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Jewel in Cambodia Scarves for Cambodia Journals for the Journey

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

2 Cambodian poems

I wrote these poems about Cambodia, while in Cambodia.  They would be more amusing if you were there, but I think that you will still enjoy them.  I had an incredible time in Cambodia, thank you for your prayers.  The first few days were rough and I wasn't sure that I would ever enjoy myself, but I loved it!  It was challenging and stretching, but God is good and He taught me so much.  I will have more blogs posted soon.  Here are 3 links to 3 facebook photo albums from Cambodia:

All This and More in Cambodia

by: Jewel Reed
I don’t understand how Vandy is a man.
Or how 23 people could fit in one van.
Why did our Kratie hotel toilet throw poop
and why did the American people say they were a Singapore group?
Why is there mold on Melanie’s toothbrush
and why does our toilet never flush?
Why do Karen and Jewel laugh at everything?
Seriously, do we really have to sing?
You have never lived until you have seen Arun make pb and jelly.
You have never lived until youhave been to the market so smelly.
I cannot believe that I ate a whole frog,
or that Tiffany almost hit a van in a huge traffic clog.
Does Whitney’s dad really work for a print shop?
Shouldn’t all moto drivers know the word ’stop?’
Have you ever heard "Everything but the kitchen sink?"
Did you know that Titos likes pink?
Have you ever sang a song with Song?
Have you ever been stuck in mud for two hours long?
Why does Som On laugh like a goat
and why did we go on a dolphin cruise in a janky little boat?
Can you believe that Juns in the mafia with Whitney’s dad
and why does Pholla speak English so bad?
I am so glad no one saw me slip on the stair,
but I am more glad that everyone saw Melanie break a chair.
Why does Noel not like children and games?
How do you pronounce all these Khmer names?
Did you see all the Post-Its on Beth’s face?
Maybe we should try to sing Amazing Grace.
Well, Kristens a doctor, won’t she know what to do?
There’s a really big bug, do you have a big shoe?
Why did Pastor Jun give his daughter a bird black and blue?
It died in our van and I think we all might have bird flu.
She had it on a string, swung it around her head.
No one is surprised that Jairah’s diseased bird is dead.
Did you hear that Tim wore a little grass skirt?
Did I tell you that our bus driver is a little flirt?
Have you seen Vandy sit in the fridge at night?
Have you seen Chamnol dance on the bed? It’s quite a sight.
Last night there was a gecko on Karen and EVERYONE heard Jewel scream.
For breakfast every morn, the Khmer have rice and the team - iced coffee with cream.

Oh Cambodia, Cambodia
by: Jewel Reed
Oh Cambodia, Cambodia, how lovely is your culture.
The motos fast, the cows are slow;
and in the streets, trash seems to grow.
Cambodia, Cambodia, how lovely is your culture.
Oh Cambodia, Cambodia, how lovely are your people.
The roads are mud, the Khmer brown;
When couples kiss, the people frown.
Cambodia, Cambodia, how lovely are your people.
Oh Cambodia, Cambodia, how many are your germs.
The fish uncooked, baby butts in the sink.
No TP in the stalls, Titos likes pink.
Cambodia, Cambodia, how lovely are your germs.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Tess, Chamnol, Vandy and MUD

