International Reunion

I’m up early, before the crack of dawn. It’s 4 AM, and I have been waking up every hour on the hour; looking at the clock! Finally, I gave in and got up. I crashed around 5 PM last night, so I think I did get some good sleep, overall. The first two nights are always the toughest. A fifteen hour time change is no joke on the internal clock, and body.

I arrived yesterday pretty much on time and I was the first one to get my baggage and head out the door to the throng of anticipating people searching for loved ones. I was greeted with a cheer and it was heartwarming. I saw many of my friends who had come to meet me. It was Saturday and the men usually have Bible study at the church building, but instead met at the airport Burger King and had their study while they waited for my flight to land.

After we got my stuff loaded into Mout’s car, I hopped in Kosarl’s tuk-tuk with my friend Sa, the others went to their respective vehicles and motorcycles, and our whole group met up at a Christian owned coffee shop, Jars of Clay. Daddy was back in town, so of course I bought lunch for all the guys! I was so stuffed from the constant feeding on the plane that I wasn’t going to eat anything, but food is part of the fellowship. I order a cheese omelet with bacon and mushrooms. I’m glad I did, it was good. We all spontaneously began talking theology and things of the Bible. They are eager to know God’s word and they look to me as one who has answers–it’s very humbling for me, because I know I’m learning right along with them, but it makes me excited to dig in and get going.

After lunch Mout gave me a ride in his car to my hotel. The roads are as crowded as they were three years ago. Everything, except for a couple of new buildings, looks (and smells) exactly the same. As we were driving down one of the main roads a group of policemen were in the street waving some cars on, and pulling others to the side. They waved our car over to the side, Mout said, “I wonder why they are pulling us over?” A policeman came to his window and he said you guys don’t have your seatbelts on. Mout laughed and pointed to both of us and said, in Khmer, “Of course we do, look.” And we did. But then the cop said, “You both have red shirts on.” Mout, with dumbfounded laugh said, “Yes, we do.” The officer then waved us on. I told Mout, maybe they just received a report that two men in red shirts robbed a bank. It was very strange. From now on we will have to coordinate our outfits if we are going to be seen in public together.

When I walked into the door of my hotel, the two attendants behind the desk said, “You’re back. We all remember you.” I hoped that was a good thing. But after three years, it was really amazing that they remembered me. Two more employees I passed in lobby on the way up to my room welcomed me and said the same thing “We remember you.” It crossed my mind that this phrase might be part of their training in greeting customers <smile> but they seemed genuine. Either way, in pretense or in truth, I have to say it made me feel welcome.

Mout helped me bring my bags up to my room, I gave him a couple of gifts; one was the book Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret, the other was a packet of tomato seeds I had grown last year. The book about Hudson Taylor was one I read when I was 17 years old, in the Antarctica. It had a great impact on me in wanting to be a missionary. I don’t align with all Hudson’s theology, but he was a man of passion and energy. The tomato seeds come from Iraq, a hot climate. Mout told me that his tomatoes never grow because of the heat. We are eager to see if these will make it!

I’m enjoying my first morning cup of coffee, and because my room is on the 18th floor, I can see all across the city. It’s still dark, but many of the high rises are lit up and I can make out a skyline. The streets look quiet; red tail lights from a few motos are visible as they tool down the roads. It is Sunday. Sunrise is in about an hour and a half. Kosarl is coming to pick me up for church at 8 AM, and I’ll preach in the Khmer service with a translator, and the English service.

Thanks for taking the time to read!

*Reporting from the 18th floor overlooking Phnom Penh


  1. I enjoyed reading today’s report. You made it so the reader could feel your joy as if we were there too. I pray for health, many opportunities to witness and teach and safe travels. God bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Praising God with you for the sweet greeting you received. Your report creates such a deep feeling me of joy. I love your “ Daddys in town.” Comment it does mean you buy. I can ask you will follow through with what we talked about before you left regarding any needs that arise.
    Thank you for your early morning check-in I delight in a reading about your adventures. Take care and God bless.

    Liked by 1 person

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