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  • ivanildotrindade 6:21 am on October 31, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , flooding in cambodia, , , wrapping bags   

    Learning to Listen 

    The trip to Phnom Penh was good. Having an eight-year old in the car with us made it more interesting.We loved it. And he speaks fluent English and is a bright kid. At one point we were talking about languages and he announced that he likes “Australian,” and proceeded to impersonate his best English Australian accent, “Good day, mate!” Not bad for a kid who lives in an non-English speaking country…

    I am now sitting at a restaurant waiting for a couple I’m meeting with in a few minutes. This is the first time since I got here that I was able to catch a little breather. A time to reflect on what I’ve learned from this trip so far.

    And I have learned so much from the Cambodian people. This time I learned afresh that it is always good policy to listen to people who know what they are talking about. The Cambodian people are NOT vociferous. I would not call them brash or aggressive. They go about their business navigating through incredibly complicated traffic and eking out a living with little resources but a wealth of creativity and moxy.

    There is only one place where I have noticed that Cambodians sort of assume a new persona, and that is at the bus station. There is nothing like the experience of catching the bus at a busy “bus station,” actually, a small building that has a little restaurant, a sidewalk and a group of people intent on getting their bags onto the belly of the ship and getting on with their trip.

    For an outsider, the place looks ike the picture of chaos. People are talking as loud as it is humanly possible for a Cambodian larynx. No one seems to be in charge and everyone is. To complicate matters, on this day, the owners had decide to tear up the whole sidewalk and insert new blocks of pavement. We were literally on the streets transacting luggage business and we had six volumes.

    The guy who was taking the tickets saw our stuff and immediately said we would need to wrap all our bags in plastic bags. I said, “That’s okay, we don’t need it.” He insisted, “It might get wet. You will need it.” I said, “No, thanks.” You see, I like to do things my way, and in all my years traveling by bus in Cambodia, I never had to do that. But through the noise of the cloud, he kept saying we had to do it. I thought it was a gimmick to get me to buy the bags. Sure enough, when I asked how much the bags were, it was one dollar per bag. I knew it. Somebody had discovered a new way to make a buck.

    Then enters the wife. And that is another lesson hopefully you have learned if you have been married as long as I have: when in doubt, listen to the wife, and if not in doubt, listen to her all the same. Naza heard the word “flooding” and she said, “We are doing it.” End of discussion.

    Wrapping all of our bags in plastic bags was quite the chore. By now it was getting hot and I was sweating a lot. I want to get into the air-conditioned bus! Where are those wrapping machines you see at airports in the U.S. when you need them?

    Along the way to Battambang I began to understand the full extent of the effects of the heavy rains Cambodia had recently and which is still plaguing Thailand in a big way right now. We had to go through stretches that appeared like there were no roads underneath. The waters were high and yellow cake dirty.

    When I arrived in Battambang and saw the wetness and dirt outside on the plastic bags, I thought about how stubborn and stupid I had been, not accepting the guy’s suggestion when he first mentioned it. I was thankful we did what he insisted we should do. I realized he was not simply trying to make things more complicated for us, he was not taking advantage of us or being mean. He was not being a tyrant or a dictator. He was just looking out for us — He had our best interest in mind.

    How does that parallels our relationship to God? I will let you draw that conclusion. Let me just say that I have caught myself resisting things that God clearly says I should do or not do. And at times I have paid a price for my inability to listen. 

    And that is only one of the many lessons I have learned from Cambodian people this time around.

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

  • ivanildotrindade 7:59 pm on October 30, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: full on devotion, , worship in cambodia   

    Full on devotion 

    It’s Monday morning here and we are getting ready to make the long journey back to Phnom Penh. This time, however, we are riding back with a friend, in the comfort of his nice SUV. Oh, the perks of ministry… :). Friends are a precious gift and we are so honored to have them across the globe.

    Sunday in Cambodia is just like any other day. Since the culture is not rooted on historical Christianity, people don’t stop to go to church and even the idea of rest after a hard week at work is foreign here. People in general here work very hard. They are enterprising and busy. They can’t imagine spending a whole day “doing nothing.” So the shops are open, the moto taxis never stop running, the street stalls keep their business open and people still go to the noodle shops for breakfast.

