The last couple of days have been a blur, and it's only going to get blurrier...
Tomorrow is The Big Day, the dedication of the Asia's Hope Secondary School in Battambang. We're hosting a variety of distinguished guests from Cambodia and abroad.
Last night, Pastor Dave Vance from Crossroads Church (Mansfield, OH) arrived, joining a team from his church already in town. Dave's congregation sponsors our Battambang 3 and Battambang 7 homes, and it was a delight to witness his very first arrival.
I was playing games at home 3 when the team's van pulled into the driveway. The kids squealed in excitement, jumped up and ran to the vehicle. When Dave stepped out, he, Darlene and Greg — who had also arrived just yesterday — were swarmed with hugs. After a delicious homemade dinner, the kids and staff presented each visitor with a gift (even I got one!) and then we enjoyed more than an hour of singing, and dancing and sharing stories.
Finally I whispered to team leader Jocelyn, "I think Dave is getting tired." Shortly thereafter, the party wrapped up with one more raucous tune, and all of us returned to the hotel — exhausted but thrilled to be part of the joyous occasion.
This morning, we got up bright and early and headed out with almost 200 people in a massive convoy to a mountain retreat about an hour and half outside of town. All of us filed down to the river and there, Dave, Savorn and I had the honor of baptizing 130 people in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit while our staff sang hymns in Khmer.
Of those baptized, forty five were from the towns and villages surrounding our Battambang homes — men, women and children who, through the witness of our staff and kids, have decided to follow Christ.
What a blessing to be a part of such an amazing move of God here in Cambodia. The church here is small, but vibrant, and Asia's Hope is a beacon of Jesus' mercy and kindness to the community at large, growing brighter by the day.
Tomorrow we celebrate the next stage of our investment in Cambodia's future. Keep us in your prayers, as some of us — myself included — are running low on energy, skirting sickness. Thank you for supporting this amazing work.