It is seven in the evening at the T’moan village. There are children playing outside running around little campfires. I am sitting in on a little log enjoying the nighttime noises with a little breeze keeping everyone cool. The temperature is good, the people are fantastic, and it just seems like a great end to a wonderful day among my favorite tribal people. It has been dark for about an hour and a half and we are fifty kilometers from the nearest light source.
I promise you, God put most of the stars right above the T’moan village. I remember God told Abraham that he would make his descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky. If you can only see three stars, like I can in Phnom Penh, that is not all that impressive, but when you are in the T’moan village it is astounding. Just to tease myself I put my thumb up and tried to count the number of stars I could see with my naked eye in the area as big as my thumb. I gave up. Impossible. The harder I looked, the more I could see.
We had traveled nearly ten hours that day to finally get the where the T’moan people live. It is so remote. There is no road, but this time I wanted to try and take my truck. It is old enough, so I don’t care if it gets damaged (13 years old) and built for tough conditions. It was slow going, but we were going. Every second of the trip we were getting jerked left and right, up and down as we bungled down the trail. The dust we were kicking up filled the sky like a light brown cloud. In ten hours I only used first and second gears so we had to travel so slow. Without a four wheel drive vehicle we never would have made it. Only one time did I high-center the vehicle on a mound of dirt, but after a bunch of pushing we broke free and kept going. My hands started cramping up after four hours and by nightfall I could hardly open them straight because I had to grip the steering wheel so hard. Every inch of my body was sore from the rough trip, but I was also dirty.
After it was dark we headed down to the river of God to bathe. The water temperature was perfect: not to cold and just right. The water was still flowing, though in the deepest part it was only about five feet deep. Most of the river was just about a foot deep as it gently flowed toward the Mekong river. We only had two small flashlights between us (you know those cheap LED ones made in China) and they kept going out because of shorts on their internal wiring. At one point, we had no light and I noticed something I had never seen before. All around the water’s edge and some in the stream, were little glowing dots. Once we got a light back on we saw they were little glowing worms. Amazing how God made those, they worked better than our flashlights! Adding to all that nighttime beauty were hundreds of little lightning bugs blinking away as they shot around the sky.
The complexities of life always get stripped away when I am with the T’moan. I have no internet access, Facebook updates to ponder, blogs to write or schedules to figure out. The only thing I have to do is enjoy God’s creation around me and fellowship with my good friends, the T’moan. How I wish, some days, that life could be simple like that again. When all the busyness fades away it is so easy to just focus on God and his splendor. Because he put all those stars over the T’moan village, it made me take time to just enjoy what he created. Sitting along the River of God I basked in God’s handiwork: the stars, the glow worms, the lightning bugs and most of all the people that he loves called the T’moan.