The middle of the trip was spent in Kampong Thom. This is one of the most impoverished provinces in Cambodia. Lindsay Paris shared two exerts from her journal about the clinics, the children and a hike up a very big mountain.

We visited Sirey Vong village today. Beautiful landscape. Third day of mission work and we’re all starting to form a routine. VBS got to play with over forty very disciplined children. Although we can’t verbally communicate, with the help of our translators and some worldly gestures, everybody is happy to participate in a variety of activities.

The medical clinic aided over 200 patients. The people of Sirey Vong were well prepared to receive medical help for their most vital symptom. Time is valuable. The quicker the main problem is revealed, the sooner a diagnosis can be made and the treatment can begin.

After a hot day in the rice fields, we were happily obliged to a few hours of down time. At sunset, we headed to the local Christian church where our friends Perlito and Rose led us in fellowship. A beautiful collaboration of English and Khmer praises rang throughout the concrete walls.  After worship and a teaching from our own Chaplain Nathan, we headed to a truly Cambodian style dinner.

The Senior Pastor of the local church welcomed us to his restaurant where we sat with legs crossed in front of a flame kettle accompanied with raw goodness including beef, shrimp, squid and a variety of vegetables. Our Cambodian friends helped us indulge in this delicious, unique dining. Bellies full, we head back to the hotel to prepare for an early morning mountain hike and devotion.

I don’t think we could have been prepared for the amazing experience we were about to tackle. We travel to the foot of Santouk Mountain and question whether we are physically prepared to reach the top. Dripping with sweat, 900 and something steps later we reach the top. I guess it was at about step 850 where we reached a landing full of monkeys and the most breathtaking view of this amazing country. While monkeys were trying to grab food from our bags, we clicked pictures of the land below. Continuing to the very top, we find the most elaborate temples and greenery to climb around. We sat at the peak and had a devotional service thanking God for our strength and the beauty He has built around us. On our journey back down the mountain, children fanned our drenched backs in hopes of a good tip. Legs shaking, we met together at the foot of the mountain for some hammock relaxation time.
Again, we pile into the vans and head to the site of our next clinic. There we set up medical and VBS mission. After several hours of aiding these kind people, it’s time to hit the road for a long journey to Poi Pet.

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