Of course its fun, its a novelty, you know it is only temporary and you can have a laugh about it – yet others live with it every day and know no different or it becomes the new norm for others who take up residence there.
It is hard to put into words exactly how the Mission Trip in Cambodia was, and in short – it was eye opening, breathtaking at times and emotional, after the initial shock wore off.
First of all though – there are people in this world doing AMAZING things. I knew this – but I hadn’t seen this. To come into contact with “everyday” people doing these things just blew my mind. From protecting and ensuring quality of life for girls who had been trafficked and at risk, to providing a safe environment to work, to closing down brothels and trafficking rings and to building schools and churches where brothels and hotels once thrived. Plus a whole lot more!!!
Just amazing people and amazing Christians, doing AMAZING things. One day at a time, in a country where the enormity of child exploitation and trafficking is just rife.
At times I did get overwhelmed by seeing what amazing charity people are doing as well as the poverty everywhere, it was seeing people and seeing the faith in so many faces that really got to me. Faces that have been through more than you could ever imagine with a faith that just rises above it all! So impressive.
On our last few “down time” days before we flew back home, we went to Siem Reap from Phnom Penh and there was a few hours one night that I managed to sit in our hotel room, by myself and write my devotion for the next morning (the team took it in turns every day). As soon as I showered and sat down in bed to write it, the words that I’d forgotten about for quite a few months immediately popped into my head Finding faith in friendly faces. I’d thought of it a while ago and loved it but could never put it into words for a post. So exciting that it happened in that moment and that it came at the end of the trip, to give that extra bit that I was needing. And it was read over breakfast the next day.
1 Corinthians 16:13
Be on your guard; stand firm in faith; be men of courage; be strong.
This verse is a great summation for the last few weeks. I’ve felt like I have had to be on guard with my heart when seeing all the poverty around me for the first time. Seeing sad hungry kids faces and rubbish lining the streets everywhere. Feeling helpless in seeing it all but feeling proud at the same time.
Proud of seeing God working amidst it all. Seeing Him in the faces of the volunteers at all the places we’ve visited. Seeing Him in all the home family visits we’ve been to and how they have been touched by faith. Seeing Him in the strangers faces who happily wave and smile back.
It’s given me courage to stand firm in my faith and affirmation that through Jesus, we can be strong again. Even in the depths of poverty, sacrifice and sadness.
An overwhelming affirmation of the ‘strength of His power and love has hit me big time. I’ve learnt that through all the faces here in Cambodia and especially so, the faith in friendly faces that have been by my side the whole trip, that anything is REALLY possible with God. It’s evident in all the faces around us. No matter what the situation, heartache or struggle. You can face anything through Jesus Christ!