Thursday, May 22, 2008

Cambodia Mission trip - Island team (Part 2)

Good morning guys~ Rachel here at your service again! First thing first, i'm very sorry for being this late to update part 2. Paisei lar Hehe...But lets keep up the mission fever, shall we~? ;)

But before i begin, i just want to share a bit of what had happened recently that impacted me...

Bet you all have read and heard about the catastrophes landed upon Myanmar and Sichuan (china). These events made me ponder many questions towards God...

Why does God allow these...?

The cries of the broken-hearted mothers.

I cannot imagine the devastating pain of the parents who lost their chilren unexpectedly.

Nobody can hold back their tears after seeing this.

I'm sorry guys. I didn't mean to start your day with sadness. But i just can't help asking God, why? why? why? 14,000++ victims...they were not believers yet...the gospel has not reach to them yet... and now its too late.

I keep wondering what is God trying to tell us here... I have found my answers. Have you?

Unspeakable grief. I think the person who understands the most is God. He knows the sorrow of a grave, He buried his own son. He saw how his beloved son was crushed.

Isaiah 49:13 - The LORD comforts his people and will have pity on those who suffer.

Nothing can change who God is...He is still a Father in heaven who mourns over his children sufferings. He still loves the world.

But if God so love the world, why so many orphans and widows...?

i think God is trying to tell us....Time is running out. We are approaching end times. Jesus is coming soon. But, there are still millions of people who haven't hear the gospel. God is giving us a sign that we need to do something before more devastating catastrophes occur.

If we give our lives to Jesus, death will no longer be an eternal separation. We shall be reunited with God in heaven, together with our perished loved ones.

So brothers and sisters, before its too late...let's start saving lives while we still can.

I know your heart grieves together with them. So this is the time for us to send hope, care and help to China and Myanmar. Are we still sleeping at our comfort zone? Before its too late, what about now?

James 1:27 - Religion that God accepts as pure and without fault is this: caring for orphans and widows who need help, ad keeping yourself free from the world's evil influence.

The I heart Revolustion CD cover wrote this:

"...also challenges us all to live the worship life that goes beyond just the confession of our lips and would direct us toward action - reaching out to the lost and the broken, heling the poor and oppressed and pursuing justice and fairness for all people..."

Let us all start pray and ask God to build us up as his frontier armies and go to the ends of the world for Him.

I John 3:16 - This is how we know what LOVE is. Jesus Christ laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.

Okay let's continue for where i'd left behind. Hehe. Day 2 is not over yet. After our visit to the first village, we spent another 1 hour to arrive the second village, the famous FIREY FURNACE.

Oh yeah, thanks for logging into gepc blogspot again. I know maybe some of u are busy doing assignments, or maybe doing quotation for your companies, or maybe some other business stuffs...But since you're here...why not take a short break, put aside your workload and relax? ;) Get some biscuits and a cup of tea, have a sabbath hour~

The church
No wonder it is called FIREY FURNACE. Everything is 'hangus' one. Serious~~ The leaves and the trees looked very "Chau Da". And the heat is microwavable. Though we were excited to see the villagers, the hot weather had discouraged us a lot.

Thus, the villagers earned our respect. They are strong and tough to be able to work under the hot sun for long hours without complains. If we had to live here, the first thing we'll do is crying for our mums.

Some of the children's hair also gold/yellowish.

Even the cow is colourless.

Pastor Robert's turn to share the word. The church was no bigger than the first one. It was built mainly with zinc tiles and wood. Therefore, the temperature in the church was higher than outside because of the trapped heat.

Oh yeah, the church has only 1 small window for air ventilation.

We experienced a whole new culture of worship which is so different from our malaysian churches that are so comfortable. Okay, allow me to explain more.

You see, though its so hot, all the villagers put aside their daily chores to attend the service. They would rather use the time to worship God than to earn another few hundred riels for a meal.

What about us? Our churches have everything. Fully air-conditioned, nice chairs and carpets, wonderful music instruments and equipments...sometimes its just not enough to convince us to go to church because of assignments and exams...

Pastor Sawut and the church members.

One thing sad to know about this church is that...there are no local pastors to nurture it. Pastor Sawut, Pastor vutti and Pastor Sara have to take turns to come here and preach. Furthermore, it takes 90 minutes to reach here. To us, its not a problem but for them, they can hardly afford the expensive petrol.

Money can't buy everything. But you can't buy anything without money. *confused*

Therefore, the church is quite poor. They don't have music instruments except this drum. So we started the worship with a drum. Yet, people still sing joyfully. Its like they have been waiting for a moment like this after 6 days of work. Water, for their dried soul.

And now, let the weak say I am strong. Let the poor say I am rich because of what the Lord has done for us.

Pastor Sara, never let go of the chance to candid. *pengsan*

This man, stood up for testimony and sharing. A few days ago, he was selling some crops in the city. But he was fined by a policeman for no reasons. He had to pay 60,000 riels which later on was "discounted" to 20,000 riels (10USD). It is considered "normal" in Cambodia because policemen wants to drink kopi o. So they bullied the poor and uneducated villagers.

However, he was not discouraged and continue to praise God without worries. I don't know how is he going to pay the fine but i know somehow he will get through it because of his faith.

So after worship, we went out to welcome the children.

Sophoan is teaching the children some songs.

This village has more children than the first one.

Sabrina. Som tiek die~ (Please clap your hands)

After praise and worship, its time for ART class~~ hehe.

The best colouring of the day~

Alright, see the second boy from the left? He is so good in colouring. And he is the only boy who 'smiles' among the children. We almost wanted to give him crayons and coloring book for free but at the end we decided not to. Because we don't want him to be bullied by other children after we're gone.

