Saturday, December 31, 2011

CAMBODIA NOW

OPEN . . . .OPEN . . . .OPEN . . . .OPEN . . . .OPEN . . . .OPEN


ECONOMICALLY - What a place for entrepreneurs! Risk takers could make a bundle here.
Anything from laundrymats & restaurants, to stock yards & dairy's, to a nuclear power plant - endless possibilities. Opportunities galore.

Major drawback: The political corrution is rampant throughout all levels of government and the populace. No one trusts anyone here - that could be a problem.


SPIRITUALLY - Is there any country on the face of the earth more in need of, or open to the gospel than this one - both politically and personally - on an individual basis?

I know of none.
The doors are open now.



Major drawback
- I don't know.
Is it apathy?






Assessment:
Free enterprise is rapidly moving this country ahead. We have seen significant progress in the 6 months we have been away. Western economics will also bring western curses as well - materialism, drinking & drugs, gambling and other addictions and distractions (already evident in both of the neighboring countries - Vietnam & Thailand). What path will these young men take?


KAIROS - The time is NOW






This is a picture of an older Khmer Rouge survivor living much as he always has - except for his satelite dish and TV (powered by a car battery). The contrast of the old and the new.

A Profile of Cambodia

• Full name: Kingdom of Cambodia (formerly – Kampuchea)
• Government type: multi-party democracy under a constitutional monarchy
• Population: 14 million – 65th in world (via CIA, 2007)
• Area comparative: slightly smaller than Oklahoma (69,898 sq miles)
• Capital and largest city: Phnom Penh (pop. 1.2 million)
• Major language: Khmer
• Religions: Theravada Buddhism 95%, Islam, animism, Christian
• Life expectancy: 59 years (men), 63 years (women) (via CIA)
• Age demographic: Over 50 % under 20 years of age
• Monetary unit: 4,006 Riel = $1.00 (via US Dept of State)
• Main exports: Clothing, timber, rubber
• GNI per capita: US $380 (World Bank, 2006)
• Economic Growth: 10 % annually since 2004
• Climate: tropical; rainy, monsoon season (May to November); dry season (December to April); little seasonal temperature variation
• Population below poverty line: 35 % at $0.34 per day (via World Bank)
Education: (via US Dept of State)
o Years compulsory–none.
o Enrollment–primary school, 91.9%; grades 7 to 9, 26.1%; grades 10 to 12, 9.3%; and post-secondary, 1.4%.
o Completion rates–primary school, 46.8%; lower secondary school, 20.57%; upper secondary school, 8.92%; university, 6%.

Information from UNDP, World Bank, CIA Factbook & U.S. State Department


From 1975-1979, Cambodia was systematically torn apart from its highest governmental levels all the way down to the most fundamental foundation of the family. The brutal Khmer Rouge, led by Pol Pot, murdered 21% of Cambodia’s population targeting the aged, educated and professional classes of society. Their goal was an agrarian society that could easily be controlled and their means were genocide and displacement of the population from the cities to the province (countryside). The Khmer Rouge divided children from their parents in order to re-educate a new class in their controlling brutality.
In 1979, the Vietnamese army defeated the Khmer Rouge thus sending them into hiding in the jungles near the Thai Cambodian boarder. The Vietnamese army occupied Cambodia until 1989 – years of guerilla warfare and ethnic tension bringing fear, instability and more death to the Cambodian people. Democracy was restored in 1993 with a power sharing deal between two major political parities – one led by the Prime Minister and the other led by the royal family. This power sharing structure was broken by force in 1997 in 3 days of fighting resulting in control for the Prime Minister. Generally, there has been peace since 1999 with election related violence the exception. In 2008 those responsible for the genocide known as “the killing fields" were being brought to trial.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

NURSE KNAPP - Part 2 - Treatment

Ben (from YWAM) is the patient. Let's take a look at this.

Gross! Is it a bite or a boil? An open wound with an infection, and stuff ozzing out. Yuck!





Concerned team members watch
her clean and dress the wound
with whatever we
currently have available.







"That's it for today.


Try to keep it clean.


See you tomorrow."






Update: The first trip to a local clinic was very painful and ineffectual for poor Ben. There was no tuk tuk ride to him - this whole operation took place in our personal room. Our Betadine medicine was not strong enough. He had to go to a western type hospital, where a stapf infection was discovered. He was thoroughly cleaned up and put on antibiotics, with follow-up appointments scheduled.

