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Jewel in Cambodia Scarves for Cambodia Journals for the Journey

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

hello from kratie

Greetings again from Kratie, Cambodia. I have so many things to say, and so little time, and I also don't want to bore anyone by writing things that interest only me.. so let's see how quickly and effectively I can write this blog.
My team (6 of my new best friends) flew home on Friday night, so I'm the only whitey here now. I stayed the Bible college for a few days, but all the students went home Saturday morning because they were very ill. I was also very ill for 1 week. I spent 3 entire days in bed, and was finally taken to the hospital. For $43, I consulted a doctor, had my blood tested twice, had my urine and a stool sample tested, and was given a week supply of 3 prescription medicines. 1 week later, I am feeling much much better.
Yesterday evening I arrived in Kratie with Pastor Vandy and missionary Tess. I am staying at Tess' house, and taking showers with a bucket and rain water, and learning how to sneak under a mosquito net without letting the bugs in, and also how to hide my food from the rats. Aside from this, I love Kratie very very much. I have many friends here. I'm not too sure on my schedule, but I know that I will be tutoring a handful of graduating seniors, and preparing them for graduation exams and then for scholarships. I will also teach 2 English classes in the evening.
On Friday afternoon, Tess and I will go by taxi 2 hours to ...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Back in Kratie...

I am back in Kratie, Cambodia. Here is the province where I made many close friends last May. Everyone here remembers me, my name, and my story - even people that I do not recognize. It's great to see them again and be encouraged by them. After my team leaves on May 21, I will return to Kratie and spend 2 weeks with Rolitess (a filippino World Hope missionary). I am very excited! The youth are very active in the church, and most also attend the English school - so I will have alot of fun with them.
This morning we hiked up a mountain to see the city. We went up maybe 350 stairs and halfway up I was thrilled to find a restroom. It was a little shady - but I was a new woman after using it. Monday evening we rode elephants up a mountainside in Siem Reap and it was absolutely beautiful at the top. We coud see Angkor Wat on the horizon, and the sun was starting to set. I am really able to connect with God through nature and I was reminded again of His goodness. Every evening after team devotions we talk about our "highs and lows" of the day, and everyone's high was the top of the mountain.
Our van driver, Om, also went up with us - he doesn't join us for many things aside from meals, so we took advantage of the opportunity to take a picture with him, and I think it meant alot to him that we included him. Ihave seen him bow his head when we pray over meals, and it warms my little white heart. =)
Yesterday I taught 2 intermediate English courses. It was different, but I enjoyed it. Last night we went to Tess' house (she is a World Hope missionary in Kratie, teaching English) and we had prayer meeting. We sang praises, then shared a testimony, and shared prayer requests then prayed the Korean way - everyone outloud and holding hands. It was really neat.
We are all still sharing 1 room. We pushed 3 full beds together and 7 of us are sleeping comfortably. We have gotten very close and it's been alot of fun experiencing Cambodia together.
Finally, I'm thinking about getting married so Tess is going to teach me how to cook rice later this week... I'll let you sit and ponder that one. =)
Please continue praying for me and my ministry here. I want to grow closer to God and take others with me!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Experiences in Cambodia...

I am still here at Freedom Hotel in Siem Reap - the tourism hotspot of Cambodia. We have been a few different places. This morning and afternoon we walked through Angkor Wat (google it!) and in 2 hours we will be riding elephants through the mountains to watch the sun set. (Oh boy I'm excited about that!!)
Yesterday was our first Sunday here in Cambodia, so we visited 2 churches. The 1st church was where I spoke last year, and both pastors remembered me and my story. Tonight we will return to one church to teach English classes. Yesterday evening we visited the Cultural Village (a tourist attraction of cultural dances and shows) but it rained very much and we were not able to see any shows, but did walk through the rain - running from tree to tree.
Our missionary (Pastor Greg, aka "Baby Bird") left us in Siem Reap with 3 Khmer pastors - Vandy, Chamnol, and Arun. They have been teaching me alot of Khmer - and I can now introduce myself in Khmer when we visit churches. I hired a Buddhist driver named Om to drive us place to place (he looks like gorilla.) Please pray that I can be a light for him. His English is not good, but I know that he is listening to us and watching us.
Tuesday morning we will leave for Kratie (my very favorite province in Cambodia). Pastor Greg and Resie and their 2 young daughters will be joining us there. I have missed him and his humor. I am also very excited to reunite with my friends in Kratie, especially a filippino missionary named Tess. When my team leaves, I will be staying with her for 2 weeks. This week is a national holiday (the king's birthday) so many schools are closed, but we still expect to offer our evening English courses because when the American girls arrive.. so do the Cambodians.
I have had mymoments of feeling sick, but it hasn't been bad. I do not each much because I am full very easy. This morning for breakfast I ate only 1/2 a small pancake. Please continue to pray for my health and energy so that I can be effective in ministry and not be held back by my physical body. Thank you for remembering me in your prayers. God is teaching me new things everyday and I am feeling closer to Him. Pray that I will continue to be filled with the Spirit and that my mind will give attention to opportunities to minister. Thank you!

