So every once in a while, I will write a random blog that doesn’t really have a point. It will just be a random collection of thoughts, anecdotes of life here in Cambodia and perhaps some sage wisdom thrown in 🙂
There are things we see every day that bring a smile to our faces. The flock of motos outside of a primary school around 3:00, a child hanging in a hammock slung between the bars of a bicycle, a “pylon” of concrete blocks, a branch or two and maybe a scarf marking a pothole that will swallow you whole should you accidentally drive into it.
I have seldom had to open my own door here; be it a vehicle or a shop. Merry Christmas is usually spelled “Marry Christmas” and I bought pillows last week that said “Supper healthy pillows; bring lucky dreams”. I saw a carton of strawberries at the grocery store for $12.50. Needless to say, we buy local produce at the market.
Cambodia, as a whole, is rather charming but there is a dark side. I tend to shy away from that; it’s not that I don’t want to believe that human beings are capable of such atrocities…only that once I hear it I carry a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach for days. We did not come here, however, to bury our heads in the sand. I wondered at home how I would cope with some of the things we would see and some of the things we would hear about and I determined then that though I will always look for the positive, I will not close my eyes to the darkness.
There’s a small, dilapidated shack that we often pass on our way into town. It sits beside a foul-smelling pond of black water and has a crude sign; the word “Massage” written in a rough hand. Here is not young women, gaily attired and falsely smiling. Here, the women are older; their faces painted white in an attempt to hide the telltale signs of age. They don’t even bother trying to appear happy; there is such an air of hopelessness that even a passerby can sense it. It fills me with sadness every time we drive by.
There are stories that we have heard even in the few short weeks that we have been here that fill me with outrage and grief. I imagine our heavenly Father is anguished over how His little ones, the vulnerable, are mistreated and abused. But here is the thing; it’s not enough just to rescue them. There must be change. There must be change in hearts; there must be something that breaks the cycle. It is our hope and our prayer that God will use us to support and encourage our Khmer brothers and sisters in the local church to affect that change.
We truly love Cambodia. True, we are in what is called the “honeymoon stage” of overseas life; but there is a completeness that we feel here. And here is the piece of sage wisdom I promised: if God is calling you to something…DO it! When we walk out the plans that God has laid for us; we experience the fullness of life and a contentment that cannot be rivalled. Peace.