Still fighting jet lag, but it’s time now to report. We spent one month in Cambodia this time. It was our sixth visit. Each one has been different, and God has directed our focus uniquely each time. In a nut shell, on this trip we continued our work with the staff and administration of Salaa Hope, in Battambang. Our relationship with our friends there is strong and continuing. In Phnom Penh we conferenced with the coordinators of the Village Development Project for four days, and Kirsten documented the new school and its students in Kok Rorka via her photography, as she has done with the other campuses. New to this trip, though, we also helped host a team of high schoolers from the Alaska bush village of Pt. Alswerth. They were great and set a great example.
The K’mai language title I used here means “example.” As God continues to focus our attention on relationships, one example from this last visit comes to mind, about our friend Ganyaa. Ganyaa works in the small restaurant at the apartment/hotel where we stay. She works two shifts, back-to-back, from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm, every day. Then she gets on her moto and drives home to her husband. Ganyaa’s young daughter stays with her grandmother, back in the province of Kampong Cham, about 2 1/2 hours away. Ganyaa hopes to start a business of her own, so she can make enough to allow her to bring her daughter home.
We met her during the previous visit. At the end of our work day (5:00, not 10:00), Kirsten and I would go up to the restaurant for a late afternoon coffee. When we began to talk with Ganyaa she told us that she had noticed us, because Kirsten and I are always together. We’ve gotten that comment from a few K’mai–apparently our behavior is not common for married couples in Cambodia.
On the last day of our visit this time, Ganyaa plucked up the courage to ask us directly what it was about us that made us want to serve and give. She already knew that we are Christian. She said that she sees Buddhists always taking and, frankly, wasting. But Christians give. She gave us the opportunity to tell her that God is love and that Jesus leads His followers to serve and give.
Our conversation is an example of relationship. God is love, and His love is manifest in His children. Through our relationship with Ganyaa we are able to share that love. None of us are perfect, so we know that our examples are not always what they should be. But as we walk with Christ, we can share His love in our relationships with His other children too.