Congratulations, you have been picked to be part of the team going to Cambodia in July 2009!"
That was the summary of the email I received from Lisa, Charlene and Genie, the leaders of the short term mission trip. I was shocked to be chosen, but as I look back on the past 6 months, I see His Hand at work and I know that like Esther, He has chosen me ‘for such a time as this’….
My journey began over 3 years ago when I heard Lisa, the Toronto representative for Ratanak Foundation, share her heart about the little girls who were and are being forced into sex slavery in Cambodia. Her passion ignited His passion within me and I became involved in the grass roots core group which would meet once a month to plan Awareness and Advocacy seminars on this tragedy. However, it was after viewing “Fields of Mudan” that I honestly felt His heartbreak, pain, and anger for my sisters: no longer those little girls, but my little sisters, His daughters.
My prayers began to be more specific and targeted towards their freedom. I wanted to see them dance and laugh and recap the innocence which was stolen from them. I know that only our God and Saviour, their Abba Father could accomplish this.
…For God so loved this world that He gave His only begotten Son…. John 3:16.
This is a verse I could say in my sleep, yet when I heard the recounts of Brian McConaughy and Don Brewster of the girls that have been rescued, or still in bondage, I realize that this world, the now, is what He loves. His heart beats for us, He suffered for us here, and He wanted me to become involved in seeking justice for His little ones.
Lisa had casually said to me in January, that I should think about going to Cambodia and I smiled and nodded but did nothing. Then 2 months later she said the same thing. I met with the elders and thought that being here was the best place for me. Then wham! Lisa asked again and coupled with Tara, another member of the team who said she thought I should be going, I knew I had to seek my spiritual mentors, fast, and pray. I did and at the last possible moment, just before the deadline, I applied to go.
In the interim, I had participated in a Beth Moore study on the Psalms of Ascent and He began giving me verses and images to pray for my sisters:
Psalm 123: 3-4: I prayed for His mercy to restore the dignity taken away from my sisters,
Psalm 129: 2-4:they ( my sisters) have been greatly oppressed from my (their) youth,,,,plowmen have plowed my back and made their furrows long ( the sex trade) But the Lord is righteous He has cut me ( them) free from the cords of the wicked..
The book of Isaiah provided more fodder for prayer: Isaiah 62:3 for the girls ‘…No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate….”
As I read Isaiah 6:8 ‘...Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, whom shall I send? And will go for us? And I said Here am I, Send me…”
I was convicted by that and surrendered to His call.
God gave another vision for this trip as described below:
I will give you the treasures of darkness
riches stored in secret places so that you may know that I am the Lord
The God of Israel who summons you by name....
I wake up in a sweat and I see his face. It is blurry so that his features are not clear. It is the face of a man, who like Saul, was so convicted by the Holy Spirit and who consequently fell in love with a God of mercy, grace and unconditional love; a God who sought after him even though Saul was persecuting His children. And then he was renamed Paul. He was in his own words the biggest sinner of all, and was instrumental in spreading the Gospel.
Yes, I have asked God for a pedophile.
Who better to go into the dark places in Cambodia to rescue our sisters?
Who knows the network better than any other?
Who because of His love will want to make amends because he will truly know the evil he has perpetuated?
I pray for that one man...
On July 14th we leave for 3 weeks. I am excited because the focus is on the caregivers, specifically Ruth who runs Daughters of Cambodia. Our team will be giving workshops on Domestic Violence, Drug Awareness, Budgeting, Hairstyling, Healing Prayer, Dance and Nutrition, to name a few, as well as prayer walking through the brothel areas.
One of my dreams has been to go to Israel, to walk and just be where our Lord grew up, to walk up that hill where He was crucified and to see the cave that was chosen as the site for His resurrection. As I walked these past few months, I heard Jesus say to me: Where you are going is why I walked those long hard steps with The Cross on my shoulder/back, each painful step was made easier because I love you that much. Even though I know you would doubt and second guess Me many times, I still love you.
I have said yes because I could not say no to my Lord and Saviour. He wants me to be one of many who can be His Hands and Feet on this earth. I feel His heartbeat and I know I will experience His heartbreak but also His victory when I go there. He is in control. He is the ultimate Abba Father. He is the Righteous Judge.
I claim His promise to me and my team:
Isaiah 58: 11-12
…Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
And will raise up the age old foundations and you will be called
Repairer of Broken Walls
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings….
So to those of you who have been with me on this journey,
YOU HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED TO GO ON THIS MISSION TRIP:
YOU, WHO HAVE PRAYED, WORKED AT THE CAFÉ, PROVIDED PLACES OF REST,
AND INTERCEDED ON MY BEHALF ARE ALSO GOING WITH ME!
Your prayers are coveted for:
--Our team: Lisa, Genie, Charlene—team leaders: Melinda, Joy, Stephanie, Nancy, Peter, Tara, Marty and Prem: for one spirit of unity and joy.
--Translator/s in Cambodia: workshops would run smoothly.
--Health and sleep for the team.
--To listen to his voice so we can truly serve those we meet in Cambodia.
-For the funds to be raised before departure date of July 14th.
Lastly, thanks to my own family here in Toronto, Trinidad, Florida and England for blessing me to go on this trip. For my core group members who have been so supportive, and my church family at Rexdale Alliance Church under whose spiritual umbrella we are going to Cambodia.
Dancing with Jesus Christ,