Always time for dinner with family


I'm going to make this post a short one, as I'm still a bit jet lagged, and I'm getting up early tomorrow to visit the spectacular Angkor Wat temple complex with Kori, Xiudan and Pak. 

As the presence of this post would indicate to all but the most casual readers, we made it to Cambodia. It took us about 38 hours to do so, but we're in good spirits. We're starting our trip in Siem Reap — or, as I like to call it "Pigeon Forge, Cambodia." That is to say, it's overrun with tourists and tacky souvenir shops. Unlike the actual Pigeon Forge, however, it's also home to world-class architectural, archeological and cultural attractions and more than a few decent restaurants.

We decided to start our 45 day trip with a couple of days in Siem Reap — away from any of our project sites — to give my family a chance to recover from the exhausting journey in private, away from eyes of staff, kids and supporters who might be scandalized by witnessing one or all of us dozing off mid-meal or experiencing a physical or emotional meltdown. All kidding aside, my kids travel very well: they're enthusiastic, inquisitive and almost always extraordinarily pleasant to be around.

We settled into our hotel yesterday and spent this morning at a local archery range (take note: if our castle is attacked by Mongol hordes, we're going to have to rely on boiling oil rather than bow and arrow for our defense) and even got in a little swimming.

For dinner this evening we met a team from Vista Community Church. They had been in town visiting Angkor Wat, joined by a handful of university students and Savong, one of our Asia's Hope parents, from the Prek Eng 3 children's home. Vista has faithfully supported the Prek Eng 3 kids and staff for more than a decade, and have helped us raise these kids since they were quite young. They're also covering university costs for these young scholars who are studying to be engineers, entrepreneurs, lawyers and public servants. 

Dinner was great. I mean, the food was okay. But man, what a joy it is to spend a couple of hours with these amazing kids and a group of supporters from my own hometown. It was a special treat to spend the evening with Tod Heath, a guy I've known since I was about 13 years old. His son Adam is a dear friend of mine and one of my longest-serving board members. Tod and his wife Nancy were among Asia's Hope's earliest supporters, and they've been generous with their prayers, wisdom and finances as long or longer than pretty much anyone else. This is Tod's first visit to Cambodia, and I'm so glad he's finally had the chance to see first-hand what he's been investing in for all these years.

Well, I rise at dawn tomorrow for a long day under the hot sun. So I'm going to hit the sack. May God bless all of you who pray for — and pay for — our work here in Asia. I hope that my posts over the next few weeks will encourage and entertain. Peace.

John McCollumComment