VIDEO CLIP of a Worship Team

This is precious to us. 
The musicians in the provincial village.
They were very good - it took many hours to 
upload this (my lack of technical savvy). 
ENJOY

video

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

FOOOOOD

So many varieties of fruit exist in Cambodia - our translators could not give English names for some of them.

Banana chips are a very popular snack here.

Kori bought some kilos of chips to share as gifts at Christmas time.

They were well received.
JACK FRUIT - the biggest/heaviest fruit I have ever seen in a tree!

These are only about 60% grown.

They get to the size of watermelons, but heavier as they are more dense.

What would have happened to Newton's Theory of Gravity if he sat under this tree, and got clunked - rather than an apple tree?


Our friend Thouny (the multiple "Bible question" lady) shows the pod heads of the lotus plant. Southeast Asians eat the beautiful flowers, leaves, roots, and particularly the seeds inside these pods.

As Americans, we buy the dry pods for decoration.

They take the seeds out of the pod; crack um on their foreheads, and devour them like candy.






Lemon grass grows very well here and is used as a seasoning.

A Christmas Celebration

Invite all of your family and about 30 of your friends to a Christmas Party - so many that they cannot all fit into the house at the same time!

During your worship, prayer & devotional time - be sure to include some very crazy dancing.

The traditional Khmer Christmas meal:

Two servings of curry - the 1st with bread that you tear off and dip into the curry (add condiments to taste), and then
2nd - you add the very thin, pure white noodles to your bowl and eat the second round.


Polish it off with the official food of delight - FRUIT!

This is the father of our host - Sreypich. Kori taught English in her class last summer, and they became friends. She had asked for prayer for her family to come to Christ.

Since then, a group of young people came to her house to do so, and in the process, delivered her dad from demonic oppression. He accepted the Lord Jesus, and a little while later - cast out all of the idols in his home. In Christ he has found deliverance, peace and joy.

It's Christmas Time!

Some of my guys stepped up to lead that day; Nimol, Sath & Sombat.

We used all of the available chairs - about 350.







Most of the attendees were from the Primary School & non-believers from the English School.

We attended the Logos School (an Asian Hope ministry) Christmas play where the gospel was presented to an audience of mostly unbelieving parents.


The music,
performed in English (yay!)
was very well done.
Reminding us that God's very special Gift - JESUS - is truly, the Reason for the season.

NURSE KNAPP - Part 1 - The Backstory


We currently have 2 YWAM (Youth with a Mission) Teams here: 12 from the Colorado Base, and their schedule corresponds with ours here. Some of the guys and gals are tall! A new team of 10 (not in the picture) recently arrived from Oregon.

On the far left is Ben - from Wisconsin. At 20, he is a spiritually seasoned and a well-traveled leader in the first group (none of which are from CO). He is so fun and easy to talk to - we have a friendship brewing here.
Ben & a couple team members decided to buy some tarantulas from the open market.


Yes, they did eat them. (You know guys and a dare!)
Said they tasted more like jerky than anything else.

. . .But why is Nurse Knapp rushing to the scene - in the Tuk Tuk ambulance?

YOUNG STARS

. . . . . .>.. . VIRAK BUN . . . . . . . . . > "Vea Sna"

The Daniel of Scripture was a handsome and very bright young man in his teens. He had a very good spiritual background and he loved the Lord - the same is true of Vea Sna.
What sticks in my mind, from my very last moments in Phnom Penh this past summer, was this young man - imploring me with these words;
"Please,
I want to know God,
I want to serve God."


Well he already is (a 17 year old junior in HS). He is advanced in his IT / AV skills. But what thrills my heart is how he readily, skillfully and passionately preaches Jesus whenever, and wherever he can. He is destined for International Ministry if he stays the course.



