I am blessed this year to be able to experience something wonderful during my trip in the Kingdom of Cambodia last April 30, 2012.
Our group PDS Youth Servants after almost two years of serving with the youth thru Bible Study sessions every Saturday at Pamayanan ng Diego Silang Taguig finally decided to have an international bonding aka fellowship in Vietnam and Cambodia from April 26-May 01, 2012.
Through this trip we were able to share new experiences such as: going thru dark tunnels, eat the famous Phó soup, be addicted in iced coffee-Vietnamese style, row boat in Mekong Delta, drink snake wine and longan wine, dance with international group in dinner cruise, ride the elephants, sweat on climbing Angkor Wat temples, ride tuktuk, visit National Museum, attend a Catholic Holy Mass-Cambodian style and fell in love with the Vietnamese and Cambodian people.
It’s almost one week now since that self-discovery trip and yet I cannot stop myself from telling all the people I know about this unique experience with Someone.
It’s almost 9’oclock in the evening after our dinner, most of our co-servants are already doing their last minute shopping at Cambodian night market, but three of us- Ronald, Vic and me opted to stay at our hotel, Rithy Rine Angkor Hotel.
I’m planning to have my own time at my room and then a knock comes in. It is Ronald none other than who’ve asked me to go down at the restaurant side of the hotel to drink rounds of Angkor Beer. At first, I said, oh my! But then, I said, why not?! I just uttered a prayer- ‘Lord may we glorify Your Name through this activity’.
Just as when we are starting to have our few rounds of ‘bonding’- Sok Cheat our waiter came in. Ronald first asked him what Sok Cheat is doing. And then both I and Vic followed suit asking questions about his life. I can easily remember the exchange of words:
Ronald: Sok Cheat what are you doing?
Sok Cheat: I am studying in the morning, resting in the afternoon, and working here at the hotel at night.
All three of us: Wow! You’re a student good for you.
We all got praises for what he is doing as he explains the hardships he has to entail to be able to afford studying at a nearby university and at the same time being away from his family. He also proudly tell us about a Filipino professor who taught him a lot of ideals to be inspired more and motivated in his studies and to succeed in life. He also showed us his books and the course curriculum at his university. We are surprised with the next events:
Sok Cheat: I’ll give you a part of me, so you have a memory.
At that statement, I was strucked, you know why?! It made me remember the part of the Holy Mass where Jesus Christ offers His body and blood. Just then, Sok Cheat came in again and offered us what you can see in the picture- 3 photo frames that look like stars and made out of Cambodian Riel!!!
Sok Cheat: Please insert a photo of yourself in the middle so you remember me.
Me: Are you really sure Sok Cheat, you want to give these to us?
Sok Cheat: Yes, yes.
Me (Again): Are you really sure?
Sok Cheat: Yes
All of us: Thank you Sok Cheat!
We are so amazed with that gesture; we know it means a lot to him. Now, that we know that Sok Cheat is a working student and it would mean every cent needed to be saved for his meager income! Vic is being reminded of the widow’s mite on Sok Cheat’s example while Ronald even realized us as three wise kings during the birth of Jesus Christ guided by the star as light in our path- in this case 3 money stars made by Sok Cheat.
Ronald: Grabe si Lord no?! Basta happy Siya, gusto niyang ibigay lahat-lahat sa mga anak Niya. (You know how Lord is! As He is happy, He will give everything to His sons.)
Then Sok Cheat came again (after replacing another bottle of Angkor Beer, peanuts and ice cubes)
Ronald: By the way, Sok Cheat what is the meaning of your name?
Sok Cheat: Sok Cheat means ‘Happiness’
All of us: Really?!!!
Hahaha, you can just imagine the awe registered in our faces as we are just talking about the Lord being happy and then in Cambodia this waiter’s name is also Sok Cheat! Oh, what a coincidence =)
During the whole event, we are thinking- is Sok Cheat doing this to every customer in the hotel and so we asked.
Ronald: Sok Cheat we would like to ask. Are you giving these to all the customers here in the hotel?
Sok Cheat: No, I choose.
Ronald: Do you really intend to give this to us?
Sok Cheat: I intend to give it to an American friend but since he does not yet go down tonight- I give them to all of you as you are all friendly.
All of us: Wow thanks Sok Cheat!!!
Me: Many thanks Sok Cheat for choosing us!
This is the third time, Sok Cheat made us realized something and we felt the ever presence of the Lord during that fellowship.
Ronald: Ikaw talaga Lord! Simpleng bonding lang naman, ginulo mo pa. (Oh Lord! This is just simple bonding and yet you disturb us.)
Me: Thank You Lord for disturbing!!!
I could have explained this complete with tone of voice, facial expression and action to boot- but then I write this so as to not forget this special encounter of Someone none other than Jesus in waiter’s clothing!