While you are in church this morning (hopefully), I am flying to Cambodia. The purpose of the trip is to conduct a ministers training seminar. I will meet up with Bobby and Gayle Frizzell in Phnom Penh. I have traveled with Bobby on several occasions and stayed in their home. I will go just about anywhere with him.
About the Cambodian church
The United Pentecostal Church of Cambodia was registered with the government in 1994. As such, it is a legal religious organization. This gives the missionary and the church the liberty to evangelize and plant churches throughout the nation. In spite of many hardships, we have a stronghold in the country with many churches and ministers.
The need for ministerial training is vital. The ministers come from various backgrounds including Buddhism, demon worship, and trinitarian Christianity. The ministers need to be instructed in doctrine and leadership so they can stand on their own, with or without a missionary. There are many who have tried to distract them.
Traveling to Asia
Since I have tight connections (2 hours is tight for international connections), I will be traveling with my backpack (survival kit!) and one carry-on with all my clothes, toiletries, books, magazines, and items the Frizzells requested. One week in Asia with only a carry-on! I’ll have to tell you how to do that some other time.
Asia is not for the faint hearted. The trip alone is enough to break big men. Here’s what I mean:
Austin to Phnom Penh
Get up at 4:30 a.m.
Dress, travel to airport, check in: 2.5 hours
Austin to Atlanta: 2 hours
Layover: 2 hours
Atlanta to Seoul: 15 hours
Layover: 2 hours
Seoul to Phnom Penh: 6 hours
Pass immigration, customs, catch ride to hotel, check in, unpack: 2 hours
Bed to bed is 31.5 hours.
Phnom Penh to Austin
Up at 6:00 a.m. Teach all day and preach.
Catch flight from Phnom Penh at 11:40 p.m.
Phnom Penh to Seoul: 6 hours (This is the flight where you wish for death.)
Layover 3.5 hours
Seoul to Atlanta 13.5 hours
Layover: 6 hours
Atlanta to Austin: 2 hours
Get bags and get home: 2 hours
Shower, unpack, go to bed: 2 hours
Bed to bed is about 53 hours!
You may be wondering why I am flying west through Atlanta when I am headed east. The flight path to Asia typically goes northwest, around the southern edge of Alaska and the Bering Strait, and then southwest down the east coast of Russia. Accordingly, it doesn’t make much difference where the trans-Pacific leg of the journey begins. Other factors are more important when selecting a flight, things like cost, layovers (including the number of layovers and in which airports you will be stuck and for how long), scheduling, and service. I have become very fond of Korean Air, a partner airline with Delta, Continental, and NorthWest through the SkyTeam alliance. It has been my experience that foreign airlines usually have much better service than U.S. based carriers. Too, I really like the Incheon (Seoul, Korea) airport. I also like the Atlanta airport, the busiest airport in the world. All this is partly related to the fact that I like routine and order, and I tend to go with what I am familiar with. Of course, the cost of the ticket trumps everything. If there is a significantly cheaper ticket that takes me on a different route, I will take it. But I try to avoid Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and dumpy airports. The international terminal at LAX is a foreign country itself.
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