June 2012

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Chumriep Sua,


Happy Summer! Hope you are well into a good book, lounging in a comfortable chair awaiting some tasty grilled goodies. I can’t say that the last month here has had much time in any chair, but there have been some good goodies to go along with slashing, clapping, shipping, and sailing.


We started off the month getting soaked to the bone, in a good way, when Siem Reap and I took his students out to celebrate their successful completion of another English level. They have spent the last three months diligently working their way through their English book, passing both a midterm and final as well as a presentation. It’s fun to see their enthusiasm and ever growing language skills take off, especially when visitors come and there isn’t a bit of shyness in trying it out. So, with a unanimous vote we were off to the local water park for a day of slipping, sliding and ear-to-ear smiling. You could see every bright eye and pearly white tooth until our van ride home when they were blurry-eyed or sound asleep from hitting every ride and slide at least a hundred times.


From one celebration to another, in June we held a special thank you ceremony for Pastor Petros who stepped down after completing his full two terms as our national president. District supervisors came from around the country and we were able to present him with a certificate of appreciation. This was of course followed by the traditional Cambodian cake smooshing. Bring a cake to any party in the country and you will find more in your ear or eye than in your mouth. When in…. Cambodia… so goes the celebrating.


In May it was Sam, and in June we were fortunate to have Jenny as our ‘bag sherpa’ when she agree to carry another 50 pounds of the girls’ creations over to the US. And, I just got word from our friends at One8 that the bags were basically sold before they even arrived. So our girls in the sewing room are doing great, learning lots, and building a wonderful education savings. Thank you One8, Singapore, Hong Kong and everyone who has helped support the sewing room and our education program.


With the shipping done, it was time to sail; this month I also served as guide for a team of energetic youth and their pastor from Foursquare Korea. They arrived after a six-hour bus ride from Vietnam, we shuffled luggage to our van and the journey continued across the Cambodian countryside. After seven hours of driving through rice fields and palm groves, busy towns and quiet villages we arrived in Siem Reap.


We checked in at 11pm and woke up at 5, explored the ruins of Angkor Wat and Bayon for three hours, had a quick lunch and were off to visit our church orphan home. Here’s where the moving and shaking really got started, as the songs, games, and skits took off. Sung Mee and the Korean team had learned a couple Cambodian songs, which impressed the kids and they immediately jumped in to sing along. The team then started off a couple of Korean songs, and it was their turn to be impressed, as once again the kids joined in a sang the Korean songs. Yes, they are becoming tri-lingual. So, with songs sung and games played we were back on the road by 4 and rolled into Phnom Penh at 11. Fortunately, I was not up at the crack of ‘oh dark early’ the next morning, but they were up and headed back to Vietnam by 6 o’clock. That was sailing through 36 hours.


Eli update:

She’s got four clear teeth with two more on the way, and she loves to put her mark on every bottle, bag, or forearm. She’s also a big fan of the swimming pool, or really any puddle of water she can play in. And, she’s got her first pair of shoes, which she will no doubt wear through in no time. So, she, Naome and I are doing great.


Enjoy your summer adventures, whether they are climbing a mountain or climbing into a recliner.


Thank you for your friendship, prayers, and support.


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