Wednesday, March 16, 2011
(This picture is one of me working on a craft at the Christian School with some of the Phnom Penh orphans - such a blessed time. The other picture speaks for itself - how can these beautiful children be orphans? )
We have had a little time this afternoon to just kind of digest what has happened this past week..
I find I have many questions very unsettling.
I am thinking about the children we left just 2 days ago and the fact that when these children became orphans God knew they would have great influence on my entire family. It is overwhelming to begin to think about the omniscience of God. We see just a tiny bit of the overall life picture and certainly have little understanding or grasp of anything eternal. That is obvious in how we live each day.
I feel I have been given a glimpse of eternal things here - these pastors, school teachers, orphanage directors all spend everyday trying to teach the things of God to a completely pagan society. It may be the adults who have touched me even more than the children this week, if that is possible. These precious adults face a society so dark Christianity barely exists...in fact statistics say MAYBE 1 percent of Cambodia practices or even has knowledge of Christianity. So the glimpse into eternity is a glimpse of separation from God for all of eternity. Staggering and heartbreaking!
God has chosen to allow families at Crossroads to get personally involved in influencing little ones toward their Creator and helping our pastors survive - how did we get chosen for such an opportunity as this?
I also have questions about a few beautiful children last night that I saw be taken by the hand of evil men on the streets of Phnom Penh, men who care only about their own desires. Our BB3 orphanage protects our little ones very lives - by keeping them safe from this trade. However, there is one older brother currently trying to get his 4 younger siblings released from Asia's Hope for this very purpose and everyone knows it. He will probably not be successful in getting them because Asia's Hope does everything legally required to protect them until age 18. But pray for these precious children, 3 girls and one little boy, who's own family intends evil toward them should they be re-united.Several of the men on our team have told the Asia's Hope director that they will help in anyway they can if this brother continues to harass his siblings.
This isn't a pretty place, and I don't want to give the impression that we just came over here and hugged our children and everything is perfect now...that is not the case. It's life and death, evil against good and the difference between idol worship leading to eternal damnation vs the Awesome, Loving, Savior, Father God that they must be told about!
The good thing about the evil here is it is obvious, darkness is everywhere. The greater tragedy perhaps exists back home where things are so 'gray' as Pastor Tim just taught about. Anything goes - watch what you want - eat what you want - spend what you want...whatever makes us happy. It's the debt we all have ourselves in that binds us completely, allowing no generosity to exist because even in our overwhelming wealth we want more.
I believe God has obviously placed each one of us exactly where He wants us so there is no guilt in having much - but we have got to realize that we are completely deceived by the evil one into feeling content and entitled to all that we have. Instead, all that we have has been given to us to be good stewards over so that we are free - not bound.
What makes me the most sad about this trip is how much I didn't get it when Ron has returned each year from over here. Each time he got back we were right back into the middle of stuff and busyness giving him no time to re-adjust and adequately express his experience. I regret that deeply, but I guess I just had to experience it myself in order to connect with him on this level. I should have gone long ago - I wish I had gone with him long ago. But again, it was God's timing - this year was the year God chose for me to come and so I did and I pray that I remain fully devoted to the values I now feel are most important.
...devoted to the local church as well as to this place. I love them both more than I can possibly say...and I truly believe one will not exist without the other.