There are no schools and teachers nearby. So children who are below 12 years old have to help their mothers with housechores or babysitting their younger brothers and sisters. For children who are above 12 years old, they have no choice but to start working at the fields.

See how bright is his smile? Can you believe he is 14 years old? Oh yeah, his left eye is blind because of his work that require prolong exposure to the sun. He was rewarded for a wonderful coloring but he gave to his little brother. I really pray that God will continue to bless him and his family.

Thought of the day: The needs in both villages are tremendous. The children holds the key to change Cambodia's future. Yet, without proper education, where is their future going to be? Who will go and bring hope to their land?

Day 3

How do u feel if u are pulled out from bed early morning at 6am? Here, I present to you a Malaysian Pigs in Cambodia. Hehe.

Hahaha. Hey u have to understand la. Day 2 was so tiring for us already and somemore have to wake up 6am on the next morning. It takes 6 hours to Koh kong city u know~ (and Rach keeps on Yada yada yada....)

Here's some photos snapped during the road trip. I'm bored ma. :P

KohKong is a smaller city than Phnom Penh. Pastor Anba said that it is a main illegal transit to transport Cambodian girls to Thailand for prostitution. So why are we going to Koh kong? Because we will be traveling to the islands from the jetty there.

Awww...what's with the faces?

To Koh Kong, we need to go through two rivers which require "ferry services". Oh don't get me wrong, its not like the one in penang...

Pengsan or not? Like that can call ferry ar?????

This is the only motor that drives the ferry.
We're not allowed to wait inside the van so later we have to kumpul here.

So after the cars finished loading, its our turn to find ourselves a spot to stand.

No time to jaga reputation liaw.

Shiaoyong and Pastor Chin tried to smile but too busy trying to not to fall into the water.

So we reached to the other side safely. But it's not over yet. Very soon we reached the second ferry service. So while waiting for our turn, we visited the local marketplace.

Can see cannot eat.

Aloysius paid 500 riels for the toilet. Kena marah by Amanda because too expensive. Hahaha.

Oh here, this you gotta see... Their mangosteens and langsat are superb~~ sweet!! comes our ferry~~

At last, we reached Koh Kong city. The first thing to do....MAKAN~~~
We paid a price for the lunch you know....53USD~~~!!!! for only 6 small dishes~~~!!!!!!!!

Amanda, our treasurer tried to put a smile with sweats around her forehead. Sigh...pengsan...

Then Pastor Chin tried to cheer us up...

Pastor Chin: There is a way not to pay the lunch money. Just get someone to go to the jail for us
and I will bail him/her out with 5 USD. Rachel, will you sacrifice for God?

*All of us were speechless*


It was evening when we reached Koh Kong. The weather was very cooling probably because Koh Kong is situated near the seaside. It takes 10 to 15 minutes to reach Thailand from here.

We visited a local church and met the pastor there. a few years ago, missionaries from Finland answered God's calling and build a church here in KohKong. They did a good job nurturing the people there and successfully produced pastors.

Then they left after the church is able to run its own and strong to be independent. The mother church has done a real good job in planting churches in different islands (which we are going to visit tomorrow) and building strong youth and adult fellowships.

The church. Well equipped and beautiful.

We are very thankful to the work done here. If only every churches are like this.

Can you see the person behind us? The Candid king...~
Time to goof around~

Indeed, Aloysius the 'Information centre'

Because it was monday, the church members were either working or studying. So we didn't managed to meet up with them. Sigh, I was actually hoping to interact with the youths. I heard that they are very very passionate for God.

The man who wears green colour shirt is the local pastor of the mother church. The pastors were discussing about the churches in the islands and what we can do for them.

Cannot tahan pastor sara la.... have u met any pastors like to act cute one?

The mother church has built a english tuition center for the students to help improve their english commands. The Cambodia goverment schools do not teach english so the students have to learn outside the classrooms.

On that night, we transformed into "Bonsai"s.... (Teachers).

Meet bonsai Tan, Bonsai Da, Bonsai Yong, Bonsai lee and Bonsai Aloy.
The students laugh at aloy because in Cambodia, Aloy means "Handsome". Alui means "Money".
So what do you think? Aloy is handsome or money-face? Cast your votes~

We need to teach 2 sessions. First session is mainly teaching grammar and making sentences. Our students are mostly teenagers, 16 to 18 years old.

Unlike the students in Malaysia who are forever 'paisei' and 'shy', Cambodia students are so hungry to learn and initiative.

When we told them to ask us anything they would like to know about malaysia, they are not hesitate to stand and ask, which u can hardly see among Malaysian students. One thing that really amaze me is that....their seriousness and attitude towards studies. They have great ambitions and dreams and they know they have to work really hard to achieve it. As compared to malaysian students who take their studies for granted...sigh...shame shame...

1 session only takes 1 hour, enough for them to appreciate the chance to learn. They come for classes everyday, some students even travel from other villages.

We interviewed them about their names, families, ambitions and many more. We tried to help them to speak proper english sentences and correct their mistakes. We had a lot of fun. I am really blessed by their cheerful attitudes and their hearts to learn.

If i have them as my students, i don't mind staying at Koh Kong for long term.

Then we played some games, such as hang man, guess the alphabets and etc...

After one hour, the next session begins. The second session is mainly teaching ABC, spelling and simple vocabulary. The students are mostly primary students. The classroom was flooded with people very quickly because the first session students did not want to leave yet. They loved talking to us and wished to learn more from us.

Thought of the day: Appreciate what we have right now because many people dreamed to become like us yet couldn't. Though we belong to different countries, we still share a lot in common. We, who has the power and blessings given by God, should share with them, who are also children of God... After all, we all belong to the same family of God, we are each other's brethrens. Help us O God, how to help my brothers and sisters...

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