Spring DTS 2016 – Outreach Week 5

This week we did things a little differently as we had our DTS leader, Betty-Ann with us for one more week. Instead of having our usual cultural day on Saturday - we had two extra days off to see the sights of Cambodia. On Tuesday went on a three hour road trip to Battambang, where another YWAM base is located. We began the day by going on the "Bamboo train". This is virtually a slab of wood that we all sit on cross-legged, as it rattles along the tracks through the countryside. Passing villages, rice fields and the occasional water buffalo, this was a very "breezy" experience.
 
We then visited the home of one of our leader's cousins, as they live right next to the Bamboo train. We ate freshly picked guava with salt, practiced our basketball skills and prayed for the family. They have an amazing ministry called, "One Child Matters", I encourage you to check it out. 
 
After lunch we went to the YWAM Battambang base to visit some of the staff and students. This was a super encouraging time as we got to meet people from all over the world, doing exactly what we are doing; " going out and making disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:18-20). We felt like family straight away. Before embarking on our journey home we had an "emergency" bubble tea stop, then spent the road-trip singing and worshipping God. It was so much fun!
 
On Friday we left the base at 4:45am to see the famous Angkor Wat, which is the largest religious building in the world. We were all very excited, as we had heard so much about the incredible history and architecture of this place. Pictured on the Cambodian flag, on their money, on billboards and part of every hotel name, it really is the heart of Siem Reap. 
 
As we rode our Tuk tuks in the dark we soon realized that we were not alone and many others were hoping to catch the "perfect" sunrise shot. When we arrived, we were greeted with an array of pink and orange hues as we gazed in awe of what was before use. We stood with several hundred other tourists and watched the sun rise behind Angkor Wat, and reflect into the lake. It was beautiful. 
 
Afterwards we got lost in many temples, going up super steep stair cases that had views into the jungle and observing the intricate details of pictures carved into stone. A favourite was the temple which the movie "Tomb Raider" was filmed. This temple had giant tree roots and vines wrapped around it that were almost crushing the temple. We thought it was kind of interesting how creation and nature had taken over. 
 
Overall our time at Angkor Wat was a mixture of experiences. Some of us absolutely loved it and couldn't get enough of it, while others felt spiritually uneasy. As it was originally built as a tomb for a Hindu God, and is now idolized by Buddhists, it was a place that some of us didn't feel a lot of peace. Nonetheless, it was good for us to remember that God is with us, even in places of darkness. 
 
On Friday night the ladies in our team had a girls night with the female staff of YWAM Siem Reap. This involved face masks, massages, painting our nails and eating Oreos, chips and fresh fruit. After lots of chatting and pulling pranks on the boys, we watched the movie "Zootopia". This was a really fun night and so great to fellowship together.
 
On Sunday evening we farewelled our leader, Betty-Ann, by going to "Bugs Cafe" to try an array of insect infused tapas. With most of us a little hesitant about whether this was a good idea or not, we decided this had to be ticked off our bucket list. Spring rolls with ants, cricket and silk worm cupcakes, tarantula donuts and scorpion salad are just some of the delicacies we "enjoyed". I highly recommend visiting this place to get the full Cambodian experience! 
 
With only two weeks left, please keep praying that our team goes all in. We want to continue planting seeds wherever we go. 
 
Georgie
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