Phnom Penh 5

27 11 2009

Thursday 26th November 2009

How many can you fit in a vehicle? Always one more!

The ‘Pneumologie Hôpital’ which I suspect translates as ‘Pulmonary Hospital’ was the place we found ourselves yesterday along with a group of Khmer Christians from here in Phnom Penh. Again we are impressed with the practical outreach of the gospel. The Anglican group we were with was distributing dietary supplements to patients while encouraging and praying with those who expressed a need. Another Christian group were supplying a hot meal, prayer and a gospel message.

One of the key people in our little group was a young lady of 23 with a beautiful voice who sang a Capella for a group of patients who gathered around. I was asked to share a gospel message by this young lady who translated for me. She asked me to bring the message because she said, “…more of the patients will come to listen if you speak.” She meant because I am a Westerner, not because I would do a better job 😉

But she is a natural evangelist with a confidence in God’s transforming love and for every sentence I spoke she seemed to speak 3 with passion and the obvious interest of our listeners of whom there were about 20.

Most of the patients we met were suffering from TB and HIV AIDS. A Buddhist lady who asked for prayer after she heard the message has been suffering from terrible headaches and stomach pains. Please join us in praying for her as she told us she has dropped from 60 kg to 45 kg and is not getting better. (See photo) In a country where Christianity is only about 2% it is quite remarkable to see evidence of the good news everywhere. We have observed young people wearing tee-shirts with bold biblical and Christian slogans, Christian symbols and Bible verses on craft items in the markets as well as these ministries of care and compassion.

Among other things we did today we were invited to visit the home of one of the Tuk-Tuk drivers we have met here in Phnom Penh. His story is like many others we have heard here and elsewhere. Warm friendly and personable, he spends long hours competing with thousands of other drivers to get the odd customer here or there.

Reading some Christian books we brought them in the Khmer language

He is the only breadwinner for a family which he supports, comprising of his mother, pregnant wife, 2 orphan nephews, and 3 children of his own. He leases his Tuk-Tuk for $5 a day, pays $80 a month rent as well as power and food. With no social security it is really a hand to mouth existence for so many here.

We tend to use this driver most of the time because his English is quite good. Many of the drivers who loiter around guesthouses, hotels and restaurants may speak streetwise English and know the city well, but elsewhere the knowledge and understanding required to get you to your destination dries up fast. Flag one down on the street or grab one from outside the market and you could end up pretty much anywhere in the city.

Various cockroaches, spiders, locusts etc. Your choice!

You name your destination and they nod confidently, eager for the extra money a foreigner may bring, but not having the first clue where you want to go. They start driving furiously down the road and await your instructions. You don’t give them any instruction because you think they know where they are going and before you realise it you are half way to Thailand or Vietnam. A map from the local market has been a solid investment!

 

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2 responses

27 11 2009
betty

It makes me feel very sad to see people in these situations and not be able to help we in Australia are so fortunate to have what we do, no one wonder there are so many wanting to come here to live. I’m sure you both gave them hope.

28 11 2009
James and Bron

The cockraoches look tasty. I am sure you enjoyed them!!!

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