Sunday, January 25, 2015

Day 8: Peace Prevails

This day is never easy...
Somehow, in the matter of only a few short days, your heart becomes entangled with the hearts of the kids. You dread the moment when you must step foot on the bus and take your final glance out the window. 
Yet, as much as it hurts, as much as it feels as though you may not be "okay", peace does come. 
It moves through every embrace, anoints every head. 
So instead of sorrow, there is joy in the knowledge that the children Jesus has brought into our life this week have experienced a love unlike anything they have ever known.
Seeds have been planted, and though we may never see the growth and fruition in their lives, we can leave knowing that all has been for His glory. God is still with them. He will keep them safe. He will continue to remind them of our love. 

[Philippians 4:7] And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 

 These ladies were part of the staff at the New Lucky Star Restaurant; they took great care of us during our stay in Anlong Veng. Every morning they served us endless amounts of coffee with kindness and joy!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Day 7: Captivated

Today marks one week since our arrival in Cambodia!

As we rose to greet the day, a slight shift could be sensed in the atmosphere; we awoke knowing that this would be our last full day at the Anlong Veng home. It was not an urgency that settled over the team, but a deep appreciation of every second spent with our Cambodian family.
Quiet moments with the kids were more frequent and peace washed over the finishing touches of work.
We enjoyed an escapade to the market and observed the pure delight on the faces of the kids as they showed off their shiny new purchases to one another.
Words were given, prayers spoken, and purpose released into the lives of these people who have so quickly captivated our hearts and changed our lives forever.
Sunday morning we will attend church at the home and it will then be time to say not "goodbye", but "see you later".

Friday, January 23, 2015

Day 6: Then Sings My Soul

There are moments, and in this case, days, when all attempts at finding the rights words to describe the ways in which Jesus moved, do not suffice. 
It was just an amazing day. 
Joy and praise filled every moment. Work ceased to feel like work, and sore muscles and aching backs were completely insignificant in light of the overwhelming love of Jesus. 
We watched as the Lord conquered fears and insecurities through the willingless of individuals to open their mouths in song; during our lunch hour both team members and Cambodians were moved to participate in open worship. There was so much significance in their bravery to sing in front of an audience and encouragement rained down on them. To every person reading this, I sincerely wish you could have been there. But let me assure you, all of heaven joined in our song. 
Today (Saturday, January 24th) we work for half the day and then venture to the market with our Anlong Veng family! 
We send love to all of our family and friends back home and thank you for your continual prayer and support!!!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Day 5: Unified

At dinner, Pastor So Sanith (an FCOPI district supervisor and pastor of the Chhuk home who has come to work with us) spoke to our team about how incredible it is when we join together as family in the body of Christ; he compared it to a waterfall, "that its beauty is found because it falls from the Rock."
I couldn't have said it better myself.
Apart from Christ, we are nothing. It is when we allow everything we do to come from Him, to be directed by Him, that our life gains meaning and becomes full of power and wonder, something that others may marvel at. It's not us, it's Him.
Perhaps it is because this revelation is so readily put into action in Cambodia that life seems all the more beautiful.

Before we began work for the day, a group of ladies went for an adventurous walk down the red dirt roads of the village! We dodged many a moto and passing school children on their bicycles. 

James 1:27 (NIV) -- "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Day 4: Pursuing Relentless Love

At breakfast, the Holy Spirit led our team in making the decision to dedicate the day to LOVE. When you're in Cambodia, whether it's your first time or your fifteeenth time, God teaches you to love beyond what you believe yourself capable of. You love others not out of your resource, or your talent, but out of a place of selflessness; you love because you are compelled. And once you start loving this way, you can't stop. The day was all about love. It was full of dancing, and ice cream, and being present in every single moment. 

The kids at Anlong Veng sleep upstairs above the sanctuary in simple wooden bunk beds. Their earthly possessions are very few and in our eyes what they have may seem to amount to next to nothing. But they are so proud; all they own is organized and well taken care of. I wonder, how much more are we learning from them, than they are from us...?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Day 3: Our Hearts are Home

Our first day of work is complete and there is no doubt in my mind that every single one of us will climb into our beds tonight utterly content and eager to return to our new family at Anlong Veng.
What a day.
We were welcomed at the home with such sweet smiles and it wasn't long before shyness vanished and mischief of all sorts was being made. Frisbee games, tickle fights, kung-fu matches...the team played hard! And the fun didn't end when work began!
One of the many blessings of the day was getting the opportunity to paint the home! It was absolutely awesome. Everyone chipped in and we worked side-by-side with the kids underneath the bright and shining Cambodian sun. A lot of our guys spent the afternoon out on the perimeter of the property taking down old barbed-wire; part of the process for building the fence.They even endured fire-ants to get the job done! Everywhere you looked there were grins and hugs and the most beautiful displays of Jesus' love. It's difficult to imagine a better day...and we have only just begun!

(This is Esther. Esther loves to show of her muscles! She is a VERY strong girl with a VERY big heart!)

Kong Pixay Orphan Home

Kong Pixay Orphan Home
Posts are written in Cambodia time which is 15 hours ahead.