Sleeping at the police station our first night was tough. We slept on a hard concrete floor. They offered us two small pillows, so that was our only comfort. The location next to the main road was the biggest problem. All night long, twenty feet from the busiest road in the country, was the sound of racing vehicles. Sometimes the trucks would blow their air horns just to anger the villagers I assume. The police radio was turned on high volume so they could wake up if they heard anything important being shouted over the radio. Since I speak fluent Khmer I was un-impressed with the police band. All night long police in the area talked about a local concert, girls or what they would do the following day.
Then at 4am monks started chanting on a megaphone. It sounded like they were in the next room! It was so loud! Then bam! All of a sudden I jumped up with extreme pain in my arm. I knew I had been bit or stung by something. I reached for my LED light and swatted at my pillow. It hurt bad. I woke Paul up so that whatever bit me would not bite him too. I swatted in the dim light at everything. Do you know what it was? A scorpion! I got stung twice on my hand a forearm. Today, my entire arm is numb from my shoulder down.
Day two of walking would be defined by the opposite of day one. Day two has been the norm of my time in Cambodia. Most of my ministry life here in Cambodia has been just plain difficult. Nothing easy about it. Being stung by a scorpion at about 4:30am and dealing with the swelling and pain all day long was actually normal for me. Most of the time my work here in Cambodia is just difficult. I know many may be tempted to quit, or to find a doctor. However, for me, there was no coincidence that the scorpion sting came at the same time as monks chanting. I have been stung by scorpions before. I prayed against the plans of the enemy and continued as I had intended.
The whole day was hard. Paul and I trudged up 27km today. We both have sore legs, feet and backs. As it was getting dark we were thinking of how we would get some dinner when a lady shouted at us to come over to her from across the busy road. We crossed the road. At first I didn’t recognize her, but then I realized that this lady I had spoken to briefly at the entrance to a hospital a few hours back. That encounter, only seconds in length, opened something in her heart.
Immediately, she gave Paul and I some water and assured us, it was free. She asked why were we were walking and what our plans were. I told her that I had already ditched our bags in the previous town and planned to go back at dark. She asked if she could fix us dinner. We were so grateful because we didn’t have any dinner plans yet and it was dark. By the next hour she had introduced us to her entire family and all her extended relatives. I shared with her about my walk to honor my wife and how I love Jesus, who is the one who helps me to love others. She and all her family were interested to know more about Jesus. The meal she fixed Paul and I was one of the best I have had in days, if not weeks. It was delicious. In fact, it was my favorite Cambodian dish: Snou Chrout Moan (Sour Chicken Soup).
Thank you Jesus for helping us to be persistent and accomplishing your purposes for our lives. I thank you for the hearts you are opening at the same time we honor Noit.