    The Christians do take a break and experience church on Sunday. We too went to church, but our worship experience was not the stuffy, stale stuff of church goers who approach church as one who clocks in and clocks out does. We worshipped with 250 plus people, mostly children, who were totally orderly, but completely full on, unashamed, uninhibited and filled with of joy for the one who rescued them from a miserable life to one full of hope.

    Priceless doesn’t even come close to describe it. You gotta experience it to know what I am talking about. I am rejuvenated and my faith in doing this kind of work got another jolt of affirmation. I am full on. No turning back. Jesus deserves all and I am willing to give it all for the one who loved me while I was yet an enemy.

    I posted many pictures on my FB page. Go there.

    Back to Phnom Penh, nothing but love in my heart.

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

    • Holly Clark 9:56 pm on October 30, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I love to read these posts since I have experienced some of the very same places and people! They are so far, and yet so near!

      • ivanildotrindade 5:28 am on October 31, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        yes, holly, “so far and yet so near” is a zip code for me. i live in and out of this world, as God has given me the opportunities to meet so many people from so many different places. i’m humbled. thanks for the comment. come back here!

  • ivanildotrindade 9:47 am on October 29, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , grace place battambang, more than what is required, , travel to cambodia,   

    More than what is required 

    Hello all,

    We arrived in Battambang, after a five-hour bus trip through paved roads, half of which was good, the other half dotted with potholes, covered with overflowing waters and bumpy and, at times, slow-moving animals.

    Finally, we arrived at the bus station and were picked up by Vannak and Kim Chu, the directors of Grace Place, Battambang. We went to the hotel and as we pulled into the parking lot we saw many smiling faces of a good group of our children wearing the familiar Grace Place t-shirt.

    But they were wearing more than t-shirts. They were wearing love — long and elaborate “robes” of it, full of hugs and little voices exclaiming “I love you.” It only took a second for Naza’s heart to melt, as one little girl came over to her and completely enveloped her in a hug as big as the world. I saw streams of joy coming down my wife’s faces, and as some of the other children saw her crying, they came over to help her, by wiping her tears with the back of their hands. I heard her saying, “I am not sad, I am just overcome with emotions right now.”

    After freshening up a bit at the hotel, we met with Kevin and Jill Kane, who are moving into a different home tomorrow. They wanted to see us today because they are so busy tomorrow. We enjoyed some more lemon juice at the restaurant in the hotel and shared a few stories and updates with them. They wanted to know about our experience on the beach. After all, they had recommended the hotel where we stayed in Sihanoukville.

    We went straight to Grace Place after that and enjoyed two and a half hours of sweet fellowship with the children. They performed a couple of songs for us and then both Naza and I shared with the kids. If you are from Wooster, Ohio, and have a child you sponsor at Grace Place, Battambang, please know that we greeted the kids on your bahalf. They all applauded when I said that. They are all healthy now and happy to be enjoying a long weekend as they celebrate the Holiday that commemorates the King’s Birth. No school on Monday. Yes. They are just like any of our kids.

    My wife and I both shared with the children. They listened so attentively and laughed so hard when I made silly faces and tried to tell funny stories. They followed us everywhere and kept giving us cold water and insisted on carrying our stuff for us. They are lovely, and they are so full of joy.

    The twenty plus hours on planes, the long bus trip, the sore bodies, suddenly, all of this  became insignificant compared to the joy of hugging these precious ones. They make it all worth it and it is because of many people who have invested heavily in the future of an entirely new generation of leaders who will rise up one day and make a difference in their country for the present and for eternity.

    Thank you for making your life count instead of simply marching to the familiar tunes of doing only what is required.   

    Ivanildo  C. Trindade


    • Bob & Linda 8:06 pm on October 29, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Ivanildo and Naza, Thanks for keeping us as informed as possible as you minister for Jesus. I plan on reading today’s post “More Than What is Required” in my ABF tomorrow as I teach on “The Call.”

      Thanks and God’s Blessings,

    • ivanildotrindade 2:43 am on October 30, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      glad to share, bob, and please encourage everyone to read the blog. we love all the comments!

