Thursday, September 9, 2010

Developing Faith - a whole new world

I love to travel! I love to visit new places, to explore new cultures. There is something so magical about being away from home, I don't know if it's the lack of responsibility or the fact that no-one knows anything about you or the freedom I feel when I am in another part of the world.. whatever it is, I love it! I can honestly say that there is not a country that I would not visit (provided of course that such travel was relatively safe) so I jumped at Cambodia. I had never been to the third world and it really was a whole new world and in it I discovered a whole new me.

Cambodia is an amazing country but it is also vastly different from Australia, I think Cambodia was the first time in my life where I had no choice but to trust God. I mean I had no choice. From the time we woke up and got on a bus that wouldn't be allowed on the road in Australia for our trek out to the rural village where people didn't speak English along roads made of dirt with pot holes the size of ponds spattered along it to the time that my head hit the pillow at night, every moment of every day required a whole new measure of faith. Daily decisions like trusting that I could be of use on a building site, trusting that I could learn how to lay a brick (FYI I can) or make a brick from mud or carry buckets of water in 35 degree heat. Trusting that the food I ate would nourish my body and not result in me being in bed for 3 days. Learning that dirt is not a defined term but actually has to do with your surroundings (Praise God for hand sanitiser). Trusting that it was safe to travel with this Tuk Tuk driver or to get onto this Moto or walk down this street. All those things that we do to function and live became an exercise in faith and in trusting God. But it wasn't just these daily physical things that required faith it was my mental and emotional well being.

Trusting that I could sit with a little orphan boy on my lap who is the same age as my nephew and is just an ordinary 3 year old who likes hand puppets and balls but who happens to have the HIV virus which resulted in him being abandoned by his whole community. To run around with water bombs and play with him and not burst into tears, to wish more than anything that you could bring him home and give him the kind of childhood that all little kids should have.. it required an emotional strength that I just don't have and I had to trust God for that strength.

I had trust him for the strength to watch and listen as a beautiful little girl who was about 6 and her sister are delivered to the orphanage because her parents separated and remarried new people and neither of them had space in their new families for this precious little girl and her baby sister. To watch her stand quietly in a corner not quite sure why she is there or how long she will be there for too nervous to play with the other kids but trying to be strong and protective of her baby sister. To sit there while your heart breaks into a million little pieces for all of these children because the only thing you can give is your love and time and that is limited by the fact that you are in the country for a limited time.

To have faith that God is raising up good men and women like Mr Leng and his wife all over the world to run safe, happy orphanages where these children can go and be loved. To know that all of these beautiful precious children are not forgotten, that everyday ordinary people are entering their lives and meeting their needs from buying a big bag of rice to raising funds to build another room for the kids to sleep in. To know that God is using you and that the few hours you spend with them makes a difference changes your life and then once it is changed you have no choice but to remain changed.

For me Cambodia changed my life, it changed the way I saw my God, the way I relied on him.. But the most important thing Cambodia gave me was faith that if I let him God will use me to change the world, maybe not the whole world but the world of one or two people and that realisation has changed me forever...

I pray that this week as we go about our lives, we take some time to ask God to show us how he wants to use us to change someones world and that we would then have the courage to be the change xx

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