Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Colors

Driving through Texas, we were delighted to see the trees full of color. We never know if the trees will still have their leaves this time of year, but many still painted the forest. I love to see the trees change as the winds start to blow the cooler air in from the north. When we arrived at Rick's mom's house, her two bradford pears were vibrant. The picture is of one of those. Tomorrow is the day of feasting and fellowship, but I hope we all take the time to appreciate God's handiwork. There is so much to be thankful for.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Special Friends

What a wonderful reunion! Rick and I flew through LAX on way back to Arkansas and stayed over one night to share time with great friends. Doris and Emily are now living in Thousand Oaks and doing what they do best... sharing Christ's love. Laughing, talking, and even shedding some tears made the night another wonderful memory. It is truly a blessing to have people in your life that exhibit a selfless attitude, and a tremendous faith. That is what Doris and Emily are to us! gail

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Dry Dock

As you can see the ship has entered dry dock for scheduled repairs and maintenance. The whole experience was quite interesting and sometimes frightening. The current was very strong and the winds were high. We did however manage to safely enter dry dock, block the ship securely, and raise it out of the water. Now the fun begins. Bill McDonough will oversee the refurbishing of the propellers, painting of the hull, and many other needs.

We are on our way home! We will miss all the excitement and much of the difficult work. We planned it that way! ha!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Welcome Back

Russ and Rosemary Burcham have returned! It was a joy to see their smiling faces at the house again. They will spend time teaching English and then join us on the ship in January. This year Joe Bowen from the Little Rock area accompanied them here to Phnom Penh to help teach. It is a blessing and joy to have Russ and Rosemary here. They are a true example of the giving of their time and energy in service. There is also never a dull moment when Rosemary is around! We love you guys!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Night on the Town

Time for celebration! The call that we could actually move the ship into the dry dock working area. We were all excited to recieve that call. Also, the crew has been so great that Rick and I wanted to share something special with them off the ship. Most employees understand how getting out of the work area can create a fun and more relaxing atmosphere. Last night we think we succeeded as we shared a meal at a Suki soup restaurant! It was fun and Darith did not have to cook and all the others did not have to carry and clean up after! We will leave them in a few days and hope they know how much we appreciate their dedication to the Ship of Life.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Back to School

I have missed being in the classroom since living on the Ship. So this week, while the ship was being prepared for dry dock, I was able to teach a student who is about to complete all books. Chanthou became a Christian last August after studies with Jeanne, Doris, and Yvonne. I have the privilege of finishing the series with her. She is a delightful student who is earnestly trying to learn more about Christ. It is a humbling experience to teach and study with students like Chanthou as I see her enthusiasm and love for God's word.

Monday, November 17, 2008


It was great to be able to worship with the people at the PIP house. Some we haven't seen for some time. Kim, a student who is about to graduate from bible school, led us in a class lesson. Bora, who works with Nutrition program, taught lesson during worship hour. Bora is shorter person standing in first picture. It was great to see Loren and Penny Hollensworth back to teach at bible school. They live in Alaska now, but were missionaries in Thailand for many years come back every year to teach here and in Thailand. They are also the parents of Rhonda and Julie. We hope to visit them next February while in Thailand. gail

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Last Pic of Water Festival ( I Promise)

Rhonda Dolan who is working with the Bible School and Julie Broyles who now works with the WEI English program are sisters! Rhonda and husband, Rich, have been here for some time and now Julie has come to oversee the house and students. So, I recommend highly that if you ever considered coming over to teach, now is time. Julie is fun and will make your visit worthwhile. Julie and Rhonda came to ship to watch races and when they left they took this picture from the other side of the river. I thought is was a great shot of the ship. The festival is now over and the city is getting back to business. We do not have any clinic days since the ship will be going into drydock for repairs and maintenance checks. Another week and Rick and I head back to states to visit, but for now, we are doing some final preparation to get ship ready. gail

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

More Water Festival

We had some visitors that came to watch the boats with us today. Troy and Tabitha, Dennis and Sharon Welch and their friend Jill, who has been studing in India. Bora, who works in nutrition program came, too. The boats started rowing out about 6:30 in the morning and that last heat finished at 5:00 in afternoon. As you can see from the street pictures, there are alot of people. The canopys cover them sleeping and they make rice in the big pots for the men

