Friday, February 12, 2010


Well, a while back Stew and I went up to Poipet with the Lobacks to see the medical work there as they are interested in coming back next year to work there. Every other year we have gone the road from Battambang to Poipet has been horrible with craters large enough to swallow a car - no exaggeration. What a pleasant surprise we had - the road was like glass and our bus just sailed on through - which is good since it's an 8 hour ride. Another huge surprise is that the main road into Poipet had also been paved. Now you have to know that this city of 80,000 - 100,000 has been known as the "armpit of Cambodia" as well as the "wild west of Cambodia" so it gives you an indication of its reputation. Of course, nothing has really changed just because they paved the main street, but it is cleaner and less dusty. This is a very interesting city in that it is on the NW border with Thailand and the Thais would love to move in, further and further. In fact, they have. There is a large strip of Cambodian land called "no man's land" onto which the Thais have moved in to build large Casino Hotels and a large fancy brothel with marble floors, fountains (in a city where water is not abundant) and green, green grass. Rich Thais come across the border to gamble and.... It is revolting, but sure does bring money into the coffers and so the Khmers turn a blind eye, because it pays them, too. They will not take Khmer riels or US$'s only Thai bahts are legal currency. I hate it!

But, there is much hope for this city. CMA missionaries, Kent & Chris Copeland and Soeuth & Syna Lao are there. Kent is a doctor, Chris a nurse and they run a small medical work that produces huge results. Villagers come from near and far to have assessments done and eventually surgery when warranted. They never turn anyone away for lack of funds. The people go back to their villages without the huge goiter hanging on their chest, or with the cancer removed from their face or the blown off leg beautifully repaired with a healed stump, and their family and neighbours are amazed wanting to know more about these "good CAMA people". Enter Soeuth & Syna. They are the evangelists and disciplers who come alongside all to love them, care for them, help them in any way they can. Soeuth & Syna are loved and respected by all, and, of course, being Khmer themselves and living through the Khmer Rouge, they FIT.

We are off to another project shortly with Georgia Johnstone, our Ratanak rep in Vernon, and 2 fellows from a Korean church in Chicago. Stay tuned for more.

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