Thank you for waiting. We moved into Anlongveng since July 18, right after returning from Field Forum (FF), but our new place had no internet access available, until recently. However, we are in Phnom Penh this weekend as Jonathan and I will fly out to Malaysia on July 31. And though we are in the big city now, this guesthouse has no internet access either. I am preparing this note and saving it in the outbox hoping that after I leave (tomorrow), the internet will come back so Soeuth could send it out to you. Anyway, a lot had happened since our last communication; and to get a glimpse of what took place, let’s begin in chronological order.
July 8-14: We had a great time at FF joining with the Thai mission team in Hua Hin Province, Thailand. The Cambodian mission team was a bit smaller compared to our neighboring mission field. Nevertheless, we had a fantastic time. After field forum, we stayed a few extra days in Bangkok for medical and dental check-ups for all of us. Praise God, all went well.
First of all, to avoid getting our things wet (it’s a rainy season now), we covered all our trucks with blue-green plastic tarps and tied them up tightly. As the three vehicles were leaving Poipet, however, we were stopped by border security authorities at various check points. The border officials had assumed that since all our trucks were covered up, they thought that we must had smuggled illegal goods from Thailand. So Soeuth and the drivers stopped the vehicles, walked to the check point “office”, and explained our situations to the local authorities. In some locations, the officials did not even bother to accept our explanations but went on ahead and ordered that the trucks be untied and exposed so they could “inspect” the contents, and afterward, they let us go. Altogether, we were stopped six times for the first 80 kilometers from Poipet! Secondly, when we thought we had a break from the local authorities, the Pajero was overheated!
Thirdly, realizing that they would encounter more problems with highway authorities, the two drivers from the big the truck decided to return to Poipet in middle of the night. That meant that we had to immediately unload everything from all three trucks. We did it. By the time we got everything unloaded, we were deadly exhausted.
And on top of that, we had to think about food! Where would we buy food in the middle of the night in this small isolated town? Fortunately, I remembered to bring along a box of instant noodles. But the challenge was to find pots, pans, and dishes among other things to feed everyone. There were thirteen of us altogether: Three guys from Poipet, two drivers from the big rented truck, three Lao family members, and a young family with three small children (This family had requested and agreed to come work and live with us in Anlongveng for the next four years).
And then finally, we needed to find bedding supplies and mosquito nets for everyone to sleep for the night. And as it is rainy season, we also had to find dry places for storing our things. Needless to say, we were tired and weary to the bone. By the time we went to bed, it was passed 2:00am, Wednesday morning. But even then, there was no rest for the weary because the next few days was a whirlwind of cleaning the house and moving heavy things into temporary locations until all our dressers, book shelves and our cabinets arrived-- at the end of August, when we will make another trip to Poipet. In between moving, the landlord and his people also dropped by many times throughout each day to continue with their repairing works.
July 21, Friday morning: We sent off the three young men back to Poipet via a taxi as Soeuth also left for Siem Reap province to pick up a visiting team of eight people: three adults and five high school youth from Detroit Lakes, MN.
|Detroit Lake MN team came and help us|
We were very grateful to this team. Their main purpose for coming to Cambodia was to help us move and settle into our new place in Anlongveng. For the next five days, they did just that. And what a blessing they had been to us! While we were grateful to God for finding this house, there was much work to be done before we could actually live in. And every helping hand was needed. While the team scrubbed and cleaning the ceilings and windows and put new fresh coats of pains in a few rooms, I also scrubbed and cleaned the bathrooms and floors. We are still far away from being done, but compared to what it was the house looks much better now.
Another problem we encountered these past few days was that we had too many heavy rains everyday.
July 24, Monday morning: Many parts of Anlongveng were covered with flood waters! In some locations, the flood was chest-deep even on the main road! While many houses or huts were being destroyed or completely washed away by strong currents of the flood, our place was not affected. And of the 13 houses that we had looked at from early July, only our present house was spared. Clearly, God had prepared this place for us. When talking with local people, we learned that although Anlongveng was often affected by heavy rains, this year's flood the worst one so far.
|Flood at Anlongveng|
|Sunday "church" at Anlongveng|
July 27, Thursday afternoon: We took a break from house cleaning and visited a few houses in the village where we attended “church” on Sunday and went to one house after another visiting one family at a time to learn more about their lives and reasons for their belief. We also asked if they had any prayer requests and they had. After praying for their specific requests, we left each house promising the family that we would come again soon.
July 28, Early Friday morning: With another rented taxi and our Nissan pick-up truck, we loaded up the team and drove 80 kilometers to Sra Aem village in Preah Vihear Province to visit with the one-star general, Mr. Vannary and his wife Phally, along with some believers there. Through this visit, we learned much about the amazing stories and miracles of how the Good News of Jesus Christ was being introduced and spread to this particular area. But we will share this story at another time…
|Visit to Sraeam Village|
Well, that is enough news for now. THANK YOU so much for all your prayers and supports…
Syna and Soeuth