Friday in Phnom Penh


My room has windows on two walls but in spite of that, no light comes in. The buildings next to our building are only three or four feet away and the small alleyway between them is only wide enough for a (small) person to pass through, and almost no light. There is constant building construction going on all around us and on every street. If a person has enough money, they can get permission to build almost anything they want to build and there is very little code enforcement. There is also very little skilled labor so it is a little scary to think of living in some of the bigger apartment buildings. All this to say that I have no sense of when night is over and it is time to get up.

Our expanded team had prayer together and breakfast before heading out for supplies for the day’s activities. I stayed back in the room to put together our game for the dorm students tonight. They are going to learn some team work skills. They have to study and describe my “creation” to others, who pass it on to others, who finally make the creation again from the description. The team coming closest to the model gets the prize. The Cambodian young people love to do things together and are enthusiastic about games. They are such fun to work with and watch.

The shopping was also done for the medical outreach which is tomorrow and we sorted and bagged items to give away. We have 130 tickets given out in the neighborhood – these people will be the patients. They each receive a bag with some basic health items, a visit with a medical professional to discuss their problems, have their vital signs recorded and their blood sugar checked and a vision test. We have used prescription eye glasses to give to those who need them. Some medications are given out and some referrals are made to local clinics. Our station will be at the Asia’s Hope compound which is in Prek Eng, a suburb of Phnom Penh.

Later: It was a blessing to be able to spend most of the day inside out of the heat, sorting medicines and resting and talking with other team members. Time kind of slipped past and suddenly we were in danger of being late for the evening meeting of the dorm students. They were already doing worship songs when we arrived and I didn’t have time to set up the games I brought. If there is one thing I have learned about these trips it is the need to be flexible, suddenly. Since the games started right after the songs I was making mental adjustments as we progressed. We took the simplest game first and even that took nearly 15 minutes to explain. Just dividing the crowd of 80 young people into teams was like trying to herd turtles. And forget any rules that might have been part of the game – once they started having fun and being competitive things were wild. The second game was more quiet and contemplative, as they sat in groups trying to copy a creation I had made out of “stuff” we got at the market. Over all, they had a lot of fun and so did I. We finished out the evening with a good message and food. Always food…

An active crowd of 80 young university students
An active crowd of 80 young university students
What is that thing? Laugh much...
What is that thing? Laugh much…

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