Friday, March 19, 2010

Friday: The Backyard

Two years ago, when the first Fairview team came into Svay Pak, there was a dump across to Rahab's House where people used to go and just dump their garbage in little plastic bags. After the opening of Rahab's, the cleaning of that space became a reality to the point that, now a days, it is a nice and clean volleyball court. With little imagination it looks like a beach volleyball court.

The Sanctuary, unfortunately, is also linked to another dump. The lot at the back, which looks like a backyard but is actually different property, is a space of about 40 x 50 meters from which about 60% of it is a dump filled with little plastic bags with garbage. The other 40%, approximately, is green with some grasslike vegetation. But don't be fooled by its colour, there is nothing ecological on it. A 10 year old boy walking over the green produces an effect like if someone was walking on a Costco air mattress, you can see it moving but the boy would not wet his feet. There is some firmness on it, but not quite. In addition, this is not just a dump as we westerners see it. For the neighbors, it is actually a multifunctional area that provides a space for their chicken to feed, it's a bit of a toilet for the men too, and place where people air-dry their hand-washed laundry. They really use it and would not give it up unless effective substitutes are provided. But leaving things the way they are is not an option.

I know quite a few people would love to come and clean the whole thing as we speak, but I don't think this is just a gloves-on, boots-on, let's-all-do-it kind of project. On the one hand it is unimaginable the amount of living creatures and the continually growing bacteria dwelling on it. But on the other hand the decomposition of waist has probably generated an alarming amount of gases and pollutants that would be utterly toxic to anyone getting into it. The cleaning would require an elaborated logistic effort but IT CAN BE DONE. It has to be done.

Would there be any team around the world willing to come and bring the resources to clean? Would there be a church with a member or two who has the know-how to do it? Would there be a Christian man or woman with the expertise and the equipment? I kind of feel there must be. Why don't we all pray for them knowing that God will bring them along at the right time... God's time that is.

Please, join me in your prayers for the cleaning of The Sanctuary backyard.

Pablo Angulo
Phonm Penh, Cambodia
March 19, 2010

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