A note to Forward…
I have just finished reading over the closing comments from Team 2. As is so often the case I sat with my Kleenex as my eyes passed over the words. For the words you read below are those of a team who have ventured into a dirty, hot and unpleasant environment. They are words of a team that were working on a street known around the world for the buying, selling and savage abuse of the young and vulnerable. The words of a team that were working in a dark dark place where the currents of evil run swift and deep. Yet their words are those of affection, relationship, tenderness and even joy. Why is this? My firm belief is that it is the result of prayer. For we have all prayed that they would see this place as Christ sees it. This prayer has been answered and so the team has found themselves broken but confronted by the beauty and value of these wonderful tortured people.
So, men and women of Forward, I urge you to be very tender with your team as they return. They have chosen to stare into the face of grief, poverty and evil (They have not just glanced and looked away.) and that, while difficult, is a wonderful process.
So, to families…
Be patient if your loved one responds strangely to the simplest of things. Perhaps tears will come when a clean drinkable glass of water is poured right out of the tap or anger surfaces when the kids don’t finish their supper – be patient - there is much processing going on.
Be good listeners even when you have heard enough – listen on. This is being a servant to them even as they have been servants to those in Cambodia.
To the church body…
Be helpful to the families of those returned, and be prayerful as the team gets back to “normal” life recognizing that “normal” may never be quite the same again.
Finally I want to express my thanks to you all, on all the teams, who have worked so hard in Cambodia, Canada and Australia to make this possible. May God bless Cambodians through your work and tenderness toward them. May he enrich, embolden, unify and encourage you in your Christian service.
Remember, “ It’s not about paint!” You have been a part of something Far far bigger. I am reminded of one of my favorite songs (which originated in a South East Asian brothel!) called. “God of the city”.
“You're the God of this City
You're the King of these people
You're the Lord of this nation
You're the Light in this darkness
You're the Hope to the hopeless
You're the Peace to the restless
There is no one like our God
For greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done in this City”
May it be so!