Thursday, April 8, 2010

Special Memories

I can hardly believe that our two weeks in Cambodia are over. I would like to share with you my journey of how and when God told me I was going. I signed up to go to Cambodia in December, had my interview and two weeks later was told that I was not going but would I be an alternate in case someone couldn’t go? God gave me a gracious and patient attitude and I accepted. (I know I would not have accepted so gracefully and humbly had God not given it to me). I attended the preparation meetings up until two weeks before the leaving date. Sean e-mailed me and thanked me for my willingness to stand by as a substitute. I accepted that I was not going…until…six days before the team was leaving I got a phone call that there was now an opportunity for me to go! A whirl wind of getting last minute vaccinations, painting clothes, a new plane ticket and leaving my poor husband in the dust and I was on my way…to Cambodia!

Some of my fondest memories of Cambodia will be the team spirit. We had absolutely wonderful leadership from both Beth and Sean. They were so patient answering hundreds of questions everyday never becoming impatient or clipped in words. Then there was Lorey who kept all of us painting and organized on the job. I also want to point out her endless energy and her hearty laugh! And then all the other team members; Melanie, for your leadership and willingness to share during devotions, Greg and Janet, for your encouragement to Pastor Chantha and the other leaders at New Song and Hagar, Kaylie, for your wonderful giggle and beautiful spirit, Sheri and Peter for your gentleness and laughter, Jo Ann for being my roommate and being so much like me!, Karen for your led belly and laughter, Brian for your huge heart and watchful eye over all of us. I think another one of our unsung heroes is Heng our van driver. He was so so faithful to us driving us around every day and to and from the beach, for his beautiful honest eyes and smile! Yay Heng!

Some of my most treasured moments are when we were at Hagar’s and the openness and frequency that the children asked us to just pray with them. I was sitting on the steps of the school with three little girls that just needed love and touch when one of them piped up and asked me to pray with them. We had to keep our emotions “under check” and that is so so difficult when one is asked to pray by little girls who have endured such horrible injustices. There they sat with their little hands pressed together pointed heaven ward waiting to shout Amen at the end. I did okay my voice only crack once.

The other most precious memory will be a young woman, a disciple that I met in Svay Pak. There was just a light in her eyes that caught my attention and we connected. We were working on the mural in Rahab’s House in which I drew and painted the birds. She stood there laughing at me when Sean was giving me a hard time about their size. Later, she pulled me aside and pulled a ring off her finger and said “ When you go to bed at night and see this ring think of me and when I see your birds on the wall I will think of you”. Now, I have big hands so when she pulled that ring off her finger I thought there was no way that it was going to fit me but it slid onto my finger like it was made for me! Wow! God floored me on that one! I had a great desire to know her history before she came to Rahab’s House but we were also not allowed to ask any of the children or young people about their pasts. But wait till you hear this! On the last day, after lunch, Pastor Chantha asked her to share her story! She bravely got up and with tears falling down her cheeks she told her story through an interpreter. Beth and I each held one of her dear hands - our hearts hurting with hers but so thankful for who she is today. Afterwards we prayed over all the young disciples who serve under the tutelage of Pastor Chantha.

Those are only a few of the many, many memories of Cambodia. The gentleness and beauty of the people will be forever engraved on my heart and maybe someday I can come back! God was so so good to us and it is only Him that deserves all the glory, honor and praise. For without Him these projects would be empty and nothing like what they are today.


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