We have just completed our first six weeks of our intended almost-6-month stay as field workers in Cambodia.
It has been a very rewarding experience as the Cambodian students are very keen to learn, and the BEC where we are based is well equipped and organised. Some of the students are so keen to learn that they not only come for morning and afternoon studies, but also request classes at the weekend as well! Of course, as you can imagine, it is very hard to fit all these classes in!
The harvest here in Phnom Penh is very fruitful and we seem to have a never-ending supply of new students wanting to learn English and the Bible. In addition to the lessons at the BEC activities are held with the local ecclesia as well as the students who are living at Bethezer Dormitory.
The students at the Dorm prepare a nutritious meal (which follows the Saturday night seminar) and then the brave head off for a game of football. I decided to act my age (67) after my first effort and have announced my retirement, much to my Sister wife’s relief. (She was concerned at the compulsory push-ups for the losing team which seemed to be a custom after every third goal)
At a recent dinner, we had 50 students attend and they really enjoyed the opportunity to enjoy each other’s company for the evening (as well as our cook’s great cuisine). The idea was for the students to meet other students (that study at different times to them) so they could get to know each other and feel more part of the school. This worked really well and they all enjoyed the occasion and made new friends.
We have just experienced our first Chinese New Year in an Asian city.
Being used to New Years Eve being a one night event, it came as quite a shock that it lasted for over two weeks.
It also came as a shock to be woken at 6am by the sound of what sounded like kettle drums and cymbals coming from a passing flatbed truck loaded with young men. (every morning of the festival).
Then being kept awake till midnight by skyrockets that sounded more like scud missiles, and fire crackers that sounded louder than the mortar fire.
It was also disturbing to see $100 notes being burnt in 44 gallon drums on the sides of the roads – until it was explained that they were fakes- apparently in better times they burnt real money!
On the positive side, many people went back to the provinces for the holidays so the roads were not as chaotic and we had a lighter workload of students. (If anyone is reading this and is thinking about how they can be of useful service in the work of the Truth, then come over and help us as there are more than enough students to share around, and more arrive almost every day!)
This area of God’s vineyard is really fruitful and it is wonderful to see that God is still calling out a people for His name from among these quiet and gentle people.
p.s. Before I next visit the hairdresser, I must learn the Khmer words for “a light trim please” !