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  • ivanildotrindade 5:46 pm on January 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: cambodian children, , love, , schools in cambodi, street walking   

    Street Walking in Phnom Penh, Cambodia 

    It’s 5:30 am here in Phnom Penh, and my friend, RAD, and I are slowly getting up to welcome the new day. I am getting ready to go on my morning walk/run (today I am going to the river front, by the Mekong River) and RAD is getting ready to put on the John Tesh radio show as we both need a lot of intelligence for what lies ahead today.

    It is a solid six hours to Battambang from here on our blue bus, which doesn’t go fast but gets us there safely. Our bus driver is our friend of many trips, Khandy, who is a believer and a very fun person to be around. He has a very loud laugh and is a big fan of a nice joke. We will have a very busy day ahead but at the end of our trip what waits us is more than worth the effort.

    Today is a special day for another reason I will tell you later. Cannot tell you know because it is a surprise. But if you come back in the next day or so, you will read about it, perhaps with some pictures to illustrate it.

    Walking along the busy streets of downtown Phnom Penh yesterday allowed us to see this country with a bird’s eye view. We stopped to chat with children who were in school — they were so adorable, using the English they know to greet us with many smiles. We peaked at a little boy and a little girl from a distance, who were sitting side-by-side with their arms around their shoulders, talking in each other’s ears, smiling and not having a care in the world. What a contrast this was to the stark surrounding of the classrooms where they sat — dark, virtually no bright colors on the wall, and from a distance what appeared to be very little educational resources.

    Outside though, it is the daily grind of people trying to make a living. Small repair shops line the streets, with workers sometimes doing their work right on the sidewalk. Uneven sidewalks, by the way, seem to be the perpetual reminders that nothing is at appears and nothing seems predictable in this country.

    Except, that is the love that awaits us from our kids at Grace Place, Battambang. That you can predict, you can take to the bank, and I am starting to feel it right now as we get ready to get on the “Khandy express.”

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

    • Rob Miller 9:58 am on January 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Praise God you guys made it safely. I can only imagine what it must be like to visit the toul sleng museum and the killing fields.Praying for safe travels and good health for all of you.Please give hugs to all those beautiful children for me!

  • ivanildotrindade 2:03 am on December 29, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: A Very Long Engagement, believing, love, love and trust, Next Three Days, World War II   

    Love to death is more than an expression 

    There is an irresistible side of love. When a man loves a woman he can’t resist the temptation of stealing time to see her. He can’t resist spending a little more than he should just so he can impress her. He can’t resist looking at her and hearing her voice because the experience is like being in paradise. Most of all, he is hopelessly, sometimes blindly trusty. For him she can do no wrong. Love makes a believer out of the most cynical skeptical. Love debunks the matter plus time plus chance matrix. Loves infuses meaning, hints at purpose and teases with destiny. Love moves man closer to the realm of the supernatural. And I believe in love.

    But not any ordinary love. The Word says, “No greater love has one than this — that he should give up his life for his friends.” Last night I watched a movie titled “The Next Three Days.” In it the main character, played by Russell Crowe, is willing to put his life on hold and even learn the ways of violence in order to help his wife get out of jail. And why? Because he believed his wife was innocent of the crime she was found guilty of. Tonight I watched “A Very Long Engagement,” a french movie with Audrey Tatou as the main character, playing a young woman driven by the thought that contrary to what everybody believed, her fiancée was still alive somewhere and had not died during World War I. In spite of some brief adult scenes in the second one, I truly enjoyed both movies and in the end, both protagonists were proven right. They hoped against all hope and believed against the whole world.

    In both cases, you could say that it was love that gave them the motivation to deprive themselves of a normal life in order to pursue a plan few would ever even consider, let alone plan it and execute it with great precision. Love, you could say, propelled them to action.

    But however deeply committed those two were to their loved ones, their actions, though heroic, don’t come even close to the idea of giving one’s life for one’s friend. For that, you have to turn to a hill outside Jerusalem.

    Let love make a believer out of you.

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

  • ivanildotrindade 10:04 pm on December 8, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: anniversary ideas, date, date with your wife, lasting love, love,   

    I wake up in paradise every day 

    People have different ways of celebrating Birthdays and Anniversaries. I remember a time my wife and I had no money to do something special for our anniversary. We barely got enough money together to pay the mortgage which was due the same day. We had to drive to another town to pay it in the mortgage company main office since mailing it would guarantee a late fee and other negative marks in our already colorful credit history.

    I told my wife that since we had 45 minutes, I wanted her to just listen as I talked. I told her I was going to spend the time talking about all the things I liked about her. I had no idea whether I was going to make it, and I started a little slow, talking about the first time I met her and how she made me feel. I talked about how I consider myself the luckiest man in the world to wake up every morning, turn to my right and look at her beautiful face, which is never affected by the turns and twists of sleep, and ask myself, “Am I in heaven?”

    From there I went to her amazing dedication to our children, her love for them and uncanny ability to find out what made them happy and go do it. My wife is the mother par excellence. She would die for anyone of our children, if necessary. I reminded her about the strength she gives me that makes me believe I can conquer the world. I told her about her beautiful smile and her laugh which fills the whole room. I just kept going and soon we were at the parking lot of the mortgage company. And I was not done!

    Now that we’ve just entered our 31st year of marriage, I have a lot more to add to that list. But I will tell her all about that tomorrow, as I have a planned a special day, full of surprises, to celebrate my life with this woman who has made me realize many of my dreams. And she is not done yet!

    I hope this is just the beginning of the rest of our lives. It sure beats what a friend of mine and his wife do for their anniversary. They are a little tight with money, so they go to a store and “shop” for a card. When they find one they like, he reads it to her, then she reads it to him, they put it back on the shelf and head to Taco Bell!

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

  • ivanildotrindade 7:59 pm on October 30, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: full on devotion, love, 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!

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