Monday, July 23, 2012

Last Day in Cambodia

Sunday was a very exciting day on my trip. I always love to see and hear people worshipping God in another language. It makes me even more in awe of God knowing He understands all their praise and worship because He created them and their language. Worship was great, about 2 hours. We just sang for over an hour. They had all the words to the songs in Khmer and English. Most all signs in Cambodia are bilingual. The phrase that struck me most in our singing was "Break my heart for what breaks yours as I walk on this earth towards eternity". My images of the week from the beautiful faces on the kids, the diligence of the staff, the poor conditions of their home life, and their contagious personalities all flooded my heart. I want my heart to break everyday for what breaks God's heart as I return to Birmingham, both in Cambodia and at home. We were able to enjoy the sermon because it was broadcast in English over radio signal. When we entered we were given a small hand held radio to be able to enjoy the broadcast. Being a former church media person I always take notice of a churches media. I was pretty blown away by this church in Cambodia's media, much better than most of what I see in the US. Both the teachers that Hannah and I worked with teaching English this week were at worship, so it was nice to see them again.

That afternoon we gathered our supplies and headed to the garment factory area to do VBS with the children in the community. We had about 55 children and taught them a couple of new songs. They really enjoyed it. We taught them Psalm 139:1-14. After the lesson they created lots of different crafts including decorating sunglasses, which they all really enjoyed. It was so fun to see them smiling, laughing and just really enjoying themselves.

Seeing the garment factory area was a little enlightening to the term sweat shop. While I was not in a factory I talked with some people who work in a factory. People work 10-12 hours per day, 6 days a week. There is no air conditioning and some times people will faint because it can get so hot. If they are very sick they are allowed 1 day off. All of this hard work will pay them between $60-$100 a month depending on how much over time they work and their length of employment. In this community there were about 20,000 factory workers. The factory also owns housing for everyone to live. The rent is about $20/month and includes a room about 6x6 made out of concrete, a wooden slats bed (no mattress), and a bathroom (no sink..just toilet and shower head. There is no kitchen, no closet, no decorations of any kind, no bedding. There was a few very small portable shelves with some clothes on it. Four girls live here together. The wooden slat bed sleeps three, so there is just enough room on the concrete floor for number four.

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