We are back from Cambodia! What took so many months to plan and prepare for went by so quickly. Thank you so much for being a part of this entire journey with the team and me. You all were definitely with us in many ways. Your support through our fundraising and in prayer was felt and so appreciated during our trek through that beautiful country.
In our 8 full days in Cambodia, we were able to experience both the city life in Phnom Penh and the simpler village life in the Kumpot Province. We were encouraged to see this trip as an opportunity to learn and observe this country’s culture, to be relational, and to grow in patience and faithfulness.
Our first few days were spent with the university students at Gospel Commission Fellowship church in Phnom Penh. It was interesting to hear that most of these students came from the village provinces to the city for schooling. Everyone was so welcoming to us and enthusiastic about evangelism. It was quite moving to see their heart for their country of Cambodia and more specifically the hearts of the people in their hometowns. Many of them shared about wanting to share Jesus with their families, dreaming of big ways to help their villages develop and be saved by the Gospel.
“…They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth.” Hebrews 11:13
The second leg of our trip was spent in Nearay village in the Kumpot Provice with Pastor Milkie Boniao and his family. They originally came from the Philippines and have called Cambodia ‘home’ for the last six years. Their humble abode is appropriately called the “Hebrews 11 Christian Center,” where they teach English and Sunday school and have been steadily building and growing relationships with their Khmer neighbors. While with this family and the village kids for a short three days, I was anxious but encouraged; anxious, because of the steady but slower pace of the village, and encouraged, because of the Boniao family’s patience and faithfulness towards the Lord. Sometimes, all we can and should do is to be completely present where we are, all while looking to the hope that God promises.
This entire experience was such a beautiful picture of the universal church. Each of us has a time and place on earth that is unique to us and specific to his design. And we are all connected in this walk with Jesus because of His big heart for all his people. When I’m home in America, my mind is concerned with my own church, my friends, my family, my work, etc. But meeting these students, spending time with these children, meeting the missionary families…I was overwhelmed by the idea that I’ll never know all of the villages, the people, and the needs in this world. How can I serve if I don’t know the need? God reminded me of His giant heart and how only He has the capacity to truly know and love the entire world. I may never come close to fully knowing how God can be so big, but love so intimately. I am only getting glimpses of His love through trips like these and life at home. But I am so grateful to have a part in His story.
Thank you again for walking with our team! Please pray for opportunity to return in some way and continue growing these new overseas relationships.
PS. Nearly day-to-day updates about our trip was posted on our blog: read here.
PPS. "Ar-kun", thank you in the Khmer language. One of the maybe 5 phrases I could remember by heart! haha.