Our Lutheran Hour Ministries International Volunteer Team from St. Paul Lutheran Church, Mt. Prospect, Ill., continues the journal of their trip to participate in the ministry of our Cambodia ministry center.The bus arrived at our hotel at 7:30 AM to drive us to our project site in a rural area near the village of Chhuk (about an hour north of our hotel in Kampot.) After we arrived, we were introduced to the contractors and church members, then got right to work by 9:00AM. The foundation of the preschool was already laid out in preparation for our arrival. Our assignment for the day was to loosen a pile of clay packed soil with shovels and hoes, load it into baskets, and then dump it into the foundation. Simultaneously, the local workers constructed the four corner and two center supports out of wood.
At 11:00, we went back to Chhuk for lunch at a local restaurant. Cambodian mealtime is an important family and social time. It took almost three hours for us to feast on the five separate dishes brought out one at a time, plus a special treat of roasted cashews and jack fruit. At one point, our server had to run to the market to pick up the ingredients for the next course!
Following lunch, we headed to the village of Krosang. A teacher in the village invited LHM to hold a puppet show and adult Bible class for her son’s 6th birthday party. What a fun way to spread the Gospel. Following the puppet show, we passed out witness bracelets to each child asking them to promise to use the colored beads to share the Gospel story with their friends. It was “Buddha Day” today, a National holiday. How awesome to know these 85 children and their parents who attended the party spent this day learning about Christ their Savior instead of asking for blessings from a god that can’t help them.
Dinner was at Sisters 2 Restaurant and Bakery in Kampot. It is owned by a Pastor’s wife who runs the restaurant to support their family’s income. She told us that the orphanage where she lived growing up was going to sell her, but she was in an accident and broke her leg, so she could not be sold. But now she is so very grateful to have met her husband and learned about Christ. She feels exceptionally blessed.
Nicole’s devotion tonight was about how God gives each of us special talents. This was very evident today. We learned that some of us were good at basket carrying, some at shoveling, some at swinging the hoe, all working together as one Body of Christ, each of us given the skills we need to complete this project.