Had a few folk here from KCC for an Int’l Steward workshop for our pastors this last week. It was a packed few days but medicine for my soul – even when I didn’t realize how much I needed it :o)
Bekah and I took Kim up to Siem Reap for a quick visit. I enjoy the architecture of the old wats/temples – but the Floating Village still has my vote (and my heart). We had a different guide this time – so I got, not a different perspective, but a new perspective. Our guide grew up and still lives in the floating village. Boats that I saw before and thought to be family “travel” boats to get their fish to the market I found out were actually their homes. They were no more than a little longer row boat that you and I might take out for a leisurely afternoon, but with families of 4-7 people living on them!
You might recall me telling you about our last visit when a young boy hopped aboard to sell us drinks. Our guide encouraged us to show them that we already had drinks and motion them NOT to hop aboard. He told us that parents keep their children from going to school to help them sell items and earn a living; but that just the day before when a girl was jumping back into the boat with her mother that she fell in the water and was decapitated by the propeller. He watched as the mother cradled her dead child. He is passionate about taking care of the children and making sure that they get an education – an opportunity that he wished he had growing up. He speaks 7 languages; all self taught by just visiting with tourist like ourselves, but is unable to get a job as a guide in the city which would pay more because he doesn’t hold a certificate of formal education. If our kids could only see how good they have it….
One of my highlights was meeting a 14 yr old deaf girl and being able to converse with her!! Sign language is not a universal language – each country has their own and is not usually similar to one another. So my guess is that since Cambodia was colonized by the French and ASL has French roots that Cambodian sign language must also be derived from FSL. What ever the reason for us to be able to understand each other – it was definitely a kiss from God for me. My heart smiled and I realized that my passion for working with the deaf is still alive!
We’ve been so blessed – I hope that we were able to be a blessing to those we met. Still seeking to hear His voice and follow His footsteps. Pray for us as we continue to connect with people.