Walking along a Cambodian road recently, sweating profusely in the hot sun, I felt a drop of water land on me. Several more followed in quick succession. Then the sky opened, and a cloudburst soaked us to the bone. While it was wonderful to have the rain rinse away our perspiration, we instinctively ran for cover from the drenching deluge.
Yes, we are in monsoon season! Cambodia is transformed during this time. Everything is a vibrant green, rice fields are filled with workers, the weather is cooler (at least just before, during and shortly after the rains), and strangers seem more engaging. The last statement is primarily because, when the random showers send us running for cover, we end up crammed together under a metal roof somewhere. For me, though I do not know much of the Khmer language, this is still a great opportunity to communicate using gestures and the few words I know. By the time the rain subsides, most of us have arms around each other. What a great time of year!
It is also fun to watch how resourceful the people are during this time. Mothers take full advantage of free, fresh water from the sky by scrubbing up their children with soap and then placing them out in the rain to rinse off. Lots of people in flooding areas just get in their handmade boats and start paddling to the village or market. We even have seen umbrellas welded onto bicycles. The rains do not stop people from going places.
The amazing thing about this rainy season is that while we often have to make a mad dash for cover, the rain never lasts for long. Maybe an hour or two of downpour, but it usually ends as quickly as it started, and then life goes back to normal. However, during those brief moments, it is like God stops time as we get to mingle with people and get close to them, laughing as the rain pours down around us, refreshing us with cool breezes.
It is also a time for me to remember the words of Jesus: “Look around you. The harvest is white and ready.” We pray that during these little flashes of opportunity, our lives can be a shower of blessing to those with whom we engage; that they will see Jesus in us and feel a hunger to know Him more.
Thank you for praying for us. Thank you for laboring with us. Thank you for encouraging us along the way. Thank you for loving others as you do. Thank you for sacrificially giving to bring us in contact with the unreached of the world!