Thursday, August 30, 2007


Rick is off to Phnom Penh to meet with the Ministry of Health tomorrow morning. He will stay at PIP house and then go and hopefully pick up our schedule for the rest of our time working here in Kandal Province. We are excited to have more visitors to the ship. Rick will bring back with him Jerry and Mary Alice Cantrell. Jerry is teaching in the Sunset School for three weeks and this is opportunity for them to see the ship. We have been fortunate to know Jerry and Mac for many years beginning with our short term mission trips to Guyana, South America. Jerry has also been to the Village church to hold some weekend lecture series.
A quick update on that coconut creme pie that Rick so nicely wrote about. It was ok. The creme part was ok, but have you ever eaten coconut fresh from the nut? It is not like what comes from the grocery store in packages! ha! I wasn't sure how to sweeten it, soooo the pie was only so-so. I tried a new crust and that was really bad. But it looked pretty! gail

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Heading North

We have been at the most southern point of our trip down the Bassac River. We are only 7 kilometers from Vietnam when we stopped at this village named Sampeo Poun. We ate a lot of bananas here! Ha I don’t know if you can see the bananas hanging in the picture. Actually we eat bananas at every village. Now we are headed back north on the opposite side of the river. Our first stop is Chroy Takao and I can already tell that this side of the river has a better breeze! Some of the emails we received this past week included news of the kids heading back to school. I do get alittle homesick thinking back to when I was teaching and getting everything ready in the classroom. My nephew, Alexander, said his classes weren’t too bad this year as a sophomore in high school, and my niece just started her freshman year at York College in Nebraska; a long way from Arkansas! It is also the last year of law school for our daughter, Brit, at SMU in Dallas. I always felt that as a teacher, we have a great opportunity to serve God as we teach the next generation. We have such a great influence on their lives, and can affect so many kids with our example as a Christian. What kids are faced with daily is definitely a challenge to their faith. I believe it is a mission field that may be more difficult than ours! gail

Monday, August 27, 2007

Kheom Joyjet Coconut Creme Pie

I do like coconut crème pie. A good one is hard to beat. While walking thru the market today Gail asked if I would like a coconut crème pie. We went over to the vendor and she split open the coconut and poured out the milk and ground out the precious white meat.
Now there was only small problem. Gail had never made a coconut crème pie from scratch! She and Betty Crocker went right to work though and from the look of things we are going to have a delicious home made pie tonight. I am married to a wonderful gal. But most of you know that already.On the way home from the market we passed a family having lunch in their front yard. Piseth our friend spoke to them and they replied back and forth several times. We smiled and as we walked away Piseth asked Gail if she knew what they said. She said they invited us to lunch and they asked where we hade been and he told them we had been shopping at the pizzar. Gail understood everything they said. I was so proud of her. She has worked so hard and is on the verge of a major leap forward in the language. I, on the other hand, can only say a few words like kheom joyjet which means “I like”. Sounds pretty selfish huh? Rick

Sunday, August 26, 2007

His Name is SoKeun

It was easy to find him. Everyone knows him. He is conspicuous. He is different. He smiles all the time.
Everyone in the market knew where he lived also. One man graciously took us to see him. His wife is named SauKim and they have two children, a boy 20 and a girl who is 14. His wife has a bicycle repair business of sorts and he refills cigarette lighters from the small butane bottles you see on the front of his bike.
SoKeuns major complaint in life is his shoulders. He peddles his bike many kilometers each day making the rounds and the years have taken their toll on them. I gave him a large bottle of anti-inflammatory medicine to help his discomfort but he really needs a new bike.
There is an organization in Phnom Penh who helps people with these issues. I will contact them for him and see if they can help. His crutches look terribly painful also and that should be easy to find. It is hard to help the poor. We don’t often know if we are helping them to stay in their hopeless condition or if they really will profit from a one time help of some kind. I feel good about SoKeun. When I told him I was a Christian he smiled real big! Rick

