“But the nation’s infrastructure – homes, schools, hospitals, roads, railways, power networks, and water systems, practically everything – still lay in shambles. Cambodia remained a critical test for the post-Cold War world, and its case was especially poignant not only because of the immense human suffering that has already taken place there, but because Cambodia was the unwitting victim of superpower confrontation. Cambodia remains as one of the largest and most complex development challenges ever faced by the international community.” page 89, Cambodia’s Curse, Joel Brinkley
Out of a clustered of gifts that Paul showered upon me for my birthday, this book is one of them. He knows me so well, yet my Father God knows me even more so. A day like today, I could have done thousands of other things, yet He beckoned me to pick up this book. Here I was diving my eyes into it, flipping pages after pages and allowing it to fly me away to Cambodia. I am never interested in politics, not once when I was spending years in Hong Kong, nor when I moved back to Canada. I know just enough to get by to engage in conversation with people. Needless to say, the exception now falls on Cambodia. In a very recent speaking engagement, there I was finishing my last bit of presentation. 2 women walked towards me and asked me right off the bet,
“why we in the West were not informed about such atrocities in the news? Why was there a genocide happened right on our watch, and the whole world was paying attention to something else? Can you tell me again what had really happened?” Then I was asked about the complexity of the Khmer Rouge and the aftermath of its political weather, I was challenged in point blank, and I found myself carry a responsibility to know and to inform and to educate. I came across the complexity of different political parties, and how one party was aided by whom internationally, about their first election in 1993. What’s the role of the United Nations Security Council? What is the role of the UN Transitional Authority in Cambodia (“UNTAC”)? What other journalists and foreign affairs ministers had seen and heard and reported when they stumbled across the Thai refugee camp? Their first witness account of the civilians was put in comparison with the high ranking government officials who sat and grinned in front of the various UN peace conference and donor conference when more than $900 billions dollars were pledged to aid rebuilding a war torn South East Asian country.
How my head shakes for numerous times when Brinkley unveiled the unsurprising tactic of government officials who are fattened with dripping richness by corruption. Who are the real victims, the passive and resigned Khmer people. When one wanted to hold a senior position in the government? One wanted to see the applicant’s bank statements. “the price list quoted by Funcinpec officials for jobs in the administration ranges from $200 to $3000, depending on how good the position will be for extracting bribe.”
I could go on and on and on and on paraphrasing what I read and opine from my own perspective, yet what is important is what I am called to do by my Father God right here and right now. I ended my reading with this Psalm in my mind. I was praying through this Psalm when I went to Rexdale’s “Pray Big Pray Bold” meeting last Saturday. I sat amongst 3 bright and intelligent women whose hearts are also burdened for Cambodia. As I prayed through this Psalm, I was in total confidence that our Lord was speaking to me this is the Psalm that He promised for Cambodia and its people.
1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.[a]
2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 “Because he[b] loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”