Monday, March 15, 2010

First work day

Karol Boschung - March 15

Today was our first day working at the Sanctuary in Svay Pak - what we actually came out to do. It was, overall, a good day of work. It was, as expected, hot and sweaty work - but it felt great to be bringing the light and the love of God to this place!

Our day started with some frustration and confusion - the contractor who was supposed to do the construction work had not finished yet, and the plastering, grouting, grinding and sweeping got in the way and limited what we could do and where we could work. We're not sure when they'll be gone, but we'll just have to work around that - God has a plan! Nevertheless, we got some good work in, mostly sealing and priming places that will be painted soon. We then ate an absolutely fabulous lunch at Rahab's house (the previous project that Fairview Presbyterian had worked on two years ago), made by the local pastor's (Pastor Chanta) wife. One word: delicious! One more: very.

Throughout the day, we were watched by various Cambodians as we worked - they often simply stood there and watched, but they also had a tendency to break into mad bouts of laughter at something one (or all, I have no idea) of us was doing. They seemed to find me especially hilarious. At one point, they entered the room to find me lying on the floor doing a bit of precision painting. They immediately convulsed in laughter, and one of them even brought a younger boy in to look at the crazy barang. Another time, as we were leaving, I was surrouded by about 5 Cambodian men laughing and jabbering away in Khmer. One of them grabbed my hand and laughed, while another pointed to his nose by way of explanation. Apparently, I found out afterwards, my nose, according to Khmer standards, is really very bizarre!

On a more sobering note, it's interesting to look at Svay Pak and consider the fact that this seemingly normal, poor Southeast Asian village is a world center of human trafficking and child prostitution. From what I have seen, you would not know this just from looking at it. Nevertheless, now that I do know it, it is a constant reality. While painting, I often looked out the window and saw children playing or sitting or running along the road - it is a sad fact when you then have to think "Will this child be sold tonight?" Yet it is also joyful and precious knowledge that God is inbreaking his kingdom here in this Heart of Darkness, and by all reports, doing this in a mighty way. I am privileged to be a part of that! I think I speak for the team when I say I want this trip and our lives to be like this:

Now the LORD said to Abram "Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you.... So Abram went, as the LORD had told him...Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. - Gen 12

So Abram went (leaving behind most everything). At seventy-five. No exegesis needed - that's remarkable.

While I've only been here for around 36 hours, it feels like a lot longer. As Grant told me: "you can fit a lot into Cambodia time!". I also will fit some sleep in there!

jum reap leah


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