Saturday, August 25, 2007

I Don't Even Know His Name

I do not know where he lives. I know very little about this man but tomorrow I will find him and try to get to know him better. Like many in Cambodia he is crippled.
Land mines cause the majority of disabilities here. This man was born disabled, however, and has no use of his feet and a severe deformity of one hand. I admired him from the beginning because he does not beg but has a job and supports his wife and two children. He sells small items in the market and travels by a hand-peddled three wheeled tricycle. He has a pair of crutches he made himself out of cast iron that are for getting around when he leaves his wheels behind.
Gail and I will go to the market tomorrow and look for him. He should be easy to find because of his perpetual smile. I don’t know him but I really “like” him. When I first saw him I thought of John Chapter Nine when his disciples asked Jesus who sinned this man or his parents. But even more than that, the story of the man who could not get into the healing waters at Bethesda pool in John 5 came to mind.
You see, every day when I finish seeing the 40 or so numbers we hand out at the beginning of the day, if there is more time I go out and choose more people. Most days there is a large gathering fighting for the few numbers that will be offered. Monday at 3:30 when I went outside there were maybe 25 people crowding in to get a number. I could not see him as he was in the back and only stands about 4 feet tall. Somehow I caught a glimpse of him through the bodies jockeying for position and helped him aboard. I removed one of his hopelessly decayed molars for which he was thankful and gave him a bottle of Tylenol for his arthritic shoulders. I can’t wait to see him again and see if we can help him more. Rick

Friday, August 24, 2007

Friends from Arkansas

I got an email from a man with an email address that had “likatysplit” in it and I wondered what’s up with this guy! Ha! But it turns out that he was a pretty neat guy with a wonderful mom and friend. Jerry Dean and his mother, Ruby Dean, along with Sue Pyland came to visit us last weekend. They were traveling to Thailand and wondered about coming over to Cambodia and seeing the boat. Ruby had been involved in the early stages of the ship’s construction and really wanted to actually see it. She now lives in Bella Vista, Arkansas, but originally lived in Little Rock where Jerry and Sue still live. Sue is Ruby's long time friend and accompanied her on this trip. It was amazing to talk about common things since we all were from the great state of Arkansas! Rick even had them “call the hogs” in front of the PIP house! Ha! The guard thought they were losing it! Gail

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Visitors from China

It is always nice to get visitors to the ship. We know that they will be great ambassadors about the work here in Cambodia. The picture includes some workers from Whan, China that were vacationing from their work teaching English in a university. Kelli and Steven Clark have been working with Heather Ploski for a couple of years. They had family visitors from the states that came to tour with them; Brittney Borden and Lee Thomas. Thanks for taking the time to see the ship and may you also be blessed in your work in China. Gail

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Sitting around!

I get to go up and down the stairs quite often as I check whether there are seats available near the doctor's rooms. Since the triage is up and back of the boat, there is some stair climbing involved all day! Which is a good thing for me! ha This day I decided to have a rest next to this lovely lady. We didn't talk much, or I should say I listened to her talk but didn't understand much! I would look in her eyes, smile, and nod my head. They are such gentle people. Each day I can say a few more words, or least say the ones I know better. It was a nice restful treat. gail

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Just Like Christmas

We all love opening presents don’t we? Last week I received a visit from one of my old dental school classmates. His name is Dane Welch and he came to Cambodia for a short term mission trip and took the time to make contact with Gail and me.
We talked about old times in school and how our families were almost grown. He has daughters ages 22, 24, and 26 about the same ages as out kids. When Dane left, he gave me a suit case with all of the dental things he didn’t use, and I had fun picking through them.
He left anesthetic, needles, bibs, hand sanitizer, and all the usual trip things but one thing he gave me I really liked. 2X2’s!!!!! I cannot get them here and they are a necessity for oral surgery. They are the little gauze pads people bite down on after an extraction. We have to make them by hand so if you come to Cambodia and want to bring me a present or you have luggage space, think…..2X2’s! Kinda weird huh? Rick

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Sunday Morning Stroll

Last Sunday morning Gail and I visited a Christian Church close to the ship. We had ran into an American woman the day before in the market and she and her husband have been working with a small church for the last 7 months. We thought they might need someone to visit with so we attended their services. I took a picture of the building.
Across the street was one of the most elaborate Buddhist pagodas, at least color wise, we have seen here. It must have been newly painted with fluorescent paint because it really shined in the sun and had a pretty fence around it. We always see different and interesting things every day. Rick

