Cambodia 2007 ...
30 Nov 2007 - Day 2
Today's report comes from Arja Clark:
Today was an amazing experience like yesterday. We had a little worship and headed straight to the orphanage where we were greeted with hugs and smiles from all the children there. The StormCo team spent the morning organising the coming week by doing some fun activities and crafts we're going to do with the orphanage kids while the adults worked so hard starting on the classrooms. By lunchtime quite a lot was accomplished with the rooms and we had a little break eating and playing with the orphans. After lunch we got to work again organising the drama for StormCo and then helping with the classrooms again.
We were able to get started with the painting and finished about 3 classrooms before heading home to get some sleep.
1 Dec 2007 - Day 3
An update from Adrielle today:
Kristiarne went to flush the toilet in her hotel room and everything came out so Emma and Kristiarne were told to use another hotel room just for the toilet but they weren't allowed to move in there! They still don't have a toilet in their room they can use!
Arja woke up at 5am this morning with a huge amount of water gushing out of her bathroom she tried to stop it, then wrapped herself in a sheet (she was soaking wet) and ran down to her parent's room to get help. The hotel staff came, with a plunger in hand. It seems a plunger fixes everything here!!
We were challenged during church by sitting on the tiled floor for an hour and a half (no standing for the songs even) and trying not to point our feet out (which is offensive in Cambodia) or sit crosslegged (also offensive). We are told that after a couple of weeks you develop some well placed calluses on your ankles so you can manage more comfortably.
We went out to the orphanage for Sabbath. Church began at 8.15 with the orphanage kids leading out with singing, responsive bible reading and then Tim Maddox preached. 80 Koreans and a few other tourists/ADRA workers joined us as well. Tim began his sermon by thanking God for the blessing of the new building we were using for the first time. It is the new cafeteria for the dorms and is a beautiful big building with high ceilings, a tiled floor and big windows. We were too many to worship in their church. Tim and Wendy shared their inspirational testimony - it was fascinating to learn how they came to start the orphanage. They encouraged all of us to use the spiritual gifts God has given us. They believe they have been given the gift of missionarying (Tim joked that they no longer feel comfortable in their own culture). They are firm believers in living like the local people. Tim noted that although they couldn't change the colour of their skin or eyes, or the shape of their nose, they could live in a house like the locals, eat local food and speak their language.
Both Tim and Wendy shared the way in which their faith ministry impacted them. Amazingly, they have no operating budget and rely on God to provide the funds each month. Since 2003 the complex has grown so it now houses 134 orphans as well as a K-9 school of over 300 students. Their faith ministry finds its foundation in Matthew 6:33-34. These verses encourage us all to seek first God's kingdom, and not to worry about the future. It is truly inspirational to hear how Tim manages to pay the wages each month without any regular income. In their talk they highlighted the way God has called them to do the work, and they leave it to Him to provide the funds. They praised God for his faithfulness as He has not left them short in the 12 years since they left paid employment.
Each day we are fed a delicious lunch. Today we had a Cambodian curry and rice with a selection of fruit as well! The Cambodian lady who cooks for us also cooks for the dorm and any single volunteers who need a meal! She is very gracious, telling us that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ, and that she loves us.
And a few more highlights:
Graeme has had his first traditional Khmer massage and loved it! Brendon got so into his massage that he drank the oil at the end of it (thinking it was the tea he was told would be served). He was worrying about all the other feet etc the oil had been dipped into for, but we told him to relax, it would either finish him off totally or he'd end up indestructible.
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