Here are a few short posts of a few of my days in Cambodia/Vietnam this past summer. More to come!
Lord I want more of you – Living water rain down on me – Lord I need more of you – Living breath of life come and fill me up – We are hungry – We are hungry – We are hungry for more of you – We are thirsty – Oh Jesus – We are thirsty for more of you – We lift our holy hands up – We want to touch you – We lift our voices higher and higher and higher to you.
1 John 5:20 “We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true.”
On the plane ride to Cambodia, God gave me a hunger for him and as I responded to that hunger by seeking him in his word, he gave me understanding of the gospel of Jesus. An understanding that I have not experienced before and an excitement for the life I live for him because of that gospel! He wants to show us all about himself and freely does so when we really seek him. I take hold of the promise that he made that when I seek with all my heart, I will find.
I realized today that the abundant life that Jesus came to give us by dying on the cross is the same life for everyone across cultures, borders and oceans. We may not have the same circumstances, but the eternal life and the gift of his presence with us always is the same. He is the Great Rescuer of all people…people who have names, hobbies, travel plans, and favorite foods to be people no longer bound by what they do, but free to dream! Jesus came to give life to the full to those who have relatively little and those who have much. We all have our own share of problems, but life of love and surrender…life abundant…makes us family. May I always learn to lean into and rely on my God.
I experienced a firsthand testimony of how God literally trades beauty for ashes. He takes death and brings good things out of it. I learned about how difficult the healing process can be, but also how necessary…Today, I am inspired by the many people around the world who respond to God’s call in obedience and the movement of kingdom workers who have begun at various places, but will meet together in the end.
When thinking about the issue of human trafficking, our first instinct is to remove the victims from their current situation of torture and exploitation, but today I learned something different. I learned that it is important to get the victims out, but I learned the reason. It is not merely give them a job, a safer home, and better economic conditions, but it is to give them an opportunity to hear about the abundant life that Jesus came to give them. Many victims voluntarily go back to their lives of slavery because of drug addictions or a place where they feel welcome and belonging. However, once out from the bounds of traffickers and clients, they can hear the truth that can set their souls and hearts free. God truly breaks bonds and barriers and meets his children just as they are wherever they are.
I came to Cambodia to see how I can be a part of the change, but I had a misunderstanding of what needed to be changed. I cannot change the culture that I had blamed so often for many of the issues surrounding women and families. I learned that I must be changed to change others. Through the change in me, I can empower and edify people in order that they may be the change in their nation with a kingdom culture and eternal mindset. Though our team will return to the states in a short time, the children we met today will remain and become the future business leaders, ambassadors, restaurant owners, and parents of future children of Cambodia. I had the wonderful blessing and opportunity to pray with and for the people I met today, hand in hand, that they may be raised up in the Lord and take everything back as his one day.
I rode my first ferry today in Cambodia J I always wanted my first ferry ride to be meaningful just because I had never ridden one and it truly was. I saw glimpses of immense beauty and freedom in the most unexpected places. I saw community and sharing amongst people who had little to offer in wealth, but so much to offer in heart because of a shared lifestyle and understanding. Their smiles gave me strength and encouragement that I cannot explain and their generosity moved me to my core. We washed and braided the hair of an entire community of children of which the majority had lice. There was one girl who had so much lice that it would take months of treatment, yet we would only be treating her for a day. All of our team members, including myself, were shocked to see so much lice and we hesitated to braid her hair. Ultimately, I braided her hair and she ended up giving me her pen that was given to her as a gift from our team. I was so moved by her gratitude and generosity and was conflicted to accept her gift or to return it to her. In the end I thanked her, hugged her and returned the pen. I was the one who felt humbled and honored to have been able to braid the hair of a child whose heart was so pure, grateful, and generous.
I feel challenged to rethink what kingdom living really looks like and it awakens me to see how far from it I actually am. Lord, I need you more each day. Teach me your ways and give me understanding.