This morning my route to Svay Pak had a slight detour as we headed over to the Newsong Centre to pick up Bridget Brewster. Bridget along with her husband Don oversee the ministries both at the Newsong Centre and Svay Pak. We headed along a new route and made it to Svay Pak just as break time occurred ---the morning class which had started at 7:30am was now having a break at 9am when we appeared and our little friends came bouncing down the
stairs....ever try being surrounded by 100 kids who are not over the age of 7 when you are not quite awake. It's quite a sight and the noise level will wake you up whether you like it or not! Nonetheless, over the past 3 days as I have been in The Sanctuary, we have had no power ie: no electricity. This wouldn't be bad if the weather was reasonably cool but with temperatures in the high 90s and the humidity, its not a lot of fun for the teachers nor the kids. However, it's great for your skin as you feel like you are in a permanent sauna! :-) Anyway I digress.
There are 8 classrooms but on the second floor, there are no windows in 2 of the classrooms as the neighbors next door did not want to have kids screaming in the ears so to speak. So no windows were allowed. As such the volunteer teachers are left teaching the kids in an enclosed room with no air and no light when there is no electricity. This gives a whole new meaning to creative teaching!
Thankfully I get to watch and not teach but this morning God put it on my heart that we needed to pray over and anoint each room in this 5 story building especially since there was an over night flood which resulted in water leaking from a bathroom on the 3rd floor to the two lower levels. Fortunately, the water came down the steps instead of through the ceilings so the damage was minimal. All this to say, Bridget and I spent almost 3 hours praying from room to room and by the time we got to the 4th floor the electricity had come on and we had power! Praise God!
However the power was short lived---it last only for a couple hours. So now we are back praying for power 24 hours a day. Please pray for the Lord to provide a power generator as that would solve the problem.
Despite the lack of electricity, life goes on and the kids who attend the summer school are still being taught. With the class room doors open for ventilation the noise level increases in large decimels and can give any heavy metal band a run for their money! ;-) At least we know the kids are awake and are responding to what they are learning!
In the afternoon the free medical clinic was open. I spent time counting pills along with others as several 'patients' sat in the 'waiting room' on the ground floor for an hour before the actual clinic was open. Bunthan who is Pastor Chantha's wife is like a 'Jill of all trades'---she wears so many hats---cooking, overseeing the clinic, dispensing medicines donated from teams who come in from the U.S and lectures the patients when they don't follow her advice. Currently there is an in-house nurse Travis who is from Texas and is spending a year here in Svay Pak. The other
'medical advisors' are some of the 'students' who know how to take a patient's blood pressure and give out specific medications for stomach pains and burns. The clinic can get anywhere between 40 to 60 patients weekly and it seems people are coming from beyond the community as the word gets out that a medical clinic is available. Even my tuk-tuk driver Mickey got into the action as we recruited him to be one of our translators for the medical clinic as his English is excellent.
An Emerging Food Court Outside The Sanctuary
While all the medical activities are going on inside, there is a buzz just outside The Sanctuary. People suddenly appear, hanging out and a small food court Cambodian style emerges. One can buy noodles, tofu, satay chicken and ice coffee as they wait around for their medical appointments. As soon as the clinic ends, the portable food court disappears! The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in Cambodia!
Chicken & Beef Satay
Meanwhile, upstairs on the 3rd floor in the actually church Sanctuary the kids club is on from 2 to 3pm. Today a team from the US arrived and they along with the youth pastor Ratanak were teaching the kids various songs and providing crafts for them to do.
I left Svay Pak at around 4pm and got home in time to change to meet up with some of my 'other' daughters for an evening at a local pizza place. Both Srey Neth and Srey Lin (see picture below) have given me their permission to use this photo. These two were originally at Newsong when it first opened up in 2006 and they were subsequently reintegrated to another agency which Ratanak helped established in 2007. Each year when I visit Cambodia, I have the privilege of spending time with them. They were once held in a hotel brothel whose owner ---a female was notorious for being one of the most cruel mamasans. Thankfully they survived and are both doing well. I look forward to spending more time with them on this extended visit and taking them to church with me as they have both had exposure to the gospel. Pray that the Lord would continue to water the seeds planted in their hearts as they are so open to wanting to learn more of God's word.
Srey Neth (left) & Srey Lin(right)