Hello, everyone! We have been in Cambodia almost a week and wanted to share a little bit of what we have been doing. As I wrote this, our first rainstorm rolled in. It is raining crazy-like outside! A little boy is dancing and screaming widely in the street below. It looks like fun! It is hard to wrap my mind around the fact that I will not see my family for a year...that this crazy place of motos, markets, pouring rain, humid heat and incredible brokenness is my life now. I have not yet understood it.
We have primarily been settling in the last few days. Our apartment comes furnished which is wonderful but there were still things needed. To name a few: dishes (cool Vietnamese ones from the market), a rice cooker, a water cooler, pots and pans (from Australia) and a few lamps (I am becoming friends with this kind and excellent Cambodian business woman about my age who has a lamp store in the market).
On Sunday we went to IHSI's church plant in the Saang Province. It was incredible to join Cambodians worshipping in their language. We took communion together which reminded me that the core practices of Christianity bypass any culture and go straight to the heart. A few girls I had connected with last year were still attending and it was fun to see them again. I look forward to our future chats.
This is getting long so I will close with ten of my favorite thoughts thus far:
1. One of the homes across the street stores mannequins on their porch. It is weird and creepy in the middle of the night.
2. A pack of dogs like to fight outside our bedroom window in the middle of the night. Fun.
3. It is HOT. My ankles are the size of canteloupes and many of the Cambodians stare at them and seem very concerned. I am concerned as well.
4. We can buy a 5 gallon jug of water for $1. Cool.
5. I LOVE shopping in the market. We will go every day to buy food. Today I bought potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, garlic, onions and mushrooms for less than $1. So great.
6. I can count to 6 in Khmer already and tell someone that I don't need a tuk-tuk because I have a car. (Except that I don't have a car but someday that phrase may be helpful.)
7. Today I saw what appeared to be a cart of car-sick chickens (or should I say cart-sick?). I found out that wasn't quite accurate...more on that in a later blog.
8. We just bought our first illegal movie. It has every movie Denzel Washington has ever made -- about 20. Awesome!
9. I bought the cutest loose leaf tea pot for $2. It's like a french press for tea.
10. Ginny updated me today on a family we have been praying for out in Saang province. The dad sold his 12 year old daughter into slave labor at a mattress factory, sold his house piece by piece to feed his alcohol addiction and has disappeared with his youngest girl. The daughter escaped the factory and is moving house to house in her village. All of his other kids are in foster care with Cambodian families in their village. Hearing this broke my heart and made me want to take her in. Before long you will probably hear us talk about a safehouse that we will be raising funds for in order to help children like Srei Poa. My restorative heart has found its home. There is much to be done.
Much love to you all! Please keep in touch and let us know how we can be praying for you.