Last time I talked briefly about a woman who’s influence on me was both deep and wide.1 Today I want to talk about the opposite end of the spectrum, a woman I spent a total of forty-five minutes with, in the company of several other people, six-and-a-half years ago.
It was our first trip to Cambodia. The church body we’re members of had formed a partnership with IJM, and a member of their church mobilization team led seven of us from 121 on a trip to meet as many organizations working on the ground as possible, and learn as much as we could about the country and the cause (combatting sex trafficking).
There are different kinds of people in the world.
There are Coke people. These are cool people, up on all the latest fashion, beloved by friends and enemies alike, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. These are people you want to marry your daughter, be your boss, and watch on “Jeopardy.” These are happy people.
There are Pepsi people. These are insecure people, people who prefer imitation leather instead of the real thing, and are constantly challenging Coke people to a taste test. These are people you want to cut off on the freeway, live next door to your evil boss, and see tackled on “COPS”.
I went to an awful church today.
They didn’t have Starbucks coffee. They didn’t have any coffee. Good grief, they didn’t have any snacks at all. It’s like they didn’t even care to satisfy our morning cravings.
They didn’t have a sign on their building; it didn’t seem to be important that people know where they are. Come to think of it, they really didn’t even have a building, just a room in what looked like a strip center. No decorations, no cross, no baptistry, nothing.
And no chairs, so we had to sit on the floor. On the floor! Are you kidding me?
What is a perfect day? It is different things for different people, I suspect.
For some, it’s playing a round at Augusta. With Tiger. (If I played golf, it would be Jack for me, which tells you I’m not as young as I look.)
For others, it would be watching Josh Hamilton hit a walk-off grand slam in the seventh game of the World Series at the Ballpark in Arlington. (They have to get past the Tigers, first.)
For still others, it would be… well, maybe something like yesterday.
The day began early — we were all awake by five, although some didn’t actually make it out of bed for another hour-and-a-half.
(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?
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).