Friday, April 03, 2009

Night out at the market

Tonight was quite eventful. After a swim workout with Amber, we met Kim and Eileen, two Canadian girls (from Saskatchewan I think), for dinner. Kim is a nurse working at a clinic called Daughters. It’s a ministry that reaches out to women and girls that are being abused, either in their marriage or in the sex trade. Eileen teaches 6-8 year olds at an international school. They’re both great fun and I’ve really been enjoying getting to know them. They’re coming with us to Mondulkiri.

We had a great time at the Mexican restaurant where we met. The food was good, and the humor was awesome. Then, we headed over to the night market.

I needed to take out some money first. Amber drove us to an outdoor ATM. The concept itself is fine. But there’s a light right above the machine, and it very much attracts bugs. I walked up to the ATM, and within seconds I ran away squealing. They swarmed me! They were in my shirt, in my hair, all over my hands and mouth and eyes! I went back for a second try, and managed to slip my card in, but I just couldn’t stay! I tried another time, and another, and another, but the swarming was terrible! It felt way worse than it looked (or sounds)!

Finally, we gave up and Amber took me to an indoor ATM down the street. We shopped around for a while, and I got a couple cute things. I ended up spending $5.50 (which was so not worth braving that bug army!). As we were getting ready to leave, a young Cambodian girl walked up to Eileen to ask her a question. Eileen had bought some earrings from her booth earlier, and seeing her again, she came to ask “excuse me, do you have time to teach English?” Eileen said she didn’t have time, so we piped in about New Life’s Office Skills Training School (where I’ve been teaching, at the church). We told her it’s a free school, and we do have foreign teachers. Her friend walked up to us and heard the conversation, and both of them stepped back in amazement. They couldn’t believe there was an English school with foreign teachers, for free! Someone mentioned it was held at the church, and the girls looked a little uncertain, which shows me they are most likely not Christians. But they were so excited at the idea of coming. I invited them to join my classes for my last week, and gave them details about times and such. I included the times of Moo’s class and Jason’s class (Jason is from Hamilton – he’s Angie’s husband and basically oversees the foreign staff, but also teaches in the afternoon). They were so happy and excited that they gave us each a fancy little hair-tie from the shop.

We were so excited and amazed at this encounter. God’s hand was so over it! We walked away thinking “wow, that means a couple families that will be reached for Christ!”

By the time we left the night market, it was much later than we meant it to be. It’s not safe to be out alone at night, especially girls on a moto. I was leaning over and talking to Amber, and was not paying attention to my purse. I should’ve had it on my lap, between Amber and I, but I was carelessly holding it on my shoulder. However, my arm was bent, and I had both hands holding onto the bags containing our purchases. As I leaned forward, in the middle of conversation, I felt a violent thug on my arm. When I looked up I realized what had just happened.

In Cambodia, often at night, a couple guys on a moto may try to steal another moto driver or passenger’s purse or belongings. They’ll drive up really quickly and come close beside their victim, and then grab at whatever they want. It can be very dangerous, especially if the owner doesn’t let go. They can get thrown off of their moto and hit by oncoming vehicles, or simply get seriously hurt in the fall. It actually happens quite a bit.

But tonight, maybe because of the way my purse is made, or maybe because of how my arm was bent, they didn’t get anything from us. They just gave us a little scare. All I have now from the experience is a small bruise on the inside of my arm.

God’s protection is with us all the time. I can see His hand over all that happens. Not that it always makes things easy, but in the end it all works out somehow. A couple days ago, in my English class, I asked them what they thought the difference between “difficult” and “impossible” was. That was the same day I had the really cool lesson. I’d gotten my students to act out the story of Jesus walking on water. My little script ended with the disciples crying out “You really are the Son of God!” One of my students asked what that meant. So I explained the trinity, as simply as possible. That led to a question about us having a body, soul and spirit. Then another student asked where demons come from. Then “so, when a person does something bad, it’s because a demon made him to it?” After which I explained all about lucifer’s fall, and mankind’s fall, and Jesus coming on earth to identify with our sin, and then dying on the cross to pay for the penalty of our sin. All this in an ESL class… not bad. I think God just knew how tough of a month it’s been for me, and wanted to give me an extra boost and show me some of the early fruit of our work here. He really is such a wonderful, loving Father.

Well, anyway, the difference between impossible and difficult. Well, it’s simple. But in life, we confuse the two. The Bible says that with God, nothing is impossible. But when we face difficulties, we (or at least I) tend to get angry at God and say “why are you putting me through this??” So often I’ve thought “God, I really can’t make the next step this time!” But then, I look back, and I realize I really have done it, with God. Nothing is impossible with God.

And tonight, it was totally Him watching over us. I’m surprised the thieving attempt wasn’t more serious (silly me, I wasn’t wearing my helmet). And I’m surprised that the girl approached us about the English class. I really hope they come. If you guys can pray for them, that would be awesome! And also pray that I can remember their faces. It’s actually hard here. People do look the same! Their eyes, hair, height and skin is usually about the same… But I think it would be extra special for them if I do remember when they come. Hopefully this week! I’ll keep you posted!


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