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Grand Dads Tooth

I have fond memories of my Grand Dad. He was a man of few words but he always had a twinkle in his eye like he was thinking something mischievous. I remember him for always being there in his big old chair and smiling so big even though he didn’t have a single tooth in his head!
I saw this man yesterday and he had an unusual request. He wanted me to remove his bicuspid tooth and then give it to him. Asking for the tooth was not so unusual, several do that. What was unusual was what he wanted to do with it. He wanted to make a necklace with it for his grandson!
I asked the crew at lunch if they had ever heard of this before. Three of them said that they worn necklaces of there grand dads tooth as a child. They said it was to give them protection from spirits and other bad ancestors.
I’ve got some bad ancestors I’m sure but I do not fear them because they are in the grave and won’t be coming out until the Lord comes again. Reincarnation, however, is widely believed in Cambodia and people fear there ancestors and regularly sacrifice to them and pay different sorts of tribute to them. I hope to convince many to fear only God who has the power to punish and reward all people. Rick

Monday, August 13, 2007

What Religion on You?

As we travel south through Kandal Province, we see a Moslem mosque on one side of the river and a Buddhist temple on the other. The contrast is no different anywhere in the world as people seek a higher being. With the mysticism thrown in with both religions, you get an interesting view from these people. It is difficult to communicate through centuries of beliefs. But then I reflect on all the beliefs we have in the United States and it is no different. And also very difficult to communicate. We are fighting Satan in different ways, but still have the same source of strength to draw from. I find it difficult to share the love of Christ here in Cambodia because of language. But I found it difficult to share the Lord in my past because it was uncomfortable. It was easy to sit in a church building and hope people come and hear a good sermon and be touched. I am ashamed I was not more like my father. You who know him, know that he lived and spoke each day of Christ's blessings. But everyday is a new day and we can ask for spirit of boldness. gail

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Home Again

We arrived back to the ship yesterday and it was alittle like coming home! Especially all the dirty clothes! Ha! The gang missed us and were glad we were back. I think they were glad I was back to do laundry! It was a great trip and we felt so blessed to be able to go and enjoy, not only the holiday part, but the spiritual lessons by Steve Sikes and Kerry Holton. We are ready to get back to our service to God and the people of Cambodia. Please pray for us. gail

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Heading Home

We are on our way back to Cambodia after hearing some good stuff! Kerry Holton and Steve Sikes gave us some wonderful lessons. Not forgetting the wonderful singing led by Jonathan Straker and the leaders of the break-out groups! It was a great experience and a much needed filling of God's word. Since being on the boat, we are isolated from others and miss the fellowship. We are prayerful of how we are going to evangelize the people we meet daily. gail

Monday, August 06, 2007

Spritual Renewal

Ok, maybe the title and the first picture don't really go together but we are having a wonderful time at the workshop and hearing some great thoughts from God's Word. It doesn't hurt to have a Starbucks down the street, either! These signs you will NOT see in Cambodia or anything close to them! Ha The tree is in front of the hotel and I thought it was so neat lookng. You probably can't see clearly all the hanging limbs that make it unique. It is a blessing to sing songs of praise with such a group and be encouraged. My cup overfloweth! gail

Friday, August 03, 2007

Asian Mission Forum

We are leaving Cambodia for

a few days as we head to Bali for the Asian Mission Forum. I think we will enjoy this break from the river, but also enjoy visiting with other workers in various Asian countries. Of course, we had to have a treat at the McDonalds in the airport! gail

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Cruising South

Well, we are heading south on the Bassac River to Tukvil. We will only work here one day and then leave

with Catharine and Kevin back to Phnom Penh. It has been a great 3 weeks with them on the ship. I think they enjoy coffee more than me! They will visit Siem Reap where Angkor Wat is before going back to Canada. We do wish you a safe trip and hope you will return another day! We will be heading to Bali for the Asian Mission forum (and a little R & R)! gail