Our team has returned from Kratie to Phenom Penh. We arrived on Sunday and expected to have no electricity except at our hotel in the evenings. Good news -- we had electricity our 2nd day. It was a long 5-hr drive. After being told there was no electricity, and knowing that it was a 5 hour drive, I had wanted hoped for another option, but.. God is good and I had an AMAZING and blessed time in Kratie, Cambodia. We worked alongside Tess and Chamnol and Vandy at A New Life Wesleyan Church and New Hope English school. They are 3 incredible people and have a special place in my heart. Tess is a World Hope missionary from the Phillipines teaching English at the school. Vandy is the pastor of the church, and Chamnol works for both the school and the church. The school and church share one small property. Tess spent 2 nights with Karen, Mel and I at the hotel because she did not have electricity in her home. Tess is amazing and beautiful and it was so encouraging to see her so faithful to doing the Lord's work through tough circumstances. Chamnol (Tito) and Vandy have great testimonies too and I had a great time laughing and playing Mafia and Signs with them. I hate goodbyes, but we had to do it. We will be attending a wedding on Saturday, and Tito & Vandy will be attending with us, but I know I likely may never see Tess again.
My hotel room had a slight plumbing malfunction. For three days it was gurrgling and bubbling in the middle of the night. However, being in Cambodia, we simply ingnored it. Well…funny thing, while I was showering Saturday afternoon someone else's (key word: not mine or Karen's or Mel's or Tess') fesis exploded into our toilet bowl (key word: ours). Obviously it needed attention so I went downstairs with Jun, told the right man, and a guy with a plunger and a comb (yes, only a plunger and a comb) spent 15 minutes clanging around behind closed doors. Not sure quite what happened... but we definitely didn't open our toilet for two more days.
We awoke this morning to discover it had rained all night. Yesterday was the 1st night I have slept all the way through without disruption, so maybe I have the peaceful rain to thank for that, but the rain caused great difficulty on the dirt roads. Our 5 hour journey home quickly became 9 hours when we hit mud, which took our '92 Camry all over the road. It was comparable to a terrible snow/ice storm in Indiana, except... it was ridiculous and terrifying. The roads were built on dirt mounds 1-3 stories above ground to prevent flooding in the rainy season. It was a high stress situation, I was really nervous for our drivers, Tim and Jun. Yet I was more worried about the adults and the children (covered in mud from head-to-toe, some also naked) who thought it amusing to chase our car and push our bumpers. We reached a rough spot not half way through our journey and were stopped for 2 hours because a gas truck and a large bus were stuck in the mud only inches from one another. Tim, Tiffany, Noel, Mel and I journey through the muddy street to reach our other half in Pastor Jun's van, where we played Mafia to pass the time. The Lord was faithful to answer our every prayer (many were lifted as we treked miles of mud) and we were protected, as well as the people around us.
A few random things you may be wondering: We do have air conditioning in our bedrooms here, but the only showering option is cold. I have not had milk. What I miss most from America is milk. I haven't learned any more Khmer since I have been here. A huge part of our ministry here is teaching English though, so many we encounter have little-great English-speaking abilities. It's really hot, but tolerable. I haven't eaten a tarantula or duck egg, but I did hold a really large elephant beetle.
This week we will be staying at Tim and Tiffany's house in Phenom Penh, working with the students at the Bible school. I am so excited to spend quality time with the students and build relationships with them. Pastor Jun and his family are returning to the States on Sunday, so there will be more sad goodbyes on Saturday.
Thank you for your continued prayers. I love Cambodia.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

How great is our God! -- from Indiana to Cambodia

Hello from Cambodia - like 11 time zones away... weird.
Cambodia is ok -- I'm not sure Asia is my cup of tea. Things are very different - very different from the States, and very different from South/Central America. I am definitely out of my comfort zone, but that is a good thing. I prayed to be stretched and to be uncomfortable. I just really cannot find how I am supposed to ''fit into'' the work we are doing here. Our team is starting to grow closer I think. I just really haven't been able to connect in our ministry. I am praying to know what God is trying to teach me. It's nice to be with Tim & Tiffany. It was so great to see them waiting outside the airport gates. Having a special bond with them before they were missionaries and Cambodia, and seeing them in their element now has made me really think about how my life is going to change once I am in my true God-called element. I haven't felt too sick yet, but I don't eat much. I already almost don't like rice anymore. I did stay at the house sick yesterday while our team went to Teoul Slang and the Killing Fields (like a Cambodian Holocaust, only 30 yrs ago). It's hot here, but tolerable. I definitely feel like it was hotter in the Dominican Republic 2 summers ago. I can't understand a single thing the Khmer people are saying when they talk this asian language. I keep wanting to talk in spanish, but "Hola Zanda" just doesn't fit. I feel like I'm getting enough sleep, but we have been absolutely exhausted every dinner everynight, and getting to bed anywhere between 9-10 usually, with the exception of the night we arrived. Tomorow we are headed to Croche, about a 5 hr drive. We will be there for 5 days teaching English classes. The area has lost electricity, but we're hoping and praying that our hotel will still be functioning on a generator. Tim and Tiffany's house is very nice, but I usually "hold it" when we are other places. Pray that I can find my place on this team, my niche, that I can connect with some students and build good relationships. I don't feel "used" yet. It feels like it has been a two weeks but it has only been 6 days, which means 18 more. On our 1st day I went with Tiffany to the market, and it was really my first experience in the situation. I never went to the Dominican market, the Mexican market, the Honduran market, the Ecuadorian market. It was hard. The smells, the sights. The ground is absolutely disgusting, like the streets and yards and everywhere, and the tables and bowls and hands are almost equally disturbing. I know the vegetables and fruits and meats can be washed, which is ok, but it was difficult. I honestly stopped and thought and couldn't imagine doing this on a daily basis - food is a necessity. In 6 years I intend to be serving in a very third world country, married or not, and I WILL have to buy my food in a similar market. I was talking to Tim about how bothered I was, and he said something like: "You will be amazed at what God can do through you." God will help me overcome the difficult things, and there will be many difficult things. I'm so excited to learn more and see how God will work in me and through me now in Cambodia, and later in life at other places and in other opportunities. Praise Him. I will never forget what Ruben, our van driver in the DR, said one evening: "We are serving the same God in the Dominican Republic, in China, in Africa, and in the States." What an amazing thought. How great is our God!