Today was a long tough day. The road where we were walking was narrow and didn’t have a shoulder. It was recently fixed leaving the sides of the road where we were walking to be loose gravel and sand. It was like trying to walk on the beach or in a sandbox. This caused me a lot of pain and blisters in my feet. Though, it was much cooler for much of the day, the toll on my feet was difficult.
Today, we met two milestones. Since we are walking such a long distance, milestones are few and far between, but we had two significant ones today. First of all, we started in the far northeast corner of Pursat province, on the border with Battambang province. Today, we crossed into Kompong Chhnang province! So, now we completely crossed Pursat province, one of the biggest in Cambodia. Yeah!
Secondly, today we passed walking for 100km. As we crossed over the 100km mark today I gave Paul a pat on his shoulder and said, “Your now a man. Anyone boy who can walk 100km is not a boy anymore!”
Several amazing things happened today. At the start of the day I heard God tell me “detour”, so throughout the day I kept talking with people and asking God if this was my “detour”. Three significant things happened today with “detours”.
First, as it was nearing noon, the weather started to get hotter (over 100 degrees), so we wanted to find some shelter. We met a woman along the road who simply said, “I’ll fix you some food if you can wait.” She did. She provided us a shower and even gave us a brand new bar of soap. While that may be common in the west, in rural Cambodia a brand new bar of soap is an expensive gift. I enjoyed it. I smell bad! She fixed us some lunch as we talked with her family. She then got a battery so she could hook up a fan so we would be cooler and could rest. She didn’t even want to take any money for the food. She asked for my phone number and begged us to spend the night with her family. She even hugged and kissed Paul in a rare display of emotion.
A couple hours later, I got a phone call. It was the same lady. She said she had made dinner for us and wondered in which village we had walked too. She would have her nephew take us the food. Sure enough, an hour later her nephew arrived by motorcycle with three different dishes, rice and even drinks.
Secondly, previous to dinner I saw a old woman sitting in a barren rice field with two children. I couldn’t help to ask them what they were doing. They were looking for paddy crabs. It was about 5 pm. I knew that this was their meal for the day. They were desperately poor. Paul and I prayed for them and gave them a gift which brought tears to the mother’s eyes. They will eat tonight.
Thirdly, as we crossed into the next province darkness was approaching. I was warned by the local police that this area was not a good place to stop because of drunkenness. I stopped to buy some water along the road and the seller asked me, “Where are you staying for the night?”
I told her I didn’t know, but would continue to look down the road. She immediately said, “No, for your safety go back to Om Kong’s house. He is a good man and there will be safety there.”
I am with Om Kong now. He is a VERY good man. Paul and I are sleeping in front of his house in our hammocks. We had several detours today and God showed us amazing favor each time, but also was able to let show Christ to everyone we met. It was a good day! Goodnight!