We purchased the land last November 2011 and have had a local engineer do an assessment so we could install a new drainage system which we hope will ultimately bless this community and reduce any flood damage during the rainy season to the surrounding area.
The CourtyardOne of the interesting facets of working in Cambodia is the reality that this country has a long history of violence. As such many construction projects throughout this nation often turn up human remains. As Brian McConaghy once said ---they don't call it the Killing Fields for nothing! Over the past two days the Courtyard clean up has started as construction crews are on site beginning the work of draining the swamp at the back of the Sanctuary and already it appears to be two feet lower than the usual height. The liquid slop at the back will be carted away as a big Bobcat excavator headed into the area today. We are not sure what to expect but there is a possibility that we will end up with human remains of various forms as we do the clean up. Over the next two weeks, this swamp land will be hopefully transformed. Our plan is to have it converted into usable land as we will fill it with soil and sand. It will have a fence surrounding it creating a safe environment for the kids in the Svay Pak school to play in safety.
Some workmen in the distance removing a wooden fenceSo this afternoon we took the opportunity to pray over the land and for safety of those who are involved in the clean up. A couple days ago Pastor Chantha and his disciples had also prayed over this land. We pray the Lord will give us wisdom as to what to do and how to respond should we discover any unusual items or body parts in this land. Pastor Chantha told us that a few years ago when they were digging up and renovating the toilet in Rahab's House they discovered some bones and a skull. Some people thought it was parts of a dog but it was human remains. It seems that there used to be a wooden walking plank over this swamp land years ago and stories have been told that people who came looking for girls in this area were usually drunk and they fell into the liquid slop never to be seen again. So anything is possible. Its never dull in Svay Pak so even a simple excavating and clean up job can lead to some interesting discoveries. So stay tuned. Its a good thing that our Founding Director at Ratanak has experience in forensics. God knew what He was doing when He chose Brian and ultimately Ratanak to be involved in the rebuilding process of this land!
The pathway to the Courtyard
The excavator heading into the swamp landWe are thankful that the local government authorities are in favor of this clean up and have given us the green light. They want to see an improvement in this area and have gone out of their way to notify the neighbors in the surrounding swamp land and have moved electricity poles so that the trucks and excavating machines can come in and do the clean up.
We once again remain grateful and thankful to the Lord for giving us the privilege of redeeming the land for His purposes so that His beauty and His light will shine with even greater measure.“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you (Isaiah 60:1)