I was back in Takeo province recently to speak at a great little country church again. This is about my sixth time with pastor Samdy. He is an excellent young guy who has a recent miracle testimony about his wife conceiving and giving birth to their first child. Docs said this was not going to happen :-).
Samdy has plans for his congregation, which includes moving the 80 or so folk out of their neat but very small church building and into a larger place. There is to be a school, an English class, homes for the elderly ... the faith plans are all on the wall.
Therefore, he was pretty excited this visit - they have been able to buy land just 40 metres from their present site. It is 40 metres in the right direction too, as at present the last 80 metres of access is off a decent country road and down a one-horse track. Takeo Province price: US$6000 for the 2000+sqm plus another grand to shift a few hundred cubic metres of dirt on-site to raise the level.
By comparison, our church in Phnom Penh has been seriously looking for a block this size for over three years now. Land prices in the city are way out of kilter with real value. My take on this is that so much of the money out here is not 'earned' - it pours into pockets by dodgy means. Therefore true values are twisted and some items like city land become enormously expensive. What is $6000 just 75 minutes down the road becomes $1.5-2 million here in the city. Hence, our church keeps on looking!
My buddy pastor Samdy, with Donnie and Sophea's daughter, Naan. That is the new land in the background; all 42x56 metres of it.