How we roll …

In Cambodia, the traffic is always coming at you, a constantly flowing stream of motorcycles, tuuk-tuuks, farm carts, trucks and automobiles. People–some of them,small children–ride three and even four to a motorcycle. In Siem Reap, the traffic put-putted along, and there were  lots of bicycles and plenty of chickens and dogs traveling in the mix. The horns in Siem Reap steadily give out a short bleat or a long hoooonk, and nobody even looks back to note the sound. In Phnom Penh, the traffic clips along faster and tougher, and the horns are like little barks.

In Cambodia,you learn quickly that the only way to cross the street is to veer directly into the flow of traffic. “I think we’ll just have to cross it,” someone will yell, and we’ll all head on a diagonal, and as if by incantation, the traffic slows to a stop. There is no swerving, no squeal of brakes. The motorcycles, tuuk-tuuks, farm carts and automobiles simply pause, then resume their speed.

Gil Suh, who serves in Cambodia through Christian Reformed World Missions compared the local traffic to bringing the gospel to the Khmer people. “These people are recovering from a trauma,” he said. “They are open to the gospel, but here it’s somewhat chaotic. I think the traffic is the metaphor here. You have to go with the flow because if you’re too stiff, you break.”

After their 2000 graduation from Calvin Theological Seminary, Gil and his wife Joyce served as missionaries to Nigeria for six years and pastored a church in San Jose for four. They resisted their first call to Cambodia (The children were too small) but accepted the assignment last year. “The mission fire was still there,” he said.

We met Gil at the headquarters of the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee where we heard presentations for local NGOs. We also visited the headquarters of the International Justice Mission, a local orphanage, an organization that works with the urban poor and an NGO called Picosol, that deals with renewable energy.

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3 comments so far

  1. Mavis on

    Please say hello to Gil and Joyce from Mavis Moon of the San Jose CRC. How nice that you are visiting them! Great blog.

    • myrnaanderson on

      I told Gil hello on your behalf. He was thrilled.

      • Mavis on

        Aww, thanks!

        I put a link to your blog on our church’s Facebook page, too. Great blog, great trip.

        Mavis


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