David & Michele - The young filippino missionary Tess will still be in Kratie during my internship, so I will be staying with her. =) Thank you for praying.
Keetha - You are right about the ice!
Joni - Tell Leah I miss her so much!! What a big girl!!!
Mom - My malaria prescription says that I should take it alone, but I will begin to take my other meds with it so that I do not forget. Please take a picture of our big tree so that I will always remember it!

More to come when I can...

Saturday, May 09, 2009

in Cambodia...

I'm sorry that I haven't had alot of time to write. Internet isn't always available, and when it is it has been very slow. I am also very tired.
We arrived May 3rd, late Sunday night. It is so great to be back and see everyone! I missed so many people and it's great to see them again. It has been funny because I keep receiving phone calls from friends in Cambodia. When I am with Pastor Greg, Vandy and Leak and Pholla have called, and now I am with Titos and Vandy, and Pastor Greg has called me. Pastor Greg is our missionary and I intially had a difficult time connecting with him, but now we are tight and I really like him alot.
I also talked with Jessie on the phone one afternoon! She is in the Philippines with my friends that are missionaries there - and her missionaries called my missionaries and we were able to talk for a minute or two. I cried I was so happy!
I have eaten ALOT of sticky white rice! I am also enjoying Cambodian iced coffee. Intially, Pastor Greg refused to order for me because the ice is not good for me - but now I am drinking it everyday. =)
I had two nightmares before I left for Cambodia - one was that ther wouldn't be pillows anywhere, and that did come true 1 night for me because 7 of us were sharing 3 small beds. I did manage though.
Last night at the WBI I slept very little because it was late and there was 1 or 2 men that kept pacing past our window. I tried to convince myself that they were not there - but they were! The students told me this morning that it was probably just the working passing to use the restroom, but I know that they hung around for a little while.
I love my team so much! I know that God put the 7 of us together because we fit perfectly. I have been having so much fun with them and I feel like I can share absolutely anything with them. It's still 2 weeks away, but it will be very hard when they leave and I remain.
I ate 1 bite of a duck again and tomorrow I am CONSIDERING trying a tarantula. We stopped today at an outdoor market / rest area and there were children vendors and a couple girls had live tarantulas on their shirts. They tried teasing us with them - I almost cried and pee'd my pants!
God has taught me incredible things everyday. Seriously. My eyes have been opened to see people and situations that continue to grow and change me. We were eating late one evening and 1 woman begger really caught my eye, but I didn't give her attention. We gave her and egg and I said God bless you. Later I realized - she is representing the forgotten, the people of this world who we (unintentially) walk upon. I wonder what would have happened if I had decided to be radical in my faith and offered her my seat at the table, and bought her a meal. I don't know. I am being reminded everyday to be selfless and to be in an attitude of prayer and thankfulness.
Pastor Greg let me drive the van! I was so nervous on the roads with the traffic - but it was fun!

Mom - I love you! Happy Mother's Day and happy birthday!!
Jessie - did you meet a 44ish-yr-old man named Richard? He is going to be engaged to one of my best friends here (Channa).
Grandmom - I have decided to brush my teeth with the sink water - I know this is not healthy. Please pray for me. =) I love you!
Victor - everyone here thinks that you look like a Cambodian! Please tell your fam that I said hello!

I could write 1 million more things, but I also want to update the team blog. You can read that here: We should have decent internet through Tuesday morning, so I will try to blog again tomorrow or the following day.

Please keep me in your prayers. Leave comments!!!