Today was our first official church service with Evangelical Missions Alliance (EMA). So after breakfast, which consisted of the usual bread rolls and omelettes (as well as this time, noodles and pineapple) we headed off via car at 8:15 for the 8:30 service. We were greeted with many smiling faces and hugs from those we had met the previous night.
We removed our shoes and headed down to the front of the church and the service began not long after. Although the service was in Khmer the level of passion and enthusiasm within the congregation was astounding and the presence of God's love was evident. Some of the children sat with us during the service and it was lovely to spend time and talk with them. After church which ended at 11 we headed to lunch at The Third Place Coffee cafe which was delicious and refreshing plus the aircon was amazing. Then we went to a rural village for a feeding program. The village was surrounded by farmland and rice paddies. Most of the houses were on stilts and there were many herds of water buffalo and cows being ushered through the area we were in. We played some soccer and then did our program with the kids who were a tough crowd at first but warmed up before the end. We also added in playing Over and Under which was definitely a hit with the kids, the line with the yellow balloon certainly won (based on technical ability). After playing with them for a little while more we said goodbye and piled into the (mini) bus to head back to the hotel. We attended another church service at 5:30 which had a few new songs (in Khmer) and at the end we ran our program in another room for the younger kids. After we left we headed of for tea and enjoyed our shared meal as it was more than plenty. Back at the hotel we gathered for a debrief, heard a couple of powerful and emotional testimonies, shed some tears and sang even more songs. As the night began we retired to our rooms, and I can say that for myself I felt content, full of God's grace and love. At peace with the events of the day and those previous.
Bec (nickname for Jess Vernham)
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