. . . . . . . . . . VANNY MAI






This young lady of 21 is beautiful inside and out. The joy and vibrancy of Jesus flows through her. The life of Jesus in her attracts others - as the sweet fragrance of Christ emanates from her spirit. Possessing maturity beyond her years, she also exemplifies what it means to be a full-on follower of Christ.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

BROTHERS & SISTERS

TEAMING TOGETHER TO SERVE CHRIST

CHANLA & TONI

This young single Pastor, 22, leads his own flock and also is involved in a youth outreach in a remote area. He recently recovered a neglected baby near death. He is seeking a place for her. His beautiful sister (30) is the director / lead teacher at the preschool in their church. He lives by faith (read - no salary) in this village church directly across the Mekong River from Phnom Penh

A prayer request from Pastor Chanla from his own facebook entry:

since I've felt the motorbike on the way to work it is about 1 years and my leg can't walk for a long distance so and now I preach by sitting on chair and really bad but it is God's plan for my life . God want me to learn something from it . God will cure me one day that what i believe in him . even now the doctor said he can't but can do it. amen

SHERWIN & SHINETH JOY CALCABEN

Sherwin (23) and his sister (21) are from the Philippines - He was sent by his church to plant a church and minister to the Khmer people. Later his family sent her to be of encouragement, assistance and service both to him and to the ministry there. She does much of the AV stuff and is the lead worship singer. It was a blessing to see these siblings so honorably serving our Savior together.



We visited their church on Christmas evening. We walked maybe 2 miles to get there. We arrived an hour early. Lead Pastor Dara (another single guy) is on the right.





There were over 50 folk, singing, rejoicing & listening to the teaching of God's Word. No one in the room was even half our (or at least my) age! Most of the decorations are home-made from paper. There was a lot of enthusiasm & joy.

Monday, December 26, 2011

In the Thick of It

Preaching & Teaching
the WORD of GOD


The is the greatest joy and privilege of all. Speaking out about the CHRIST of Christmas, in Sunday Worship Service, Saturday Night Youth Gathering, Home Christmas' Parties, and wherever else we can.

Often, for me, I am asked Bible related questions;
"Where did Cain get his wife?"
"Why did God accept Abel's offering, but not Cain's?"
"Is God angry with us if we can not always give a tenth of our money to Him?"
"How can I serve God?"

There are many questions.

Our main issue -

We must find an available and willing translator to assist!



We love sharing eternal truths with open hearts and minds.


Our second issue;


What has been lost in translation?



Kori is very popular here. She attracts the larger groups, all wanting to hear from her. She feels overwhelmed, but is moving forward with vigor, as best as she can.

She studies hard, utilizes the Macarthur Study Bible that we brought, and an excellent resource book supplied by Janice Okimoto. Sometimes she asks Steve for assistance as well.

The Return of the Pictures

Lucky's Supermarket is where we food shop for breakfast & lunch items. We walk about a 3 mile round trip to this very new store.

Prices are very high - 2 to 4 times as much as we would pay in the US for brand name items - cereal, ice cream, etc. Milk - when they have it, is $4.20 a LITER. We buy knock-offs that are much cheaper.

Our weekly splurge meal is sometimes here. We can get hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken or fish sandwiches, even pizza and ice cream here - at about half the price of fast food back home in Hawaii.



The taste?
Not great,
but not that bad either.

What a score! The married man of the YWAM team here bought this gorgeous Red Rose Bouquet for his wife for Christmas.

Over 70 roses

It was fragrant too!


- I wish I had thought of doing that for Kori!


Cost here $19

Kori's rides on a "moto."

It can be fun.

She always covers her face when out on the streets now (many do).

The air is very dusty and dirty, with lots of not-so-good-stuff floating around in it.



Is this as close to an elephant as I will get on this trip?




This statue is about 4 blocks from "home" - out in front of a pagoda.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Why fast?

There are many reason that individual people fast.
For me, currently there are two:
# 1) To seek to move the hand of God
Please let me explain . .
a) God is sovereign - He is the boss, He does what He wants
We cannot make Him do anything (Though He is quite willing to be held to His precious promises)
b) When I do something for God, I seek confirmation in His Word
- This time we move in faith - Hebrews 11:6
- Trusting that it is His will to further His Kingdom - Matthew 28:19-20,
- and that He will honor the prayers of the righteous - James 5: 16-18
whoa, wait a minute - a "righteous man" - me? Well, with the imputed righteousness of Christ credited to my account - who could be more righteous?
We are asking God to remove obstacles that restrain His work here. It is a negative evil stronghold, that involves human issues related to pride & selfishness, Lordship & Ownership. The usual culprits (but when emanating from leadership - so very many individuals are impacted)
An individual, like me, must also self-examine to see if the same issues are active within myself as well.

