Hi, I’m Batman!

(This post was written in Cambodia, but for a variety of reasons it’s taken a while to get it posted.)

A couple of friends of mine have had a mostly civil back-and-forth for several years about which is the greater superhero, Batman or Superman. (I have geek friends, this surprises you?) I am firmly in the Batman camp, having grown up during the 60’s TV show (speaking of camp). I also find it more impressive that a normal human can turn himself into a superhero rather than being born with superpowers – I mean, really, how hard is it to be a superhero when you’re born being able to stop bullets?

Day 9 in Three Acts

If you’re also a reader of the 121 Mission blog, you might feel like you have déjà vu…

Act 1 — Angkor

The day begins as three tuk-tuks roll down the road in the dead of night. Well, 4:30am, which is pretty much the same thing. Several of us were headed to Angkor Wat for sunrise pictures. Angkor is the largest of the temples in a huge complex built in the twelfth century. It was originally a Hindu temple, but is now Buddhist, and is considered the largest single religious monument in the world. It is also the main tourist draw of Cambodia, if not Southeast Asia (over one million visitors a year come to see it).

Days 4–7 — High Contrast

In photography, “high contrast” is, loosely speaking, when there is a marked difference between darkness and light in the image. This has been a high-contrast week.

Did any of this happen to you this week?

  • You walked along the neighborhood with a friend and passed three women, and when you got around the corner the person you were walking with said, “Those three women are all traffickers,” i.e. they sell girls in the neighborhood to brothels for sex.
  • You got to the location where you were doing a VBS, and the pastor’s son came out and stuck up his hand so you’d take it and walk with him, exactly like your grandson.

Update Light

Yeah, yeah, I know, I haven’t written anything in two days (so now is the time to catch up if you’ve been a slacker). We’ve been very busy, and tonight I have to prepare for speaking at the retreat tomorrow morning, so it might turn into three days. So, here is some of the lighter side of the last few days…

Apparently going to the other side of the world causes your body clock to go to the other side of the day, because so far I’m a morning person. Wednesday, 4:30a, Thursday, 4:00a, today 5:30a. We are not amused.

I went into the computer room yesterday morning, and one of the Cambodian disciples (the youth who help with kids club, teach in the computer area, etc.) was on Skype.

Days 3 and 4 — Before and After

This is the tale of a city. This city is a small immigrant village outside the capital city of Cambodia. It is a very poor village, with dusty streets and corrugated tin huts. Though humble in appearance, it was once known all over the world, if you ran in certain circles. If you got into a cab in Phnom Penh and told the driver you wanted to sleep with an 8-year old girl, he brought you here.

Brothels lined the streets, with girls outside actively engaging cars as they drove by. It wasn’t a secret, it wasn’t hidden, and it wasn’t bashful.

Day 2 — Kong of Majesty

  • Guys, you won’t break any fences sitting on the bed with Amy in front of 9 other people — spoken by Pam at the morning’s team meeting. In order to get 11 people in a Cambodia hotel room, multiple people have to sit on the bed. Amy was already on it, but none of the late-arriving guys seemed to want to join her.
  • Fix your gaze — spoken by Alf during the morning devotional. From Acts 3, where Peter and John perform the eponymous act on the lame beggar; Alf’s question was do we “fix our gaze” on people, or merely look at them?