Thursday, March 15, 2007

View from my morning

My private devotional time was rudely disturbed this morning. There I was at my desk at 7:00am with bible, devotional (A guide to Prayer for Ministers and Other Servants), and a cup of hot Milo drink ready to commune with God.

Sometimes is takes no discipline at all for me to get to this place and space. Other times it takes all I have to get to this place and space. Occasionally it takes MORE than I have to get here. This morning it was easy. I was sooooo ready.

Then the big trucks rolled up and parked on the street above our house, four of them. All were packed with men and women waving Cambodian flags, waving and cheering to their imaginary audience. People like me. Each truck was fitted with four speakers each a meter in diameter attached to an amplifier capable of blasting them into audio mahem.

They were supporting their political party. This is the opening salvo of what will be a VERY NOISY season running up to elections. They didn't care how rude or disturbing they were.

After a few moments to collect my thoughts and control my attitude, I reflected on situations we saw in the past here when party members routinely shot and blew each other up as a matter of "normal politics."

In America we tend to express our political "volume" on the TV. We are taught not to discuss religion or politics at parties and family gatherings. In reality I think I prefer it the current Cambodian way, even if it disturbs my devotions. At least we can tell people where we stand, without fear of "offending."

Dave in Paradise

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

View from the Heart

I am having the time of my life. Malachi and I wear the same sized shoes. He is courteous, thoughtful, and loyal. He loves and trusts Jesus. He takes pain and abuse and dishes out love and encouragement. I am thankful.

Dave in Paradise

View from the Jungle

"Always be prepared!" The Boy Scout motto to remembered. So often I try to do just that. Thinking about all the "What ifs" can be quite an ordeal in itself. I travel with many people who are not into worrying about ANY what ifs'. I can't do that. I know too much about what sometimes and what often happens. Proper preparation before hand is always superior to needed problem solving later.

Take our most recent trip to Koh Kong Province for example. Leng and I knew it would be muddy and wet. We would likely run into water crossings too deep ride through with our bikes. Sooooooo, we carried a folded up BIG truck inner tube and pump to use for floating our bikes across streams with no bridges or boats. Very smart.

The water crossings were "Interesting" for sure, but no need to blow up the tube. One place even had a canoe to cross with. But when a bridge collapsed under Leng, we had to cut a 50 yard long tunnel through dense jungle bush and vines big enough to accomodate our bikes. All that preparation and our biggest jungle weapon was my folding pocket knife, woefully small and inadequate to battle jungle and leaches. So much for being prepared :-)

View of Leadership

Leng is a great trail/travel guide. He really know how to care for those who trust him to lead into the jungle on his motorcycle adventure tours.

Leading is often a risky business. Going first into the unknown, and even the known can provide their hazards. Leng and I have crossed this bridge many times. This time he went first. The right side support collapsed due to jungle rot causing Leng and his bike to fall 12 feet down amongst the broken logs and supports.

Gratefully no injuries to bike nor man were sustained. We did spend the next two hours lifting his bike out, and cutting a trail around to get passed the now defuct bridge. WITH A POCKET KNIFE. Being well prepared, that lesson is for another entry.

From Dave in Paradise

View from the Clinic

Sometimes I think my kids are a "Real Pain!" How often should we count our blessings, thanking Jesus that our children are not IN "Real Pain!"

This very sad, very tired mom carried her son to our clinic. There was nothing we could do for his brain cancer. Too late. We helped with a ride home. They did his funeral three days later.

Stop complaining. Hug and pray for your kids every day.


View from the Sidewalk

Have you ever thought what it might be like to see life as a 4 year old, constantly looking at big people's knees and feet? Kids grow up and their perspective/view changes along with thier height. Not so for the many polio and landmine victims in Cambodia. Living at sidewalk level, their view will stay the same.

So to understand, my perspective needs to change.