      • Bob & Linda 7:49 am on October 31, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        We have here in the USA a “Sleeping Giant” which we call the church. I find it very difficult to get anyone to take time to read the blog, or to do about anything out of their routine, It is among the first things I look for when I light up for the day. Keep them coming and I will continue to try to encourage people to read. One lady did last week in our ABF. 😦 I would love to come there someday. Bob

        • ivanildotrindade 6:16 am on November 2, 2011 Permalink

          thanks, bob. i do get discouraged some times, but it has not stopped me. thanks for doing your part. yes, u need to come. u come with me and i will do my best to give u a great experience.

  • ivanildotrindade 10:35 am on October 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Hardships of a gentle woman in Cambodia 

    Hi all,

    We made it through our second five-hour bus drive. This time around we were on a nicer bus and the driver was not playing the game of “let’s see how close I can get to other moving things, such as cars, motorcycles or pedestrians without hitting them.” Naza told our bus driver, as we were deboarding in Phnom Penh, “You are a good driver.” He had a pleasant smile on his face as he heard her say that.

    The most moving part of our trip to the beach for Naza was to make a connection with a lady who is about 40 and makes a few dollars a day giving massages to people on the beach. She gave Naza a fool massage yesterday, but this is not the reason Naza will remember this lady — it was her kindness, shy smile, gentle way in which she conducts herself, but most of all, her battle to try to provide for her two children, with one skill she managed to learn well. But we are sure it is never enough, and her husband’s many hours of construction work every day with a miserly salary does not help improve things a whole lot more.

    I know now that I will make a trip to Sinhanoukville sometime in my future trips to Cambodia in order to deliver some small gifts to this lady, whose name  I can’t remember, which will be carefully wrapped by my wife. I don’t know what it is but we Trindades have a soft spot for the poor and disadvantaged. And we have certainly seen a fair amount of representatives of both classes in the last week here.

    Tonight we went to my favorite restaurant with Pheakdey, her husband Kosal, and their 4 year old son, Pagna. We ate steamed whole fish with lots of garlic, my favorite dish, tom yam soup with shrimp and fried rice with shrimp. We also had my favorite drink anywhere, freshly squeezed lemonade, with hot water topped with ice and lots of sugar. “Techroichima. I missed you so much!” Okay that’s an approximation of how you say the name of the drink. You just have to try it some time.

    We had the opportunity to talk to several of the staff at the Orchidee Guest house in Sihanoukville, as they always seemed so friendly and ever so eager to practice their English. We try to tell them in as simple a manner as we can who we are and what we do. We tell them about our church’s home for orphaned children in Battambang and let them know that it is the love of God through Christ that motivates us to love these children even though they live so far away from us. Somehow I hope that some little seed of the message of Christ will lodge itself in their brains and hearts and produce  transformation that will be satisfying into eternity.

    All, we have another 5-6 hour bus trip tomorrow, to Battambang, home of “Grace Place.” Better hit the sac.

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

  • ivanildotrindade 3:58 am on October 27, 2011 Permalink | Reply  


    I’ve uploaded pictures from my trip on my Facebook page. It’s easier to do it there, so go there if you have FB. If you don’t, no need to get it..

  • ivanildotrindade 9:10 pm on October 26, 2011 Permalink | Reply

    An American in Cambodia 

    It’s Wednesday morning here in Sihanoukville. I started my day at 5:30 am with my 5K run around the beach. The weather was just perfect — not too hot yet. I had a good run, much better than the ones I’ve had previously in Phnom Penh. I attribute that to the fact that Sihanoukville is a tourist town — even the dogs are nice to tourists. Though I saw many dogs, they looked health and none of them tried to attack me. Phnom Penh has a lot to learn from Sihanoukville… :).

    This was my first real run in a while and I could surmise what message I was sending bystanders when a mototaxi driver did the official greeting on the streets of Cambodia, “Taxi?Taxi?” I must have looked like I needed one or again, it may have been his brainsimply reacting to a foreign looking person…

    At this exact moment, I am sitting at the restaurant outside the hotel, enjoying the great breakfast — they have eggs any style, cheese, salami, ham, all sorts of breads, strong coffee with real milk, tea, and, of course, the omnipresent rice with vegetables, which I have gobbled up already. All included in the price of the room — $22 per night. No bad, eh?

