Thursday, March 23, 2006
- Afghanistan Supreme Court Judge Ansarullah Mawlavizada in reference to the trial of Afghan Abdur Rahman who faces the death penalty for converting from Islam to Christianity.
Monday, March 20, 2006
“Last week I read an article that you may see in a future newsletter. The Christian writer was talking about the violent Muslim riots resulting from the cartoon of Mohammed with a bomb in his turban. Mohammed was a warrior and violently killed many for Islam. The writer muses that if someone drew a cartoon of Jesus with a turban, what would they put in it? A fish? A loaf of bread or the name of a hospital or orphanage? This is an interesting thought to ponder…We at VOM are thankful for dedicated readers who realize that the bread and fish, along with the gospel are more powerful than any bomb.”
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Cambodians love Americans but not for the reasons you might think. Cambodians are predominately Buddhist (about 95% of them). Because of this they have an interesting view of Americans. They believe Americans are wealthy and blessed and in the context of their Buddhist worldview, that must mean we are good people. On our path towards enlightenment we must have been good people in our past life because we are now being rewarded in this life (the reward being wealth, life in America, freedom to travel, etc.).
This is a common form of transportation in Cambodia
The kids in Cambodia are just like the kids I've met in Romania, Indonesia and South Africa. They are joyful and full of love. We as adults, while good intentioned, tend to look past them as human beings loved by God and instead focus on their level of poverty. In my experience children don't see it quite that way. They don't care about the color of your skin or what your salary is. They just love to play and have fun with you.
While in Cambodia I had an opportunity to visit Tuol Sleng. This photo is a picture of thousands of mugshots of the victims lined up throughout the grounds. Here is an excerpt from my journal about my time there...
This is part of the wall of skulls.
Tom and I went on a home visit to spend time with this family. Two of the members of this family have AIDS. They live in a squatter home (a makeshift home made of spare parts lying around) behind a shopping area. We took some photos of them and then went to a one hour photo store to have them developed. Here you see Tom presenting those photos as a gift to the family. This family had no photographs of any of their family members. It was a blessing to be able to provide them this small gift.
In Cambodia a common belief is “wives are for childbearing, prostitutes are for pleasure.” This plays out in that often a man will visit a prostitute, get AIDS, then come home and give it to his wife. Most often the man will die first leaving the woman behind to care for the family. After the man dies the woman must support her family so she often turns to prostitution herself, continuing the cycle.
This little boy, Chantol is 7 years old and he has AIDS. His father died from the disease. His mother is infected. He lives in the house in a squatter community on the Mekong, in the interior of Cambodia.
Some of the staff with the organization I work for, run a place where women with AIDS can come to make crafts to earn an income instead of turning to prostitution. Here we are praying with some of these women.
This is a photograph of the Cambodian nationals who work day and night to minister to those dying of AIDS. Some work inside of the building behind us which is used as a hospice while others go out into the community and make house visits. The sacrifice these individuals make in order to make sure that everyone has an opportunity to learn about Jesus, is incredible.
Part of my time in Cambodia was spent eating ethnic food such as this tarantula. Whoever said a life of serving God was boring???
Saturday, March 04, 2006
This is a short video taken in Indonesia of a Muslim call to prayer. Muslims pray 5 times a day and this was the afternoon call to prayer. Like most Muslim areas in the world, you can hear the call throughout the entire city. The mosque is the tall statue in the background.
<---To view the video click on the picture.
The video is pretty short but it is in a Windows Media Player format. For those using Windows there shouldn't be any problem with the playback, but for for those of you with a Mac, if you haven't already, you'll need to download the Windows Media Player for Mac. You can do that by CLICKING HERE.
I'll let the pictures speak for themselves...
Thursday, March 02, 2006
Singapore is very clean and very disciplined, which is what you’d imagine from the wealthiest (per capita) nation in Asia. Being about 1 degree above the equator means its hot and humid but most places have air conditioning inside. Singapore has a unique blend of urban setting and lush tropical greenery.
The country is mostly Chinese, Malay and Indian. (The country even has both a Chinatown and Little India). As such, Singapore is a strategic location for nationals to reach those in places like China and other restricted countries, that Westerners either don’t have access to or won’t have the same success as a national.
So, because of that, right now I’m working with about 80 different pastors who represent 25 people groups. Some of them work with local congregations while others work in a missions capacity. So far the only real obstacle was getting stuck in an elevator but the week is still young. I’d greatly appreciate your prayers and will try to post some pictures soon.