24 April 2011
He is Risen!
What a privilege it is to know the peace that passes understanding because of what Jesus has done for us.
Easter in Cambodia is very different to Easter in Australia. To start with, the first "Easter eggs" I saw this year were at a local cafe that I had lunch at yesterday. They had a few foil wrapped eggs, and a range of special bunnies and chickens. It was fun to choose a few to share with a friend last night. Hot cross buns are also not easy to come by. I was able to buy a couple at another cafe on Friday and enjoy them on Saturday morning for breakfast. Not quite "Brumby's" but they were pretty good toasted.
What was I doing shopping on Good Friday? Well, Good Friday is just another day here in Cambodia. Even the Christian school that I worked at last year did not have it as a holiday (and hasn't ever since I've been here). Usually we have Khmer New Year somewhere around this time, although they haven't coincided since I've been here, and since we have a week off school for that, another holiday's not really an option. With school starting at 7.30am and teachers arrival time being 7.00am, that doesn't leave room for attending a worship service in the morning, and by the time 6pm came (which was when the Catholic service was), I was just ready to go home, so I didn't get there. Instead I read the Easter story again myself.
On Saturday I had a lovely, sociable, and productive day. First I met with a young Khmer lady who tutors one of my students each afternoon. That was a lovely time. She was very keen to hear how we could work together to help him make faster progress, and to pick up some tips to increase her own English learning. Next job was to head home and do some downloading so I have a package of material ready for my student and his tutor on Monday morning! Then I pumped the tyres on my bicycle, and headed around to the OMF team centre, where I met up with a lovely lady from Thailand who has recently moved to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. We cycled out to a place called "The Shop Too", where we shared a pizza for lunch, and enjoyed getting to know each other a little. Despite the flatness, it was hard work riding my bicycle, since I don't do it very often, but I did enjoy the journey. After lunch I succumbed to the temptation of buying Easter chocolates to share with another friend. Then it was home for more downloading and printing!
In the evening my friend and I headed across town to the riverfront, where we enjoyed a plate full of vegies each! Yummy. Sometimes I have roast meat with it, but this time it was just vegies. Very satisfying. We returned to my friend's home to enjoy a movie on TV for a while, and while there, it decided to pour rain! Now this was not just a little bit of rain, but a true tropical thunderstorm, complete with copious flashes of lightning and rumbles of thunder. It didn't just last 20 minutes though, but went on for over an hour. Eventually we decided I'd spend the night at my friend's place and head home in the morning. I'm glad I did, because when I came home this morning I still had to go through water up to 6 inches deep to get home. It had obviously been much deeper overnight, and I was very glad I hadn't attempted it in the dark (especially as our roads here tend to develop new potholes every time it rains)!
This morning I had the joy of celebrating our Lord's resurrection at the local Anglican church in Phnom Penh. Having attended an Anglican school for high school I am quite comfortable with the liturgical service, and it was truly meaningful today. What a great day to have communion and celebrate together the truth that Jesus is Alive! This evening I'm looking forward to meeting a new little girl, who is just 10 or 11 weeks old, to seeing how much her big sister has grown, and to catching up with her parents. God is good. ALL the time!
As you take time this Easter to remember our Lord and all He has done for you and me, take time to remember also those who do not know Him, and pray that our lives will be such that those around us want to know the source of the true peace and joy that we know.
Christ has died. Christ has risen. Christ will come again!