Letter from Cambodia

Hi Hartmut,


I’m spending the weekend in Cambodia with a few colleagues – in between business trips to Indonesia and India. In all my travels through Africa and Asia – I have never seen poverty like this.  It really touches the heart


We toured several temples yesterday including Angkor Wat which is without a doubt the best-known monument in Southeast Asia. It was built over a 32-year period (1113 to 1145) in honor of the Hindu god Vishnu. At some point, the temple was converted to a Buddhist sanctuary. It is enormous in size and architecturally perfect.


This trip has really given me some inspiration for our “small” project in New Brunswick.


The temples were not intended for utilization by man, but solely for the purpose of honoring gods. However, thousands of people now tour the temples each day. The stones were carved out of the mountains and carried many miles by canal (just like First Reformed 700 years later). The detailed carvings are absolutely incredible.


The temples are currently being preserved and in some cases restored by organizations from all over the world. Many different governments and private groups have provided significant funding and manpower. World renowned archeologists are involved. The poverty-stricken people from all over the area still have a tremendous respect and love for the temples. The Ankor Wat temple is actually incorporated into the Cambodian flag.


Bringing this back to New Brunswick, I am reminded that through our own restoration project, our efforts are in honor of our God and serve to preserve His Temple. I am more convinced than ever that “our” church needs to permanently stand as a pillar in the City of New Brunswick. We need to find the strength and commitment of those that built the Dutch Church in New Brunswick in 1811-1812.  Will we honor God’s House in New Brunswick as do the poor people of Cambodia with their temples?


Leaving this morning for India.


All the best,
David Shipman

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