26 May 2008

Church Service at Chroy Ampil Orphan Home 25 May 08

We had a great time at the orphanage again this past Sunday... some of the college students and I went down by moto (my farthest distance driving a moto) and met all of the children from the three orphan homes at Prek Eng Chroy Ampil Home... here are a few pics... the first slideshow is of the service... I did get to play clarinet and share a little with the children, (but I couldn't take a picture of myself doing it...) The second slide show is of the time with the kids afterwards... always eating fruit... this time Savorn bought some corn as well... I really miss corn... after my bout with diverticulitis in January, the doctor has told me to stay away from anything with kernels or nuts... NUTS!




22 May 2008

Cambodian Groundhog Day?

Well, it took me a long time to find out what "Royal Plowing Day" was, but finally, I was able to get someone to give me a cogent explanation... to summarize before I explain, it is the Cambodian version of Groundhog Day... I guess what they do is let a cow graze around in front of the Royal Palace, and someone has set out baskets of rice, corn, water, wine and a few other things... depending on the ones that the cow gives most attention to, they will be blessed as a country... for example, if the cow eats a lot of rice, then there will be a good rice crop the next year... if the cow drinks a lot of water, there will be a lot of rain in the next year... I guess that last year, they had an inexperienced cow, and it nibbled at the rice, slurped a little bit of water, and then ran away because it was afraid of the crowds that came to watch... so, that predicted that there would not be a good rice crop and that there would not be much rain this year... well, it has rained in buckets... so, as with his counterparts Punxsutawney Phil and Buckeye Chuck, the Royal Plowing Ceremony (and all superstitions) are just to show us how foolish we really can be when we stop believing that Jesus is in charge of the world...

20 May 2008

Some bloody fun...

My friend Brian was playing frisbee on the beach, and... well, it's all fun and games until someone gets hit in the eye with a frisbee...



15 May 2008

The ever cute Riatri...

I have no idea how to spell his name, but this is Seda's youngest nephew... what a cute kid... we have a lot of fun together... he calls me "Pooh Ham", which means Uncle Graham to him... Uncle is Pooh in Khmer...


Ah, Cambodia...

This sign should tell you a few things about what is respected in Cambodia...

08 May 2008

Various Pictures from Taprom Orphan Home 27 April 08

I have decided to dub Savong's orphanage as "The Fruit House"... there must be 6 to 8 different types of fruit on that property... we had a great time with the kids... here are some various pics...

Church Service at Taprom Orphan Home 27 April 08

04 May 2008

Marriage Laws, Seda's Father, and Church with the Orphans

Hello, everyone... sorry that it has taken me a while to write to you all. Things have gone from busy, to busier, to (i hope not) busiest... I have been so busy that I have had a hard time even getting to the internet to reply to emails... if you have written and have not gotten a response, just wait! I WILL get back to you...

Many of you have asked about how Seda's father has been doing. Well, in some ways he has been doing great. He seems to have made some bit of a recovery from whatever virus he was fighting, but in some follow-up exams they have discovered a mass that may potentially be cancer in his chest (life long smoker). We will be getting more information from the doctor this week. A great thing is that he has made a profession of faith in Christ and has shown some very encouraging signs of growth in his faith even in just a short time. After I got back, he seemed to make the biggest turn for the best in his health... so much so that he wanted to go to the Water Park with us all on the three day holiday, Khmer New Year. If you go to my blog, you will see some really fun pictures of him going down a water slide... at age 70, he was about 34 years older than anyone else going down the slides... pretty funny.

On another topic, when I was in the States, Cambodia passed a law stating that Cambodian women were no longer able to marry foreign men. As we have looked into the law more, we have found that it is only a temporary law that has some very good objectives. Apparently, the number of Khmer women marrying South Korean men went from around 70 (in one calender year) to over 2500 this past year. There were some red flags about how these brides were being treated, a HUGE financial inequity between the money the family of the bride was receiving, and what money these marriage brokers were hauling in by the bucket load. Seda and I went and talked to a man at the Ministry of Interior and he said that there were no reported problems with Khmer women marrying Americans, Europeans or Australians, but that the problems were mainly with South Koreans and Chinese. So all of that to say, that until they get the legal aspects of this straightened out, Seda and I have to put any marriage plans on hold. But honestly, I think that this is a good law that needs to be hammered out for the good of Khmer women and the country. It is unexpected, but God is the one who ordains governments and we know that we can wait to do things the right way. We have been informed by the police that if we want to work around the law we can, but it will not be official with any government until the law changes... uh, thanks, but no thanks. Nonetheless, we have started doing some marriage counseling with an Australian couple that we have a lot of respect for.

As far as teaching is going, I am actually teaching more classes now than I was before... and they are not the same classes. There has been a huge learning curve for me in the last few weeks in these courses. Also, one of the classes does not have a text, so I have to make up all of the lessons... a challenge to be sure. I have gotten back into learning Khmer as well. I really need more time to study, but it is not going to be happening this term... I am just going to have to learn the best that I can right now....

I am also back to working with the English teachers at Asia's Hope Christian School, as well as working with the college students at the Asia's Hope Student Center. A really great experience happened last weekend at the orphanages. Seda and I were able to help with a church service that the orphans are having once a month. I was able to teach the Bible to them, Seda translated, and we both did some special songs for them. There will be pictures on my blog this week sometime...

As always, thank you for your prayers and financial gifts. You have all been a tremendous blessings. It is always great to hear from people... again, sorry that I have been a little slow with the replies right now... but I will do the best that I can.

May God bless you in every way to know Him more... Graham