# 2) To realize the complete control of God within me personally
a) My human emotions have been so thoroughly stirred as to consider violence, but
b) "the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God" and the
c) Wisdom from above is not evil & destructive, but pure , peaceable and gentle (James 3: 13-18)

Fasting makes a person weak
a) temptations have less pull, b) Diversions have less of a draw upon us,
c) there is more time to focus, d) God, prayer, and His will and control become easier

But why Christmas-time? . . . . Why not?

Will you join with us in prayer for victory - for the glory of God?
MERRY CHRISTMAS

An Interview with Grace "Kori" Knapp


What questions do you have for her? Drop us an email line at gcknapp815@gmail.com. or 4steveknapp@gmail.com

All questions are fair game (that are printable in a public forum!)
What do want to know - from the feminine side about life here or in the provinces, food, clothing, weather, spiritual battles, or even life with the haole man. Let um rip!

The guy on the right of our gorgeous interviewee is the sidekick interviewer.

What do like most about Cambodia? Things are cheap.

What strange foods have you seen or eaten? The people here eat very healthy - they eat a lot of fruits and vegetables (fruits rule as snack food!) But the open outdoor market leaves much to be desired.

What foods have you eaten lately? Chicken and rice, rice and chicken, chicken and rice, along with some bland oatmeal for breakfast. Occasional fruit & vegetables as well. Did I mention chicken & rice?

What has been difficult for you on this trip? The language barrier and how dusty and dirty it is here.

How's that haole husband of yours? "I love him more."

What has God been teaching you? About myself - I really am dependent upon God - in the tasks that He has asked me to do here; teaching and marriage counseling. I feel the same reluctance that Moses did when called by God. "Who am I?"

Do you want to come back to Cambodia? It depends, actually - only if God wants me to.

Son of My Right Hand

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JUSTIN

Dear Son Jus,

Keep right on living in Philippians 3:8-15.
God bless you in every way.

Love,
Dad

PS: Dear Hannah GraceHannah Banana, Bug,
"4 foot eleven & going to heaven!"

You are not forgotten!
Happy 21st!!!   1-2-12  (WOW)
Can we all celebrate together with you when we return?

Hugs & kisses from Mom & Dad

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

PARTY TIME!

It was Kizzy's idea
to throw a surprise birthday for our friend and translator Dany. She (on the far right) was so happy! In her 20 years, no one had ever celebrated her birthday before. :-)

Please pray for us as we have tried everything we can think of to try and overcome an evil spiritual stronghold here. It is divisive and destructive and it effects the church, school and so very many people; to this point - all of our counsel and efforts have failed. We will begin fasting today (Matthew 17:21). We do not know what else to do.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Kone Kmeng Ministry + One



A hat rack in the restaurant. Typical here!


"Empowering churches to respond to children at risk in their communities," is the mission statement for this ministry. Laura Fok from Kaneohe is our connection to this "trafficking preventative" ministry. They use multiple resources and strategies to educate and spiritually "inoculate" children from this terrible practice.

Kids (often under 10 years old) are not stolen - they are sold, or they even volunteer in extremely bad economic situations - to go for the sake of the family.

Laura reported that a good portion of our summer team's financial donation went directly to help feed people left totally destitute by recent flooding.


After some long-anticipated shopping at the "Russian Market," we had lunch at another Christian "training restaurant," called Jars of Clay. It's founder's were British, and so was the menu. I was introduced to a lovely potato cake for lunch.





Cambodian Generations for Christ ministry works hard at providing Christian resources in the Khmer language for the believers through out the country. They provided us with several copies of the first two books in the "First Principles" discipleship series (the same one MCC is using back at home now!).

A New Model for Ministry?

We are familiar with the pattern of selecting a key young man, then preparing and equipping him for the ministry.


How about carefully selecting potentially gifted young men & women for business training? Teach them the ins and outs of a business (like a restaurant), how to work hard, make wise decisions, lead and work with others, etc. These young people can be enabled to support their families and be role models in the community. They learn Biblical business principals as well as Bible doctrine and godly disciplines.

The Evangelical Friends Group started this Pizza eatery for those purposes. We enjoyed taking out our translators and fellow English teachers for some western food. We introduced them to Onion Rings, among other things.