I am on my way home, waiting in Vancouver airport, waiting for our last connecting flight to Toronto. Now is the best time for me to write, to ponder, to reflect, all the thoughts that are brewing inside, I typed it all out and wanted to share with my husband, Paul. I thought those are intimate thoughts yet it becomes my prayer and conversation with my Father God, wrestling with Him all that He has shown me for the past 2 weeks.
I am on our way home, first stretch from Phnom Penh to Taipei, that’s where we are now, waiting for our flight to Vancouver. Everyone are typing away on their laptops, I am too, trying to catch some thoughts on the keypad before it slips away. But honestly, how can any of my experiences be slipped away from memory?? I will never forget what God has shown me in this trip.
First thing top off my mind, it was how I felt last night when everyone were asleep and I was listening to my iTouch, worshipping in pitch dark. I was in tears for the very first time since my last episode of crying (it was after the tuk tuk driver took us to the brothel areas, I was overwhelmed), but then I didn’t cry at all for the entire trip. I cried for joy and all the fruits I have seen when Christ’s love heals and transforms. Last night I cried for quite sometime because God is stirring something in me about this country. I have to admit and confess that I am falling in love with this country. I realized last night that I am started to miss Cambodia. So weird feelings!! I will need to pray and seek His face and let Him tell me what does all these lingering feeling means. Honestly I don’t know which part of this country that I miss. The people, the culture, the climate, the needs, the children, the work of God to rebuild this country?? I don’t know what it is that I miss. I have no problem walking down from the mountain high experience and now walking down the steep hill to the lives and details of my home and my family and my children. I know i need a lot of alone time, away from the team, lesser time of trading stories and getting to know each other. I know home front will come back and i will need to throw myself back into the routine of taking Heather to school, to skating, nursing Lilias, taking mum to appointments, shovelling snow, going to No Frills, Walmart, another No Frills for another missing piece of grocery. At least for now I don’t see a problem of myself doing that re-intergreting back to the home life, away from Cambodia. Yet I want to be prepared of any frustration/anxieties I may have as soon as I open my luggages looking at all the things I bought, looking through the pictures I took, oh man, it’s the re-entry I am at, wondering what Pastor Chantha is doing this coming Sunday. I am praying very hard and ask God to guard my heart, and don’t let anything overwhelm me. If I need to be overwhelmed, give me a time and space that He allows so that I can easily come back. I know I am missing Cambodia in a whole new different level but not sure what is that that is making me so tearful!! Not particularly about the girls or anything related to Svay Pak, but just the fact that I have seen what God has intended me to see. I have seen exploitation of human beings from a whole new perspective. There are different forms of exploitation. The boy with a toy gun on our boat at the Floating Village in Siem Reap. The sensation I felt when he pointed the toy gun at my back, how I jumped, and felt totally irritated and scared and said to him, “What are you doing to me?” Such sensation and surprises trigger something in me i know not, something that is very foreign to me. How can I process that? How about the families who pulled up to our boat, with 2 children in it, one with a snake wrapped around his neck, and kept asking us “One dollar, One dollar” for taking them a picture. How I repeatedly said “Som Dom, Atte” (No, I am sorry!) to them. How they looked to me right in the eyes. All I could think of was they are also created in the image of God. I was on a tourist boat, holding a camera not knowing what to do, and here they were on another boat which is their tool to earn a living, a 5 yr old holding a snake, another baby sleeping under the hot sun, their parents trying to make a living out of asking us for a dollar. How am I going to convey all these with clear and structured thoughts to others? How about the girl who had a baby sling around her back, the baby was probably drugged to sleep for the entire day, the girl walking down back and forth on a busy traffic street without shoes, handing out her hand for money, and the baby as her tool to rob compassion from us. Yet our van had to move as they fell back behind me, the baby was still sleeping under the hot sun, that was just like any other day for them to walk up and down the street begging, for me, that was not just like any other day. I looked back to them without a word and there they were, and here I am now trying to recall what I saw. What is that?? What is that?? What is that??
I need time, lots of time to process. One thing I know for sure is God is powerful, so powerful, very powerful, even in the face of evil. God’s sovereignty reigns so high and wide and deep and long, so is His love for the people in Cambodia, and also for us, for the team, for myself whom I feel particularly blessed to receive what I did not expect to receive. (that is, a hug from SN, a big giant warm hug from her whom I have prayed for almost 1.5 years, here she was, being so playful, she threw herself to my arms, and held me soooo tight, yet she didn’t even know who I am, what did I do, how important she is to me, how her life connected me in such a way that only God knows and honours, yet there she was holding me so tight, so tight, and telling me what did she do at school, how she enjoyed school in English! What a joy, what a joy, what a joy, WHAT A JOY!!!)) How many times I knew what is about to come up, and i know it’s God who searches my heart and grants my heart’s desire, even though He doesn’t have to do that, but He did!! Who am I to deserve that???
Isaiah 25 was what I prayed throughout the trip when I was alone or with the team. What a wonderful promise, what a wonderful God that we trust in!! I love you, Father God, so sooooo very much that I exalt you and praise your name for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago!!!”