Good morning all! Sues dei!
Yesterday was a day of contrasts. We began the day with worship at a Cambodian church which was a rich blessing. The message was shared by the director of a ministry in Phnom Penh to children in the many slums of the city. He spoke of their one-to-one program to help children get to school, stop collecting rubbish in the streets to make living for their families, and helping them come to church. Using the story of Elijah at the river and the miracle with the widow of Zarephath, he deeply spoke to us all of how we are to live in expectation of God’s working instead of being surprised when it accidentally happens. So true so true. One comment he noted that continues to ring in my heart is that we should never get used to suffering in the world. There was much more to his message, but it was a deeply powerful and Spirit inspired message for us all.
Following lunch (which was at a wonderful restaurant that was funded through microdevelopment loans and provides employment for people seeking job training), we spent the afternoons with the recent dark chapter in Cambodia’s history. Seeing firsthand the evils we humans inflict on one another is just hard to take in. Its no wonder that Calvin spoke so strongly of our utter brokeness and depravity without God The stupa that is pictured in the shots below actually has 18 levels inside with the different levels filled with the skulls, bones, and clothes of the victims of the regime. The site was also so heavily used for mass burials that they continue to find clothes and bone fragments that come up from the ground when it rains. I actually saw some pieces of clothing recently unearthed as I walked.
We then went to the Touel Slang prison which used to be a high school before the Khmer Rouge came to power. It was converted during the regime to a torture and interrogation center before the people were trucked off to the killing fields. The face of men, women, and children – all meticulously documented by the regime were just utterly heartbreaking. To imagine that just 30 or so years ago in these two places where we walked yesterday…words do not do it justice.
We start our work with Mercy Medical in earnest this morning as we get an orientation to the clinic this morning and then spend the afternoon there working – some painting beds, some (possibly including me) helping with their computers, and our nurses doing some work with the nursing staff.
Overall, the team is doing well – nothing beyond what one might expect with a radical time, culture, and climate change. Thank you for your prayers and we look forward to what God continues to show us and speak to us through our time.