As I have come to expect, my first full day in Cambodia has been a doozy. It’s only 9pm local time, but my body feels like I’ve been up all night. Thanks, Jet Lag.
It would be nearly impossible to write about everything we’ve done today. Before noon, we had already bought shoes, visited Psar Tuol Tompong (aka the Russian Market) and toured the notorious Tuol Sleng genocide museum. After Tuol Sleng, we headed out over the river towards our orphan homes in Prek Eng.
In a period of about six hours, we visited all four homes, playing volleyball, hide-and-seek, Simon says, Uno, Skip Bo and countless other games including the one where all the kids tackle me and I try to get up. I call that one “Gulliver.” Not a huge amount of fun for my aging body, but the kids howl with laughter.
At about 6pm, we headed back to Phnom Penh and attempted to visit Pheaktra, one of our kids who is in the hospital for a kidney injury sustained in a tuk-tuk accident. The hospital staff decided to only allow family members, and our white skin was a dead giveaway that we were not family, biologically speaking, at least. We were, however, able to talk with him via cell phone and see him wave from his fourth floor balcony.
Many of you have been praying for Pheaktra over the last couple of weeks. Thankfully, he’ll be heading home from the hospital within a couple of days, and is expected to recover completely. When we arrived today at Prek Eng 2, Pheaktra’s home, I asked about his condition.
After giving me the good news about his prognosis, Narun, Prek Eng 2’s director said, “Every night, we pray for three people: Pheaktra, Karen and Joe.” He pointed to the wall, and there was a picture of my friend (and Pheaktra’s sponsor, incidentally) Joe Aebi, who was diagnosed last week with serious liver cancer. Nearby was a picture of Karen James, my friend and Central Vineyard Church’s sponsorship coordinator who successfully fought off thyroid cancer last year.
What a blessing. What an unbelievable blessing. I spent my last week in the states thinking of nothing but Joe and his family. I sent a picture of Joe from Facebook to Narun, and he has had the staff and kids praying daily that God would heal Joe and bless his wife and children. And even though they know that Karen had recovered fully, they still pray for her every night.
It’s beyond humbling to serve these wonderful people on your behalf. Please join them in praying for Joe Aebi and his family. And please continue to generously support Asia’s Hope.
Tomorrow I’m taking all of the kids from Prek Eng 1, 2, 3 and 4 to the beach at Kompong Som. It should be a great time, The kids are so excited they haven’t been able to sleep.
I haven’t taken many pictures yet, but I’m sure I’ll get quite a few tomorrow. God bless you!