It's been more than a year since my first missions trip to Cambodia. Fond memories still linger on and here I am finally getting down to sharing a tiny piece of my experience with you:)
Six of us ladies arrived in Phnom Penh in May last year for a 10-day missions trip. It was nothing short of adventure and excitement from Day One! Upon arrival, we were warmly greeted by two church members who gave us a quick tour of the city, taught us some useful Cambodian (Khmer) phrases and checked us in to our cosy hotel. "Akun Jann, thank you very much" came in very handy during our stay there and frankly that's all I can recall today.
The first few days were mainly trips to the nearby market (ladies = shopping!) and ministering at local churches. We also visited the Bible College where we shared our testimonies with the bible college students. I was beyond nervous but what was to be a two-minute sharing stretched to twelve minutes...and I ended it truly relieved, knowing that God is always in control (even when I am not!). Received a nice red t-shirt from our new friends at the Bible College as a parting gift. You may have noticed me proudly wearing it in some of the photos:)
Our next destination was Battambang. Second largest city in Cambodia. The bus trip there took about 7 hours I think. Bearing in mind all of this adventure happened last May, the details tend to get a bit messed up from time to time...sorry. Although it was a long journey, it was a great opportunity to absorb the scenic landscape and lifestyle along the way. I'll spare you the 'loo' details but all in all it was pretty exciting with God's protection upon us all the way.
Battambang is where Pastor Sam lives. Shortly after our arrival, we were introduced to his family and his ministerial team. The warm welcome allowed us to relax and participate in their church activities naturally. Little did we know that our biggest 'adventure' was yet to come. Pastor Sam is very involved in ministering to families in the interior areas of Battambang. Some places are easier and safer to reach travelling on a motorbike. Yes and that's exactly what we hopped on bright and early the next morning!! Adventure? Hadn't been on a motorbike for 300 years and it was the same for the other ladies so...you guessed it, PRAYER big time...ALL THE WAY!! Two of us 'volunteered' for the 2-hour ride while the rest were very happy with their hour long bike journey. O and by the way, pillion riders don't wear helmets there. So with wind in our hair and dust in our faces, we braved the red, rocky roads of Battambang whispering prayers to God at every bump and bend!! Once my faith and balance kicked in, the ride became most pleasant and exciting.
The village children were all gathered in a make shift hut, eagerly waiting our arrival. We had stopped at a stall along the way and bought some goodies for the kids. Shared the story of David and Goliath with lots of action and drama. It was such a beautiful experience sharing God's Word with them...in English. Had a translator fortunately! We then went to a different location to share with another group of children where some World Vision staff were visiting too. They joined in and together we spent almost two hours or so sharing God's Word, singing and playing games with the energetic children. Their smiles and laughter truly touched my heart...Our time spent in Battambang was indeed a special experience and the impact of it remains strong till today.
Our final destination in Cambodia was Siem Riep where we got to see the famous Angkor Wat and some interesting cultural dance performances. Our flight home was from Siem Riep. 10 days of new and exciting experiences. My most impactful ones were of course those spent with the precious children:)