23 November 2010

How did this happen?

That is the question on the lips of many here in Phnom Penh at this time. I don't know if we will ever know the full story of what happened on the Koh Pich bridge last night, but I do know that there are many grieving families in this country tonight. Most of those killed and injured were young people, often young women, who had gone out to simply enjoy the final celebrations of the biggest festival of the year. In many cases they were their families hope for a better future. There are many reports in the media about what happened, and some graphic footage has been shown on local and international television. The prime minister has declared a National Day of Mourning on Thursday. What that means, I'm not really sure.

At this stage I do not personally know any of those killed or injured or their families, but that may change tomorrow when I go to school. I pray it doesn't but if it does, I pray that God will give me the right words to say in whatever situation I find myself in. Meanwhile, I can pray for those who are grieving. Grief in this country is something which is shared both visibly and audibly. For many it is a grief without hope. Pray especially for any who are Christians, grieving Christian young people, that God will bring something good out of this tragedy.

As I watched postings on Facebook today, I was reminded of God's protection of His children. One of this year's Seniors at Logos International School posted that that she had been at the site, but chose to go home at 9.15pm. By 10.00pm she was home. When she got home she saw, on the television, all that was happening. She could so easily have been caught on the bridge. I praise God for His protection of this child of His. How many others were likewise protected? We may never know.

Some will question how a good God can let these things happen? I think that if I lost someone precious to me in this disaster I would ask that question too. I don't know the answer. I just know that we live in a world that is fallen, and so we see bad things happening. I also know that God's word says "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28). As we pray for those who are grieving, let us also pray that God will bring something good from this terrible disaster.

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