We had an incredible day today. Kirby Nichols, Tony Buop and I spent the day presenting staff development topics to a group of 30+ attendees from a variety of NGOs in Cambodia. We had attendees from Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cambodia (ELCC), Lutheran Hour Ministries, Concordia Welfare and Education Foundation (CWEF), Child Rescue, Stronghold Cambodia, Pastor Seang Chern from Ream Church and Pastor Bun Hearn and his wife, Chan Somphosh, from Kompong Sam Church and students from the Kampong Som Bible School (KBS), who graciously provided the venue for our seminar. The morning topics consisted of lessons in "Personality Styles" and "How to Manage Difficult Conversations," presented by me. I must say, this is the first time that I have given a presentation in bare feet, and looked up to find a cow meandering by the large opening at the rear of the venue.
After a delicious lunch of squid in Koh Kong Fish sauce and pork and vegetable over steamed rice, we returned to the seminar to cover "Hiring Best Practices" and "Performance Management," both presented by Kirby. Pastor John Saray was our excellent translator for the entire day. Amanda Rossini was the trooper of the day. At the last minute, she was called on to teach English (without the aid of a translator), to the six classes at Stronghold Cambodia; three in the morning and three in the afternoon. All of the English speaking staff of SC would be with the rest of us at KBS attending the seminar. Two other teachers and the SC cook; all of whom only speak Khmer would be the only staff left with Amanda at SC. The morning classes were able to enjoy a face-time session with Amanda's son Caleb. They exchanged conversation about their ages, families, and favorite pastimes. Because there is a 12 hour time difference between St. Louis and Cambodia, Caleb was sleeping by the time of the afternoon classes.
As if this weren't enough heroism on Amanda's part, after dinner we had time to take advantage of the hotel pool for the first time since arriving. It was a well needed break for all of us. While we were swimming, a young man jumped into the deep end of the pool. His mother began yelling, and three of us assumed she was chiding her son for breaking the pool rules. But Amanda correctly assessed the situation, hearing the fear in the mother's voice and realized that the boy could not swim. Her prior life guard experience kicked in and she immediately jumped into action. She lifted the boy across the pool and into his mother's waiting arms. After a little sputtering, it was clear that he was okay, and the mom expressed her heart-felt thanks. We thank God for Amanda and her quick thinking and instant action. Talk about being "The light of the world," which coincidentally as the topic Amanda had chosen for the devotion she was leading at the time of the incident. We all believe that we are here to save lives, but today, Amanda knocked the ball right out of the park. God bless you Amanda!!