Dear Prayer Warriors:
We sense your presence with us in Cambodia. We marvel at God’s work in the hearts of the people here. Sunday we bumped along to FUMC O-Khmom, a two-hour drive from Battambang. It takes an hour and 15 minutes to travel the last 16 miles. Their church leaders accompanied us, having been with us since Thursday evening. The O-Khmom children surprised us by lining up along the church driveway to greet us. After worship and dinner on the grounds, we confirmed the registration of 80 students for the night school. The purpose of the school is to teach all ages how to read using the Bible as the basic curriculum. Many of the village children are unable to attend public school because no transportation is provided. Emara and Marian shared the Easter story using pictures and Resurrection bags. (We didn’t want to confuse them with eggs.) Chiv and Nathan entertained the locals by their motorcycle driving skills or lack thereof. We rode motorcycles to see the site of the pig farm and the new pond behind the church. The pig farm site has been leveled and construction will begin soon. We walked about ¼ mile into a corn field across the road from the church to see where the landmine exploded in December. Fortunately God protected those involved and no one was injured seriously. It was a witness to the community and people’s faith was strengthened.
Sunday evening the Jesus Film was shown at the church after some technical difficulties including the attempt to use a 12-volt car battery as a power source. We stayed overnight at Chiv’s sister’s house next to the church. We slept on the 2nd-floor patio on bamboo mats under our mosquito net tents. We experienced all the night sounds: roosters, birds, lizards, trucks, and people trying to go down the steep stairs to the bathroom. We gave up at 5 a.m. grateful for only a few bugs.
Monday morning Emara and Marian took a refreshing shower Cambodian syle wearing sarongs at the water well beside the church. We sadly said our goodbyes and headed toward toward Battambang. Chiv gave in to the women’s request to drive up the mountain to a well-known Buddhist temple and killing field caves. During the late 1970’s this area served as an execution site for thousands of people during the Pol Pot Regime.
After leaving Battambang and heading back toward Phnom Penh, we had the opportunity to share with a new group of people at Svay Cheat about 25 kilometers south and west of Battambang toward the railroad. This is the town where Chiv lived until he was seven years old. Several of the older women remembered him and his family. About 60 people came to hear what we had to share. We used the salvation necklaces to begin sharing. After hearing the gospel presentation and asking many questions, the Holy Spirit drew 52 people to begin new life with Christ. All were baptized. A leader for the newly formed church was voted in by the people. We left Bibles, hymnals, and sarongs.
We rode a motorized neary which is a form of a railroad hand car on the tracks in search of land that used to belong to Chiv’s family. We found a former neighbor of Chiv’s parents who was able to show us where Chiv’s father was buried on land he formerly owned. This was a special time of fond memories for Chiv.
We are staying overnight in Pousat and we will return to Phnom Penh in the morning. We will see the new hospital that is being constructed near the Hallelujah Clinic which was originally built by the Methodist Church.
We continue to covet your prayers.
Chiv, Emara, Nathan, and Marian