Here I am riding my bike on the highway back to Banlung , up in the North, minding my very own business, while Newsboys keep my company( this is a Christian music band, for those who do not know). In front of me cows crossed the road, while everyone is getting to stop; I was still a way behind and went on my brakes. Just as I thought the cows are across the road, a stupid cow decided that she wants to be back where she came from. Tires burning did not help and I bumped into her fat belly with a boom. I bounced back and landed in the middle of the road. Did not even hurt, mind the cow was not happy…… That is riding here in Cambodia.
Went up to Stung Treng and joined friend Samai on an outreach to his beloved Kring people in Ratanakiri. We arrived after another 3 hours drive in a beautiful Kring tribal village, where people still is practicing their old customs. Example: They build small little houses for the girls of 14 years and above to stay in. The purpose;” so the boys can come and court them…..” Asking Samai if the custom is still received well, he answers:” It is a problem as the young people are very influenced by the Western movies they see.”
Samai planted a small church in the village and already have few members. Even the head of the village is in the church and it opens doors for him to be welcomed in the village. He told me that many missionaries, local and foreign, tried to reach this group of people, but failed! I asked him why? He said that all the people that came looked down on these people as they are tribal and they do not accept that. So once again I asked:” So why did they accept you?” He said:” I just came here and loved them and cared for them and they accepted me into their village”. Plain and simple.
Our God’s message is not a complicated one, but rather a simple way of showing people, who He really is. With God and common sense we can do a lot. Our approach to these people should be to know them and their culture first and build a solid relationship with them as a foundation, before you earn the respect to say something. Hitting everyone with the Bible the first time you see them, is not the best approach here. They do not even know who Jesus is!!! What about; “understand the Word of God”. We need time to teach them that and what better person than a Khmer guy who took the time to learn their language and understand them better than we do!!! Cross culture missions in its best form.
We helped quite a few people with some needed medicines. Had to clean some ears, from children that were pretty bad. One old lady was very sick and lied in her little house, made of leaves and was not breathing well, due to a very bad infection. Well we could help her! We prayed that she will be better soon. They made us some good lunch with rice that they steamed over open fire and local chicken. Man this rice is good and tasted so much better than normal rice in town.
I came back so much richer than I went. This was an eye opener for me to see the culture of the Kring so up close. Normally when we go to a Kring village we do not see this. Great outreach and even better to have such a great pastor friend, Samai, with me. Can’t wait to be back there again.
Greetings from house to house