Friday, 28 September 2007
Lovely family; lovely kids. Moto in the background.
Looking up our street 460 from the corner. The friendly local store is on the right - where we buy our 10 litre containers of purified water twice a week.
The workers and their street-making concrete mixer
Why concrete? I understand that the amount of rain here is tough on the tar-sealed roads, getting underneath and eroding the base. Concrete is less susceptible to erosion and collapse - I'm told.
Wednesday, 26 September 2007
The first Sunday we were in Phnom Penh, this young man really stood out to me. I had no idea who he was - just that he was a 'good 'un' (as Chris Lee would say). So, much was my delight when Samdy turns out to be in the morning small group that Mark and Jo (the Aussies from CCC Whitehorse, Melbourne) asked me to be involved in.
Samdy has spoken the last two Sundays, on the subject of fasting. He is a little fella on a good day. I could not help but notice that there was less of him on week two than on week one of these well researched and thought through messages.
I received such clarity on something last week - that the future belongs to those of a different spirit. It has been a Word that marks me. The future of Cambodia belongs to those of a different spirit. Those of the 'same same' (common expression here) spirit have no progressive future - they are in a holding pattern until they die.
Samdy is one of the new generation - a man of a different spirit. Please remember him.
The innards of the Chinese lock; the second lock that saved the moto and the new super-beaut 70mm Thai one 'as recommended by the locals'
Monday, 24 September 2007
Thursday, 20 September 2007
We were really happy to get a great ticket - Phnom Penh - Auck in; Brisbane - PP return leg with just a trans-Tasman to sort out. Booked - paid for ... and an hour later my phone rings. There was a woops with the quoted price. Smile and be happy - don't even think about insisting on 'my rights under the consumer guarantee act'....
Adam Hutchinson - a Kiwi with New Plymouth connections and working here with Prison Fellowship - adopting Cambodian ways as he picks up Sophie, Toby and Sam from pre-school
Me and my trusty two-made-one-piece and the beginnings of a curry creation
Thursday, 13 September 2007
Saturday, 8 September 2007
We are still wondering what went down. Was it our gentle insistance that Krrohom the red dog really did need to reside at Darra's as agreed and not here? Was it just too difficult for Lina to adjust to live with us? Or is it that she really is a country girl at heart and found the big city difficult? We're not sure.
Lina's daughter Darra still lives just down the road. Where she lives she is sometimes left alone, and she does not like to spend nights there alone - especially after robbers burgled our neighbours two doors from us last week. She has a standing invitation to come and stay the night here which she is happy about, so maybe one day we will learn what Lina's reasons are. As in many cultures, smiling nice replies are more the norm rather than a honest heart response.
Earlier days - Sopheak and Darra with Heather who introduced us to this lovely family.
Friday, 7 September 2007
"Bull-at-a-gate' Isaac, Caleb, Sophie and Sam mesmerised by Teacher Sue's creativity
The church preschool is entertaining to get to. It is pretty close - just an exciting road to get across, then a bottle-neck down what looks to be an alley-way but is the entrance to a whole other section of Phnom Penh that is very densley populated. The other morning police were standing and blowing whistles, trucks turning in, cars and motos at standstill and a street vendor nonchalently parked his mobile food barrow smack in the tiny street and wondered off with a fried egg on his spatchelor to give to his customer. Where in ANZAC earth can you have that kind of fun in a morning work commute??
Hagar ladies choir at the funeral - women who come out of abusive situations.
'Marie' (never did get her Khmer name!) - youngest daughter
Vanna, oldest child and such a nice young guy and echoes of 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' - Sue, Sue and Sue.
Thursday, 6 September 2007
A pic to break all the stuff that follows!!
Three months in - and here are just some thoughts and observations I have regarding this land of such beauty and tragedy:
2. A government on international social welfare - there is something of a development boom happening in the nation. Power generation, roading, government buildings ... Cambodia is way behind most neighbouring nations but stuff is happening. However, it is nearly all happening with foreign donour dollars from governments and agencies. That is why the US$ is the 'real' currency here. The mind-sets these hand-outs cultivates in a nation makes righteous forward momentum that much more difficult.
Tied to the hand-out mindset is the commitment to the victim mentality - that the Killing Fields wrecked the nation; that rich nations owe them. If we look at other nations that have been wrecked by war and strife - South Korea or Japan for example - 30 years later there has been a rebuilding of society. The victim-gimme cycle will never bring these needy people - this wonderful nation - into its God-designed destiny. Mis-guided kindness perpetuates weakness in an individual and weakness in a nation.
The local dairy farm ...
We are so glad to be here. We recognise more now the things that we have often heard about - how Cambodia wears down the saints of the Most High! Again, that is why we are glad to have this time for what we trust will be laying good foundations. We love the church we are in and the quality of the pastoral staff there.
Is 58:12 - 'Those from among you shall build up the old waste places; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations ..'
Isaiah 60:10a - 'The sons of foreigners shall build up your walls ..'