A Birth & A Funeral

This morning, Andrew and I woke up planning to have his work team over for lunch today. However, when we called them to confirm, we realized there had apparently been a miscommunication. Andrew had said Friday; they thought he meant next month. Hey, that's just how things go sometimes in a bilingual workplace!

Instead, we were invited to go to a funeral of our coworker's grandmother. She was 99 years old and had been ill for sometime. She was also a Christian, so I think her funeral wasn't the typical Khmer Buddhist service.

The funeral set-up outside the family's home.

Now in Cambodia, you always know when a funeral is taking place, because every funeral plays the same type of sad, mournful music. The funerals are held at the family's home. The body usually is inside the house, available to view if the family and close friends wish to. The grandmother's body at today's funeral had already been put into a coffin, which was covered in blinking Christmas lights and garlands of paper flowers. We went in, talked with the family a bit, then sat down to a full meal. Apparently we had just missed the pastor sharing a few words about the deceased. At the end of the meal, everyone is expected to give the family a small gift of money to help cover the costs of the funeral. I think that would be a good tradition to implement in the States!

A few of the SP staff eating with us.

Since the funeral was actually in a different town about 30 minutes from Poipet, we took advantage of the trip to visit another SP staff whose wife recently had a baby, their third child.

Big sister showing off her new brother.

It's always good for Andrew to get some baby-holding-practice in for the future...

We are so thankful for the friendships with the Cambodian people the Lord has given us. It helps so much in adjusting to a new culture when you have a friend to ask questions - like what to wear to a funeral! It's great to spend time with our Cambodian coworkers outside of work and to know their families as well.

Soksan and his daughter Jemima.

Soksan works for SP in the feeding project and does a great job working with the local schools. He spends most of the week staying in Poipet and going home on the weekends to work as a pastor in the church. It's a good challenge for us to see how he and his family sacrifice a lot in order to serve God in many different ways.