Mission to Cambodia #9 – Sightseeing and seeing the hand of God

Posted: October 27, 2013 in Missions

This weekend we made a special trip out to Seam Reap, the city in the middle of Cambodia in which the ancient temple Angkor Wat, along with many other temples, are found. These structures date back 800 years, and are incredible works of art and architectural wonders. Many began as Hindu temples, but when Buddhism came into Cambodia, the temple worship became Buddhist as well. There are still shrines and statues that the Buddhists use for worship there.

It is a reminder of the lack of any Christian foundation for the culture here, as well as how lost the general population still is. To walk around these (literally) pagan temples, it’s easy to be astounded by the size and scope of it all. You see man’s best attempts to try to reach to the grandeur of God, and yet still fall utterly short. You see man’s attempts to assure himself of God’s protection, all the while never truly knowing the God of the Universe. You see how man tries to build something that reflects God’s agelessness, yet it still falls into decay as the jungle overtakes it.

I had a brief conversation with a Indian woman who was visiting. She was obviously a Hindu, and spoke very good English. She actually began the conversation with Ivy & myself, pointing out her beliefs about the ancient Hindu artwork. As she continued, she wondered how people could be so cruel to each other, as much of the temple had fallen into disrepair due to the firefights among the Khmer Rouge. I spoke to her about how all men are born with a nature of sin, and how people always choose evil. We need to be cleansed from our sin & redeemed, which is something only God can do. The conversation did not go much further than that, but I pray that some seeds were planted yesterday.

We came back to the hotel for lunch, and Curtis wasn’t feeling well. He had been struggling with some pain during the trip, and he & Bre decided to stay back at the hotel as we went to the last site. While we were gone, they made the decision to see a local doctor, and Curtis ended up being admitted to the International hospital with appendicitis. Unfortunately, I had left the emergency phone behind, so we didn’t learn about the situation until we got back to the hotel.

Once we saw Curtis & Bre yesterday evening, Curtis was in the ER awaiting test results from Thailand. By midnight, he was having an appendectomy, and in recovery by 1:30am.

While it sounds like an ordeal (which it was) – as we reflected upon the night, we truly see the marvelous provision of God. If the Johnsons had been in Phnom Penh, they would not have had as nice a hospital as what they received here in Phnom Penh. If the Johnsons had brought their paperwork, they would have travelled to Thailand where they would have been out of our reach & paying twice as much. If everything had happened at any other point during our day, no one in the USA would have been awake to pray and make other arrangements. And there were many other aspects of God’s provision – many more than I can communicate in a blog, but so very practical and so desperately needed.

With all that in mind, it’s easy to forget that the Johnsons weren’t even originally going to travel with us here. That they are here at all was God sovereignly moving upon them earlier in the week to come. Our God is amazingly good!

Please continue to pray for Curtis. He came through surgery just fine, and will need to be here for a few more days.

In the meantime, Ivy, Dave, and I head back to Phnom Penh this afternoon. There is still a school to teach, and thankfully Curtis & Bre trust us enough to keep it moving in their absence. Along with your prayers for the Johnsons, please pray for us as we travel back to our home base of operations.

On a personal note, I hope to be able to speak to everyone at Calvary Chapel Tyler during Sunday morning worship. We should arrive back to Phnom Penh in plenty of time, and hopefully we can get a good connection on Facetime to be able to say “hi.”

God bless you all, and thank you for praying!


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