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?

Travel Day — Good News/Bad News

The good news is the flight wasn’t until 9:40a.
The bad news is that we had to be there two hours earlier, which meant getting up at hour-and-a-half before that. If God had meant for people to be up that early, He would have put it later in the day.

The good news is the first flight was only 3½ hours.
The bad news is the next flight was 12½ hours.
The worse news is there was still another 5½ hour flight after that one.

The bad news is that there’s not much your brain can do after sitting in a chair for ten hours straight.

The Liquor District

On a recent mission trip to Cambodia (more on that later), our LEADER, a former resident, was showing us around Phnom Penh. As we passed one area in the van, she said, “And over here we have the liquor district, where I spent many an hour…” and I thought “Reaaaaaly? That’s … interesting.”

And then she finished her sentence. “… shopping. They make great wicker furniture here, and there are a ton of shops just in that one area.” One of the guys behind me exclaimed, “Oh, good, I thought you said liquor!” I said the same, and we all had a good laugh.