    While having breakfast I met a couple who is traveling through Cambodia, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. They used to be missionaries in Kenya, where they met, then his health began to go south and they had to return home, which is Canada for him and U.S. for her.

    I met the lady first at the buffet line as I was trying to decide whether to get cheese or not. She told me that she was born in the U.S. but she had lived in Canada most of her life. So I asked her, “So do you consider yourself more Canadian or more American?” She said, “I have dual citizenship.” I said, “Okay, but how do you really feel?” She said, “Well, I guess I will always be an American. I will always cry when I hear a marching band playing on July 4th.”

    I thought to myself, “What a wonderful way to capture the essence of being an American.” Then I was laughing inside. I too remembered the times I had cried on July 4th… So what am I? An American? Yes, an American in Cambodia!

    Back to the couple. After they returned to Canada, he went on to get a doctorate in Psychology and now helps bring healing to people who have experienced trauma because of wars, etc. I briefly told him about our ministry rescuing at-risk children in northern Thailand. I have read that the trauma experience by children who suffered sexual abuse is similar to the one experienced by children who have suffered the brutalities of wars in places like Sudan. Perhaps I will see this man again in Thailand.

    By the way, I was pleasantly surprised to find big billboards here in Sihanoukville advertising a number anyone can call if you see a child who is at risk or appears to be at risk of abuse. It is anonymous line and it shows some effort on the part of this government to address this evil. Or perhaps it shows that the pressure from organizations such as International Justice Mission is making a difference.

    Well, the beach awaits.

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

  • ivanildotrindade 4:31 am on October 26, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    We arrived in Sihanoukville 

    We left around 9 am today from Phnom Penh and arrived in Sihanoukville around 2 pm. The trip was surprisingly pleasant, with only two close calls — one time our happy drive didn’t calculate the distance well and hit the brakes too close to a car in front of him, and the other time he had to flash his high beam onto oncoming traffic and everybody coming against us slowed down, to our relief.

    Contrary to popular belief, driving in Cambodia has rules, or better yet, rule. Big trucks trump buses, buses trump cars, cars trump motorbike, motorbike trump pedestrians, who are in the lowest end of th totem pole. If I believed in reincarnation, being reborn as a pedestrian in Cambodia would definitely be a sign of bad karma!

    The only unusual thing Naza encountered during the bus trip here was when we stop for a bathroom break and on the way to the women’s restroom, she had to do a quick turn around because some men were standing with their backs toward her going pee. Oops. I forgot to warn her that some bathrooms on the road had stalls for men outside. Well, I suppose I should tell her the she might see some guys doing that again — without a stall!

    My faux paux of the day was probably funnier. I sat down to dring coconut water and this lady stood by the table and said something to me in Kmai. Naza came around and the lady simply stood there and kept staring at us. I thought she was a beggar so I went to the food stall and bought her a peeled mango. I gave it to her and she received it with a big smile but when that also said, “why are you giving this to me?” When we stopped at our final destination, the mystery was solved — she was one of our fellow passengers. Naza and I are still laughing about it.

    Our good friends, Kevin and Jill Kane, recommended this place for us to stay here in Sihanoukville. It is called the Orchidee Guesthouse. This place is spotless. It smells clean and the rooms are small but beautiful. We are only five minutes walk from the beach. I can’t wait to get there.

    I was here in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. I can’t believe how much this place has gown, thanks to a lot of investment from China.

    Well, let’s get to the beach and eat some fresh seafood!

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

    • Nick 9:18 am on October 26, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Glad to hear you’re there safely! Praying for you and Naza! Thanks for going!

  • ivanildotrindade 12:55 pm on October 25, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Hi all,

    We arrived in Phnom Phen, safe and sound, though a little rugged for wear. Naza is in the hotel room now packing for tomorrow. Internet is available only in the lobby here. We leave by bus tomorrow at 8:45 a.m. to Sihanoukville for two days of R & R before we go to be with the children (and Kevin and Jill Kane) in Battambang.