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Water Festival

The boats are here! And we are in the middle of them. Wow, we never expected to be surrounded by all the people who have come to race the long boats; and not just the men who compete, but their supporters in food preparation and cheering. I had alittle trouble sleeping last night, so I was up around four in the morning. Only two boats were near us. Around six, one boat lifted their tarps from the sides and thirty to forty men were sleeping inside and soon they were bathing and getting up for the day. By noon, well, you can see the pictures and get an idea of how it looks. And that is the sides. The street is just as crowed with vendors and campers. It is similar to being in the infield of a Nascar race! Our relaxing week has turned into a party atmosphere where we are finding it hard to relax! Lots of music and action. I think Sokun, our night guard, is going to be busy the next four nights.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Last Clinic Day

Today was a pretty exciting day in many ways. The crew was happy that they would all be leaving the ship for a week to celebrate Water Festival. A former Doctor for the ship, Dr. Dona, brought a prominent man in the government to the ship along with his entourage. Dr. Dona had gained permission from the “higher ups” to allow the ship to dock where we normally do in Phnom Penh, but since this week is Water Festival, we had to get special permission. So in return, we allowed “His Excellency” to tour the ship. Rick had to play host with the coffee, water, and tea around the table, but then we were invited to attend the Festival and sit in the “special platform” for high government officials. I’m sure we will do a blog on it if we do accept the invitation. Dr. Dona ended up working and seeing patients. So with two doctors there were 134 people helped today. Rick ended up helping over 60. Along with all this activity, a young reporter from the Phnom Penh Post came aboard to observe and then submit an article for the paper. Camile is from Denmark and interning here in Cambodia for six months. She stayed most of afternoon and was fun to talk to and even passed some “news” on to us. It was great of her to think of the Ship as a worthy article. So now we are on a ghost ship. Hai is stuck here as our engineer for four days and then Sokha will replace him. Sokun is here doing his night guard duties and has chosen to work the holiday and take some days off for his sister’s wedding next month. Since the ship is in a good position to view the boat races, I think we will have some visitors. We are going to try to avoid going into the city as much as possible since there is an estimated 4 million additional people who are suppose to come to town for the festival. Ugh! gail

Friday, November 07, 2008

Off To The City

The ship is leaving the last village and heading to the city. Our tour of the Bassac River is finished and we go and prepare the ship to be taken out of river for maintenance. The big cruise ships advertise “Fun at Sea”; well, we have some fun on the river! Rick likes to blow up gloves, draw faces, and give to the kids. It seems like I’ve been in the laundry more, while I stay out of Jeanie’s way so she can get the hang of triage by herself. She is doing a great job, and it does free me up to joke with the guys or work in the office. I helped Darith ice cake in celebration of Water Festival. I was trying to show him how to pipe icing on, but we lacked the necessary tools. I think he did a good job despite what we had to work with. If you can tell from the picture, it is suppose to be the ship on water with fireworks around! Ha! gail

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Health Fair Pictures

Just wanted to show you alittle better about what the Health Fair looked like. Some great booths were set up with some learning experiences for the kids. It is times like these that give hope for the future of Christ being shared in Cambodia. It also reminds me of the many Vacation Bible Schools are we worked in! Now those are some good memories! gail

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Memorial for Sokha

Today we went to a memorial service honoring the memory of Sokha. She was an incredible young lady in her late twenties when her life was cut short by an automobile accident last Tuesday.
Sokha had two beautiful children of her own but that is very common here. What made her special was the 21 additional children she took care of along with her husband Kimsom. They manage a Christian orphanage here and basically raise the children. None of the children will ever be adopted so it is like a big family. She teaches these 23 children along with about 50 others every week the stories of Jesus and lives out the stories for them every day.
Several hundred people attended her memorial service. She was compared to Tabitha in the New Testament by one of the speakers. Many tears were shed remembering her acts of kindness to children and people of all ages. Sokha was a wonderful Christian lady who will be missed greatly by all who knew her. Please join us in prayer for her husband Kimsom and the children she has left behind.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

On A Lighter Note

Fun and games were happening while we were docked at Troey Sla. One of the biggest festivals in Cambodia is about to begin and these men in the long boat are practicing their skills. The Water Festival begins Nov. 11 and continues for 2 days. Boats like this from all over come to the city to compete in the races. While in Troey Sla, we got to watch the men who will represent this village rowing past the ship as they practice. Many people on the shore yell with support and so there was an air of excitement. In the evening, the jump rope came out several times and I caught the Captain having his turn at jumping. I need to introduce you in a more proper way to our new Captain Choeurn Mom. But with the cooler breezes blowing in from the north, and the excitement of Water Festival all around, needless to say, the spirit of the crew is high! (the crew gets a week off for the festival!) gail