So we went to the newest village where we have made a connection today – Preay Tom – very near the Thai border. We met in a sort of “community center” where we hung our skit backdrop from a tree and had a great setting. After our skit about Paul and Silas not being afraid in the jail, we broke into groups and had some great gospel presentations and discussion. There were great questions from the people about all kinds of things like can they still go to the Buddhist monks for certain things if they accept Christ, etc. Then Chiv asked if any would like to be baptized, and we went down to a pond and baptized dozens – not sure exactly how many. But there were all ages, men and women, and families together, which is great to see.
The people in the community had such stories. We met a grandma raising her infant grandbaby while the mother has to work. She asked if we would pray for her illness. Asked what, she simply replied AIDS. Another little girl who looked about 8 but was 10 had care of a toddler sibling because her mother has to work. She had to quit school to take care of the baby. Children roam so free here, but you also see how the older ones look after the younger ones sort of instinctively, as if they’ve always had the responsibility.
From there we let the men who had been in the lake change clothes quickly at the hotel and went back to Svay Cheat where we dedicated the church Sunday. We showed a movie about Jesus at an outdoor setting at a school. Had a very nice crowd, especially considering that there were 2 large Buddhist festivals going on in the area. Hopefully that will give that church a boost.
Before the movie, we took a ride on the railroad. The Cambodian railroad system has been abandoned for some years and people have built makeshift carts out of wheels, bamboo, and motors. They tell you up to 7 can ride, and then about 20 people pile on (Sharon called it “Cambodian 7”) and away you go. Very fun way to see the countryside from the old railroad.
We saw on a TV at a restaurant that Thailand is still having serious flooding, but we’ve only had a couple of rains here. Enough to give a little heat relief (briefly) and to give us a few challenges on the muddy roads, but not too bad.