    It’s a five hour trip on the bus, so we will need to get some sleep tonight. The trouble is, I am wide awake now and hungry. My meal schedule has been totally messed up now, it’s past 11:00 p.m. here and I am considering stepping into the street to get something to eat.

    The flight from Soul to Phnom Penh was five and a half hours long. I tried to sleep but kept getting a sore neck by the minute. The Airbus, though, was very nice — new, neat and somewhat roomy.

    Thank you for prayer for us!

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

  • ivanildotrindade 4:01 am on October 25, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: arriving in soul, free wi-fi, ivanildo trindade   

    Hey all,

    We’re sitting here at a free Internet spot at Soul Incheon International Airport. The sun is shinning outside and we are thankful we made all the way here. Over 14 hours on the plane. Talk to Naza’s feet and they will tell you how long that it — they are swollen right now. But overall, we are well. The staff at Korean Air were courteous as usual, even when they had to tell me that there were no more two-seaters available. We sat on a three seat roll. A nice lady from Thailand sat at the other end.

    I thought there was an unusually high number of babies on this fight. Most of them were quiet, but a couple of them made up for the rest. Thank God for cheap Wal-Mart ear plugs.

    Some Americans who are used to paying for Internet at airports come in here and ask what the ‘rate’ is. One guy was surprised that it was ‘free.’ He had to do a doubletake. Then, once he realized the size of that ‘gift,’ he said, “Am I allowed to bring a beer and drink it here?” Staff, “No beer.” So even though Internet is free here, there are things you are not allowed to do… 🙂

    Oh well, gotta go now. Thank you for following us and please leave your comments here, if you would.

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

    • Beth 6:06 am on October 25, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Praying for you and Naza that you will be at the right place at the right time today that God may use you and praying for swollen feet too. Ouch! Thanks for your faithfulness. Looking forward to the next installment!

  • ivanildotrindade 2:37 am on October 24, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Asia bound 

    In five hours, my wife and I will be leaving our home to start our trip to SE Asia. We fly to Chicago, then to Soul, Korean, and from there to Phnom Penh, the Capital of Cambodia. We will be on different airplanes for over 20 hours and Lord willing arrive in Phnom Penh on Tuesday night, at about 10:00 p.m. local time. Cambodia is 11 hours ahead of us.

    Our schedule is roughly as follows:


    October 25, arrive in Phnom Penh, 10:00 p.m.

    October 26-27, travel to Sihanoukville by bus

    October 28, return to Phnom Penh by bus

    October 29, travel to Battambang, by bus

    October 29-31, at Grace Place in Battambang with our children

    October 31, Return to Phnom Penh by bus


    November 1, fly to Chiang Mai, Thailand

    November 2-3, visit G.R.O.W. and other ministries in Chiang Mai, spend time with G.R.O.W. children

    November 4, travel to Wiang Pa Pao, home of Grace Place, Thailand

    November 4-6, visit with children at Grace Place, Thailand

    November 6, return to Chiang Mai

    November 7, sight-seeing and packing, return trip starts at 11:55 p.m.

    November 8, arrive in Cleveland at 3:30 p.m.

    We would appreciate your prayers for us and this intense period of ministry in our lives. We want to bless our children and encourage everyone we come in contact with to keep doing the right thing and live a life that is pleasing to God. We will be posting here, as long as Internet is available, and hope you can keep coming back and leaving your comments.

    Thank you!

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

    P.S. I will try to post something from South Korea. They have a nice airport in Soul and all the Internet is free. It will depend on how awake I will be when I get there.

    • Bob & Linda 5:46 am on October 24, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Ivanildo and Naza, We prayed for you this morning. We will be interceding for you during this trip. Naza, we especially pray that your back will endure the trip well.

      • ivanildotrindade 7:13 am on October 24, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you, Bob and Linda. We sure apppreciate it. Please remember our kids as well. Stay tuned!

    • Vanessa Sheehan 8:47 am on October 24, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      We will be praying for you and your family!

      • ivanildotrindade 10:42 am on October 24, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you “Pee New Girl.” We appreciate the prayers. We’re in Chicago now, having breakfast @ McDonald’s before we board our flight to Korea.

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