Sunday, August 28, 2011

It's personal

This man has made such an impact in my life.  This is Phil.  I went to Cambodia with our team from our church and Mr. Phil went too.  He speaks fluently in Khmer and English.  Over the course of the two weeks I learned so much about the culture and the way things are in Cambodia.  I learned how much Mr. Phil has went through and that his faith is steadfast.

One of the first orphanages we visited was an AIDS facility.  The facility is funded to keep families "together."  The ladies sew and make things to send to the states.  Our local hospital in Palm Coast helps fund this facility too.  It was so neat to see them worshiping and being so grateful for so little of what they had.

This is a picture from the Killing Fields.  If you don't know much about the Kymer Rouge.  You need to google it and learn about The Khmer Rouge. Let me give you a little background, and then hang in there until the end of the paragraph where I talk a little bit more about Mr. Phil.  The Khmer Rouge was the name given to these awful people who were led by Pol Pot during 1975-1979.  This Khmer Rouge carried out a radical program that included isolating the country from foreign influence, closing schools, hospitals and factories, banking and anything else.  The purpose of this policy was to turn Cambodians into "old people" through agricultural labor.  This resulted in MASSIVE deaths through executions, work exhaustion, illness and starvation.    STICK around, I am getting closer to my point.  Most of the Cambodian people were separated from their family and it is sort of what happened during the Hitler era.  See they used the "threat of American bombing" to get people to listen to them, because these Khmer Rouge were going to take care of the Cambodians.  What they didn't know is that they were going to kill them off group by group.  Money was abolished, books were burned, teachers, merchants, and almost the entire intellectual elite of the country was murdered, to make the agricultural communism, a reality.  The Khmer Rouge were expected to produce tons of food and were executed in crazy ways.  That brings me to the part of Mr. Phil, pictured above.  His wife and some of his family were able to escape towards the end of the era.  However, Mr. Phil was walking with the group as they were beating him and he huddled around his 2 year old daughter to protect her.  He slowly had to release her as she was dying from starvation and hydration.  This man has been through so much but continues to go back to his country because he says, and quote, he says, if this era wouldn't have happened then it would have made it that much harder to bring over the faith and teach the Cambodian people about God.  I will continue to post a little bit at a time about his family and the impact that he has on my daily thinking.

You might not know much about this picture, as it looks quite weird.  But, this is a restaurant that is opening in Cambodia by Mr. Phil's family.  They opened on New Year's Day and we were able to celebrate this with them.  However, the blocks that are a skewed are from where "budda" use to sit.  The owners (Mr. Phil's nephew) is opening it based on the beliefs that he wants to have in his restaurant, which is to worship God and not Buddha.  Most Cambodian people will not eat in places that Buddha is not present outside the restaurant.  His nephew is stepping out in faith and we pray that he will benefit from the fruitfulness that he is striving for. 

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