Making Disciples of All Nations

First Impressions – Cambodia 2016

IMG_0310 Eyes.  They’re said to be the window to the soul.   They are constantly helping us to see, know,  and understand  this vast world around us.  And yet we, thus far on our journey, have been left wanting.   Unfortunately, the consensus for the team as a whole has been one that’s caused us to grapple with an insatiable need to make sense of all the sights we’ve taking in, despite our apparent lack of visual acuity.

Life here in Cambodia seems very chaotic.  The lack of structure has seemingly affected the entire hierarchy of every branch of life.  Every highway and byway is devoid of all traffic rules that could and probably should govern the movement of any and all modes of transportation.  The lack of industry has contributed to the overwhelming existence of widespread poverty, clearly seen in the people, the dwellings, the city — in everything!  Sadly, the disparity between those who have much and those who don’t doesn’t seem to be very large.  Another observation of the people in general has been that from large to small, rich to poor, all are engaged, from the rising of the sun to the setting of the noon day’s light, in the constant battle of survival that begs them to yield all their energies in a fight to continue to exist.  Additionally, the lack of education, clearly a long-lasting result of the devastating regime of Pol Pot, is evidence of the country’s inability to progress and, in some respects, keeps them captive to living in abject poverty.

But there is something significantly greater that the people of Cambodia are lacking.  It’s hope. Their deep chasm of hopelessness is what keeps them in bondage to an empty way of life that yields one thing alone:  eternal separation from the One who longs to rescue them; longs to extend His grace in abundant measure, if only they will receive it; and longs to shower His everlasting love and blessing upon them.

Oh, that the LORD would remove the scales from their eyes so that those without sight may see!  So wake up, O, sleeper, and open your eyes.  See the redemption that’s drawing nigh.

So as we closed out our first day here in Phnom Penh we witnessed many things that will undoubtedly take up residency in our minds for many years to come. Joe and Kay are doing great, and it was so good to be greeted by them at the airport with smiles and hugs and kisses.  The ride to the CMA guesthouse was eventful, as we attempted to  pile over 1000 lbs. of luggage — to the tune of approximately 30 bags — nine team members, and Joe and Kay into a king cab pickup truck.  What?  That’s right…crazy!   Thankfully, Kay decided to be gracious to Heidi and Rachel and not make them ride on top of the luggage while holding on for dear life.  So Kay hijacked Megan and the four of them got to travel by tuktuk.  What a way to start out the day in Phnom Penh.  That night we spent a fair amount of time poring over the bags of supplies and began our initial separation of the medications.

Friday:  Our day started out this morning at 5 a.m as we loaded the van and set out for our 7-hour trip to Mondulkiri.  It has been a delightful journey as we have taken in the countryside and learned much about Cambodia’s culture.  We look forward to sharing with you more about all we’re doing.

So with that, Dear Church, thank you for praying for us and with us for our precious future brothers and sisters in Christ.  What rejoicing there will be as we all worship together before His throne!

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