The City

In our mission, the senior couples have historically come together for a few days to conference together and to spend time strengthening relationships and exchanging experiences and contacts. Monday we did that, a riverboat tour up the Mekong River, some mid day activities at the mission home, and then dinner in the Vattanack Tower. Probably the highest building in Phnom Penh. Atop sits a wonderful restaurant that looks across the city. From up high one can see for many kilometers in any direction.

Russian Boulevard at night. The buildings on the left are government offices. Russian boulevard stretches out several kilometers to the airport.

Our time here is an experience of working with people in desperate need. Working with facilities that have serious requests. And meeting with leaders with a great deal of power and money. It can be a roller coaster of sights, sounds and smells. It is likewise an emotional experience from day to day.

Looking across the city, our apartment would be along the left of the photo just below the tall building in the upper corner.
The street that disappears into the lower left is Monivong. Named after a recent King. It is one of the major arteries of the city. The lit building on the left of the picture is the Ministry of Post and Telecom. Before the Khmer Rouge invaded the city, it was the site of a grand Catholic Cathedral. Needless to say, it was destroyed during the takeover.

Currently, the country is dealing with a Covid outbreak that occurred about a month ago. It is now spreading quickly and is a cause of concern here. Consequently, no travel is allowed out of Phnom Penh, no travel is allowed from province to province. Many stores are closed due to having been exposed by a customer. Today, there is now fines that will be imposed for not wearing a face mask. Up to $1200 . We have stocked up a bit, in the event that our local markets get shut down. Fortunately our contractors are able to work, but are limited in traveling. We hope they can continue safely and advance the work in our schools and health centers.

The building with the pink roof used to be the national library, directly across the street in the lower right corner is the American Embassy. The river in the foreground is the Tonle-Sap, it flows up to Battambang, it merges with the Mekong, (just below the horizon) just a short distance downstream.

We are concerned for the people here. We appreciate our staff at the service center, They work so hard to help the couples accomplish our goals. Our week has been a busy one but limited in our ability to be at our projects. We hope and pray for Covid to become a thing of the past. We have much to do.

Just a 20 minute walk from the tower we took the pictures from is the boardwalk along the Mekong river. Underneath are people who live with no other place to go. If you zoom in, you can see some of their belongings. The boardwalk extends for a few kilometers. There are dozens of families living here.
Fishing….for dinner and for the market.
A luxury hotel shadows the dozens of families living on the banks of the river, in tents, or in their boats. Their boat serves as a home and their source of food, as they travel on the river to fish.

Thank you all for your prayers and your faith in us. We love our family. We love our friends we have left behind. Some of the greatest people in the world. You are all in our prayers. We love you.

More to come

Elder and Sister Stone