep. I think we have all finally gotten over the jet-lag. During all the traveling you would more than likely find more than one person asleep every time we had the chance to sit down.
Our travels in Cambodia so far have taken us past countless rice paddies, children on bicycles riding to and from school, houses built on stilts, open markets and cricket catchers (a piece of plastic draped over bamboo poles).
Friday night we drove into town to do some shopping and we got to walk around the street market where sellers come out with everything from fruit to chicken gizzards, frogs and crickets. Of course a few of us had to try some! Yes, we bought a bag of fried crickets and even the girls were eating whole
Saturday morning we had a church service with the staff and students here at the base. Everyone is involved in ministry on Sundays. In Siem Reap some children atte
nd school in the morning and some in the afternoon from Monday through Saturday, so Sunday is the best opportunity to get all the children together for Bible Clubs. The students run two Bible Clubs on Saturday and six on Sunday. Each session includes songs, games, phonics and a Bible Story. One person prayed to receive Christ!
Sunday, we split the group into two so we could cover more Bible Clubs. Each student is in charge of one and there are as many as three running at the same time. One group went to an abandoned church just a stones throw from Angkor Wat. The Koreans built the church in 2006, but there is no one to pas
tor the church, so it has been sitting empty. There were about 25 kids who came for Bible Club.
In the afternoon we divided up again and half the group rode bicycles out to their Club. The other group rode in the truck and when they were about half way there, the clutch went out so they had to get a Tuk-tuk.
Monday morning the team rode their bikes down to the river to do one-on-one evangelism with the university students and others who like to sit on the benches lining the river.
It continues to rain each day sometimes more than once a day. The streets are muddy and wet. The clothes hang on the line for quite a while before they are dry. It is very hot when it is not raining. The air is very humid and sticky.
Everyone has been healthy and really enjoying experiencing the culture here in Cambodia.
Everyone has written a letter home
so hopefully you will hear from them soon, but until then:
Leah Hems- What I realized in traveling to Cambodia or anywhere overseas, that it takes a process and time. With all the long layovers and connecting flights and once you get to Cambodia, the long bus ride out to the Teen Missions base. I realized that even tough we live in a very upscale world, with many modes of transportation, it still takes time to arrive at our destination.
Larissa Pingley- We’re in CAMBODIA! Finally! The travel was nice. I would rather be in Cambodia than the USA any day because of the people, the country and the vehicles (you can be any age to drive a motorcycle).
Victoria Profio- The Tuk-tuks, the people and the children! It is all so wonderful here. The culture is so different, but in a good way. We’re not in the USA anymore!
Elsie Anne Gray- “Behold the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear Him, upon them that hope in His mercy.” This has been true over the past four days as we have traveled to Cambodia and I pray that as I minister here that I too would grow in the fear of the Lord.
Sharaya Lafortune- From the moment I walked outside of the airport on arrival to Cambodia I noticed three things…the heat, the surprising amount of Tuk-tuks and lastly I noticed the strange sense of peace I felt. This was odd, considering the amount of stress and anxiety I’d been experiencing even thinking about going to Cambodia. But now that I’m here…my heart is at peace. I cannot quite explain why, as the streets of Cambodia seem to be anything but peaceful, but the peace is just there. I’d like to think it’s the Holy Spirit comforting me, or maybe it’s my heart working with Jesus to say, “This is not a mistake, you are supposed to be here.” Whatever it is, I like it.