Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Khmer Church Baptism







Last Sunday, was once again another day of celebration that brought tears to my eyes.  Chris and I spent the morning with the Khmer house church that worships in 2Five2's building in Prek Pneu.  Over the last two years this church has grown near and dear to our hearts, and now are people we can call friends.  They welcome us with words of encouragement, hugs, and smiles.  This group of amazing people can brighten the day of anyone who is in need of a smile.

The church baptized 29 (yes, 29!) men, women, and children last Sunday in a large orange cooler (so great!)  Samrach, the pastor, has been leading this group of new believers since Christmas when they all became followers of Christ.

During the midst of frustrating days, we are quickly reminded of the beauty of God's work in this country.  As Chris said, while driving our moto home, "this is why we moved here, watching people come to know Jesus in a country that is in need of such healing."  There is nothing more true than that.

On this day, the people and the environment could only be defined by the word joy. People were walking, speaking, sitting, singing in a posture of joy.  However, as we took the left turn on the dirt road out of the village we saw a woman on all fours, bowing down to the four monks she had just given her money to.  It was such a contrast of posture, emotion, and lifestyle.  We ask you to join us in praying for this church and our ministry to continue to reach those in this community so they can too experience this joy, joy in Christ.

We consider ourselves blessed, and are filled with thankfulness as we partner with the church, and in the words of Samrach, "thank you working with us in the kingdom here." 

video

In the video the church is singing, "Jesus, we are committing ourselves to you."

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Banquet

Last weekend was the Logos Junior/Senior Banquet and it was a wonderful night to celebrate the Seniors and laugh at the many memories these students have of their class and their school. 

I don't know who loves who more?  Chris has been the homeroom teacher for these Seniors for the past 2 years.  Also, a lot of these guys are in his bible study and played on the soccer team.  They are the class that welcomed us into Logos, and the class we will have to say good-bye to very soon.  They are a wonderful group of girls and guys that have blessed our time here in Cambodia.  The guys adore Chris and have been so encouraging the past few days on how much of an impact Chris has had on each of their lives.  It is a bittersweet time for this amazing group of people.
 The Banquet was a fun-filled night with good food, fun memories, and wonderful people.  Other teachers and staff were invited and we enjoyed sitting, eating, and watching the evening's events with those other staff.  It was held in the beautiful Intercon Hotel, and we always love an opportunity to dress up and look nice in a city where we just normally feel "not-so-put-together".
As said before, we will miss you Seniors, but are deeply excited for what is ahead for you, and look forward to hearing your updates!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Hot Like a Hot Dog

It's the middle of hot season here, and we can feel it more than ever.  Some days are better than others but all are still VERY hot.  The weather here never drops below 75 degrees (or not since we have lived here) all year round, but March, April, and May are labeled the months of "hot season."

During these three months it is when we don't get the cool down in the mornings and evenings.  Even though it's not much the rest of the year, you can at least wake up to feel a cooler breeze, or sit on the porch at night in mild comfort.

Usually, the temperture sits around 95 degrees, with about 80% humidity, making our heat index anywhere from 105-115.  I try to tell myself everyday that it is not really that hot, and it isn't, but the killer is not having aircon. I think about the South in the US, and how they often are that hot, but the key difference is central air in homes, restaurants, shops, etc.  We just don't have those spots of relief here. 

The other major issue is that we don't have consistant power.  Cambodia doesn't have the infrastructure to get power to the whole country or to growing areas in the cities.  Our electricty is diesel fuel powered through Thailand. At both our work places we lose power everyday for anywhere between 1-5 hours, and some days (the long ones) all day.  This is brutal.  Without a fan directly on you, the sweat just pours.  We find ourself praying, "Lord please just give us power for half the day today."  These times without power, seem the most draining, and are when it takes all your energy to just not freak out but try to find other ways to cool your body down (and try to keep working...).

Some examples of our thoughts and experiences:
- Driving home I said to myself, "It feel like a global size hair dryer is on me at full blast heat."
- While trying to buy fabric at the market I was sweating through all my clothes so bad (even pants) that the lady told me to sit down, drink some water, and she started to fan me while laughing."  Very kind of her but a tad embarrasing.
- Walking out of our bedroom in the morning after sleeping in aircon, Chris says, "it feels like a legitimate sauna in our living room."  I choose to stay in our bedroom for another 30 minutes.
- This morning I told Chris, "I only have 3 days this week that I won't be in aircon.  It's going to be a good week."


 This hot season has been trying but we are near the end. The monsoon rains are back again and it seems as if the whole country is getting a much deserved bath. The heat index is typically still above 105 degrees but, the rains give us a respite from the torching sun a couple of afternoons per week now.

Soon we will be cold. Numb fingers, numb nose, shivering cold. It will be great, and we will wish for the heat.