Baray team members: Ps.Anba,Ps.Rueben,CK,
Christina,Jasmine & Joann
Saturday,26 April - we arrived at Phnom Penh International airport in the evening & travel to Baray by van. We stopped half way & had our dinner at a restaurant by Mekong riverside..We were enjoying our dinner & practicing our limited khmer speaking skills and it suddenly rain so heavy & we were wet. We had our first Cambodia famous dessert "num sleuk srah" which means fresh leaf cake & it's really nice! Our journey to Baray homestay took longer than the estimated 2 hours drive due to the heavy downpour. We arrived finally & hey, the place is not bad at all, it's so much better than what we expected. But little do we realize that it was the beginning of our battle with hundreds of insects of different species and big red scary looking lizard with spots that make loud " te ko" sound. this is where we had our dinner
Our hut from outside
Sunday, 27 April - We woke up at 6.30 am and had our breakfast before we went to church. We were divided into two groups, group A:Ps.Rueben,CK,Christina & our wonderful Cambodia Interpreter,Sokha. Team B:Ps.Anba,Jasmine & myself (Joann). Jasmine & I was greeted with never ending surprises on our very first morning in Cambodia. Our transport to church that morning was on motorbike. That was the first time both of us ride on a motor without helmet and there are three of us on the motor (Jasmine, myself & the driver). I was sitting sideway (Cambodia style) & we were holding on to each other, laughing and scare of being bump off the motor ( very bumpy road). Half way through, we scream as the motor jerk to stop & both of us nearly lost our balance & fall off! The driver was telling us something in Khmer & was pointing downwards..obviously, we could not understand a single word. We thought he was telling us that we were not suppose to place our legs on the stand.
Jasmine: I think he say I cannot place my leg near there
Joann: Then never mind la, put ur leg here wif me la. We share.
We were still on the motor waiting for the man to start the journey again...waited & waited & finally..guess what? the man got up from the motor & pointed to us the back tire which was FLAT! We got down from the motor laughing & laughing & the man was laughing at us...Wat an experience..We were waiting at the road side, still laughing & discussing bout or weights.."cannot be, we are not that heavy, both combine together only about 95kg only ma" We got another motor & was laughing through out our bumpy journey to the church.. Finally...we arrive safely..greeted by Ps.Anba's worried face..haha...
During the service, it was quite hot( no air-con, no fan- how blessed we are in GEPC). The worship was awesome. Though they were lack in many ways, including instruments, their worship was so real & sincere. Their faces were literally glowing with joy and huge smile was on their faces even though the heat was increasing and it was getting hot & hotter. I just felt a sudden rush of compassion for them and as they continue to worship, I was holding back my tears.
After the worship, we introduced ourselves & Jasmine & me presented the dance mime "Worthy Is The Lamb" (later, we received feedback that somehow, the dance touch some of them & some cried). I then share The Words and Jasmine shared her testimony after the service with the youth.
We went back in the afternoon, met up with the other group during lunch. It is Cambodian custom to have a nap from 12 to 2 pm for the sun is at it's peak during that time. It was so hot
(no fan) and I was bathing in my own sweat and started to have migraine as I tried to get to sleep in my little cabin hut. Just as I was beginning to drift to sleep (finally!!), I was awaken by Ps.Rueben loud chattering voice below my hut..talking happily with CK while enjoying his hammock!
We travel to the second church (same team- Ps.Anba, Jasmine & myself), this time we traveled by "lemork", a motor that pull a cart behind it. It was again very bumpy, worst than in morning & it was much hotter. We taught the children some songs & we went to the church presenting the dance mime again and both of us shared The Word with the people there.
In the evening, after church, we went for ox cart to a field to see sun set. And the most amazing, funniest thing happen... ** Christina & Jasmine..forgive me :p but I' m sure Ps. Rueben will agree with me that we should not left this out! Be ready guys & gals before you read on.........
CHRISTINA & JASMINE WAS "CHASED" BY TWO OXes!!!!!!
Both of them were walking happily when they suddenly hear sound of bells behind them & when they turned around, they saw 2 oxes together with the cart was "chasing them" (actually the oxes were not chasing them, they were just walking & the cart driver was there). Both of them ran for their lives & Ps Rueben was laughing his heart out & enjoying the scene.
We had a wonderful English Conversation Fellowship time with the local youth there after dinner. We worship, played game & presented a short skit to them. It was a fun night, where we got to know them better & we really enjoyed ourselves, building the friendship & "crazying" with them.
Battle of the insects & beetles began after lights were off. In the mist of darkness, we heard screams from Christina & Jasmine's hut followed by the sound "pak pak pak"...They both had a new mission which is bug killer! Christina became an expert in killing beetles in just one day (using all sorts of tools-torch light, hand phones,bibles,passports). As I was listening to their screams & talks from the next hut, I switch on my torch, thought of writing my journal..wrong move! Just as I switch on my torch, many small insects flew towards me even though I was suppose to be "save & protected" inside the net. Outside the net, there was a big green beetle trying persistently to enter the net. It flew & knock unto the net trying to get it & tried & tried again even after I turned off the torch. As I was watching it, this thought came to my mind....
Is this situation similar to how persistent the devil out there is trying to get us? The net
symbolizes God's protection upon us & the beetle is the devil...trying hard to get us even
though it is aware that we are protected in the net but never give up trying.
Monday,28 April - We went painting a primary school & we really thank God for good whether in the first half of the morning & for sending us so many helpers (local youth). Half way through painting, the head master of the school evacuated the children because the classroom has strong smell of paint. We then had impromptu program with the students & their are all real energetic bunch of kids! It was much more tiring playing with them then painting!
Painting & playing in progress
Inside the school
During the evening, we went for pony ride around the villages & we got to "play & experiment" with hand weaving cloth machine & be part of the making of Cambodia noodles. It was really fun & an experience for us seeing how it was made. After the dough was place in the container, it will be place above the pot of boiling water and a man will sit on the long branch to squeeze the dough out from the tiny holes of the container into the boiling water to be noodles. It was raining before that & we stopped & sheltered under a barn with fresh cow's dung.
At night, we had fun learning & participating in Cambodia traditional dance. Jasmine & Christina was so happy & "high" & that led them to dance something that they would never have done back in Msia. Want to know what they did? haha...I leave it to you all to ask them :P
( that's all for now...more stories & pictures coming up soon)