I didn't have a chance to blog yesterday, but I couldn't sort through my mind and decide on what to even tell you. So many great things happened in one day, I am sooo full I can't possibly share everyhing. Or even begin to tell the stories in a way that you could know how it all felt. I've been thinking all morning what and where to begin. We visited 5 villages with Kevin and all have a heart wrenching story to them. I could tell you how I exposed my heart, behind, and faith. How we treked through the jungle with only Kevin and a 4 foot stick to protect us, or how we hunted the wild spotted pig. Our quiet lunch under the trees, sheltered by the red dust of the road. All the babies that caught my eye. I only have time for one small look into my yesterday, so here it is:
At the end of a rich and full day we stopped at Kam (pronounced calm)village and vistited with Galeem and his wife Heng. Galeem is a farmer who is also the church leader in this village. He shared with us that there are only 4 families, in this village of 160 families, that are believers. This is a larger village. He said the church wasn't growing because he wasn't. He doesn't read very well to begin with and he is trying to read his Khmer bible when his language is Krung. He expressed this was making it hard for him to grow as a christian and even harder to teach and lead his church. He had an MP3 player at his house so he could listen to scriptures in Krung, however the batteries were dead. Galeem usually recharges the battery at another house that has a larger battery to charge from, but the family that lives in this home has drinking parties all the time. Making it hard for him to have the time to go over and charge the battery without spending time where he cannot be.
The cool thing was the visit we had prior to seeing Galeem was with a young couple from another village, Sarouen and his wife Morj. Sarouen was the voice used to record the scriptures from Khmer to Krung onto the MP3 players. Our church helped fund the project and we could see the fruits of that donation.
*Side Note: We went to another village that day that had been built up and great works accomplished there by the team of missionaries here in Ban Lung. Unfortunately an outside organization came in and planted themselves down in this village and destroyed all the years of work invested, in just one short-term mission trip. The sadnes in Keven as he shared what had taken place and what he and the rest of the team were left with to try and repair. Thankfully they have the relationships built and they still have connections in the village.
So after visiting this village that once was growing and had church leaders established, but now gone due to foreigners trying, and believing to do good. We were encouraged to see that SFC had been apart of something so meaningfull to this one man, and many others I presume. It confirmed that our partnership with the team established here is working. It encouraged us to see the product of one small project completed and fruit growing as a result. More importantly, it validated to this struggling church leader that Sutherlin Family Church has a sincere interest in the growth of his church and in him. I felt so proud to sit in their company, on the porch of there home and have one comonality with this family.
As we were getting ready to leave Kevin asked Galeem how his farm was doing. He shared with us that the Vietnamese were comming in and surveying a very larg portion of land that they were planning to take over. The plan is to come in and kill all the trees and farms with spray and clear the land to plant rubber trees. This would be devastating to the Krung and Broa people. This would leave them with no food, no way of life, and no homes. Kevin said this is an incredibly large piece of land they are planning to take over. This has been happening for years now and is exactly what happened to the Jari people. More research will take place and kevin has agreed to keep us informed on what transpires.
Please pray with me that God will give Galeem the understanding, insight and wisdom when reading the scripture. Pray that he will be able to acurately convey Gods word to his poeple, that through his growth in Christ he will bring the light into their dark village. Pray that the land to so many hilltribe people will be protected and that God will reveal himself in the process.
Another full day planned today. I am sooo full!! I don't know how much more I can consume. I wish you were here with us to see, and hear all that is being said. So many people apreciate you for your prayers and support. I do too!