Saturday, August 7, 2010

From Svay Pak To Bay Street

Well I've been back in Toronto now for almost a week and my brain is a bit of a mush. It doesn't seem to want to think or analyze. I have hit the proverbial 'wall' which tells me that I am to rest in Him until my soul catches up to my body. I am not motivated to do much other than sleep. Food ---especially of the Asian persuasion is last on my list. I don't think I want to eat steamed rice for the next month and I'm Asian and love my Chinese food but now, I'm craving some 'white' food! So my very first day back at work I had a Macdonald's Hamburger and French fries! It was heavenly. I know some of you probably think I'm sick to consider MacDonald's burgers heavenly but alas...I told you my brain is not functioning too well lately.

I'm lucky if I can make a coherent sentence. Welcome to the world of 're-entry.' All the typical emotions, feelings and reverse culture shock attributes are evident. Before I left Cambodia, Don Brewster had prayed that I have would time to 'decompress'----that word has resonated in my spirit since I first heard it. Decompress ---to release from pressure. It has been a 2 month pressure cooker in Cambodia--- I truly had so many memorable experiences and gifts from God and yet in the midst of that I was dealing with heat, sickness, exhaustion, dust, battling warfare on various levels---I didn't really realize the intensity until I was sitting on the plane and literally kept my eyes closed for almost 15 hours except to eat and well see my way to the bathroom :-)

I started back to work on Tuesday morning---back to my capitalist job on Bay street---the equivalent of Wall Street--a street of materialism in all its splendor--- such a far cry from the streets of Svay Pak. Looking at my screen with all the stock symbols and casually scanning my email inbox as I saw 1100 emails---the delete key came in handy as I was in no mood to read. Thankfully financial research usually becomes useless within a week of receiving it since the markets change so rapidly so there was a quiet pleasure in hitting the delete button. I survived my first week back at work--but barley. I was physically in the office but my heart and mind were emotionally in Cambodia.

I have yet to really begin to process my feelings or emotions from this trip. I am hibernating for a month---taking a sabbatical so to speak and spending the evenings quietly, to be still, to be refilled and to allow the Lord to speak. The only thing that comes into my mind was the fact that the time in Cambodia was too short. My brain is tired and I have sensed that God simply wants me to rest and do nothing. To just simply 'be'! The season for 'doing' has temporarily ended. Now I am simply to just relax and chill. I'm happy to do that cause I have little energy to do anything else. In some ways, I feel that the Lord is guarding my heart and emotions for a time and a place when He will bring to light the hidden treasures from this journey. My emotions are raw for I feel like a mother estranged from her children.

A few evenings ago I spoke to Siny & Paully ---two of Pastor Chantha's students and also Vichny, one of the teachers from the Newsong centre. It was great to hear their voices. Then there are all the little ones who attend the kids club. These whose hugs I cherished and whose smiling faces brought such joy to my heart. I miss hanging out with them all, laughing with them, praying with and for them and teasing them. These new and yet old friends--- younger sisters, spiritual daughters who were part of the special community that God brought into my life. It is hard to let go of these heart to heart connections but I hold on to the truth that when we love in Jesus name it never fails. He will preserve the Christ love that has shaped our time together. They were part of that 'divine moment' but God is asking each of us now to live in another 'divine moment'. For Ecclesiastes reminds me that there is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. (Eccles 3:1-8)

In this chronos time wrapped up in kairos moments, He is calling each one of us to rest in His appointed time, to humbly trust, believe and submit to His ways, His purposes and His overarching plan even when life seems uncertain, when the pieces don't seem to fit and God's ways are a mystery to us. The journey of faith continues. The mountain top experience has ended and the valley experience has begun. It is a valley where vision is born, refined and defined in the midst of solitude and silence. Come Lord Jesus, speak to each of us for your servants are listening! Come Lord Jesus to my dear friends in Svay Pak and to each one of us here, minister to us in our point of need for you are the Great I am!

He is the I AM for our needs (by: Sylvia Gunter)

He is Abba Father when we need fathering.
He is acceptance when we feel unwanted.
He is adequacy for our inadequacy.
He is all-sufficient in our hardest situations.
He is the Amen, the true witness when we are tempted to lie.
He is the Answer for our uncertainty and questions.
He is the Author of faith for our unbelief or doubt.

He is the Bread of life for our spiritual hunger.
He is the Bright Morning Star for the darkness in the valley of the shadow.
He is broken and spilled out for us when we’ve been used.
He is the Burden-bearer when we are heavy laden.
He is before all things when we’re surprised.

He is cleansing for our defilement and shame.
He is closer than a brother when we are lonely.
He is our Comforter who wipes away tears in our grief’s and sorrows.

He is our Defender when we are under attack.
He is our Deliverer from our bondage or captivity.
He is our Door-opener when it looks like there’s no way out.

He is our Sure Foundation, our solid rock when we’re shaking and insecure.
He is our Faithful Friend when friends fail us.
He is Fullness when we’re empty.

He is the God of details when we’re frustrated.
He is the God of love when we feel unloved and need a hug.
He is the God who is there when we feel alone or abandoned.
He is our Guide and the Way when we’re confused and need direction.
He is grace when we’re too hard on ourselves or others.

He is our Healer for woundedness, rejection, and sickness.
He is Hope when we despair, are discouraged, and want to quit.
He is Humility for our pride.

He is Joy when we are depressed.
He is our Keeper and Protector when we are vulnerable.
He is the Lifter of our heads when we feel oppressed and weighed down.
He is long-suffering, slow to anger when we have blown it again.

He is Mercy for criticism and unkindness.
He is Mighty God, our strength for our weakness or temptation.
He is Never-failing, the same when we are fickle and faithless.
He is Overcoming victory for defeat and depression.

He is the Plumb Line to stand against the world’s situational ethics.
He is the Prince of peace when we are stressed, worried, and confused.
He is the Provider for every financial need.
He is the Quieter of the storm for afflictions without and struggles within.

He is Reconciliation for breaches in relationships.
He is Rest when we’re tired and can’t go on.
He is the Restorer of our souls when we’re bruised and beaten down.
He is the Reviver, living water when we are depleted, barren, thirsty.

He is Satisfaction when we’ve tried everything and come up empty.
He is the Song, our praise when we’re joyless and heavy of heart.
He is the Spirit of the Lord when we need to be set free.
He is our Strength when we’re weak.

He is Trinity unity for mending separation.
He is Truth when we’ve been lied to.
He is True Riches when we’re tempted to covet the world’s wealth.
He is Vengeance when we are angry and wronged.
He is Wisdom for our hard choices.

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