Cambodia Re-visited


I can still remember when I was telling everyone I would be going with OMF to Singapore.  I made it a purpose to also say this was a role I can travel to Asia and to Cambodia as well.  From Singapore to Cambodia, it was a mere 2.5 hr plane ride.

Though I said I longed to go back to Cambodia, I was uncertain.  Last year I was uncertain-ed because the last time I was there I had a bad case of food poisoning.  Since then, I had a lot of conversation in my head whether I could go there and serve.  If I do go, would I be able to survive?

This idea, in a way, was a contradiction of my desire to serve the poor.  Especially knowing fully that to serve the poor is to work among them.  In many cases, it is dirty and filthy conditions.

How would it pan out?  What would it look like?

Since I am now serving with 
OMF in Singapore, one of the cleanest city in Asia, I could put this debate for a while.  Let’s not think about it.  Let’s wait until I settle down in Singapore.

It wasn’t long before my fiancee and I discussed about serving the poor. After all, this is the reason why we got together….I asked her, “I think it will be great if we do ministry together.”  It was for the love of the poor that attracted us together.

When she proposed to go on a mission trip sometime this year before our wedding, I hesitated.  Would there be enough time?  What about cost?  What about my role in Singapore?

Through divine appointment, the Lord put a missionary couple visiting our church.  They served in Cambodia and just shared their experience.  Then a number of elders and church leaders approached us.

They also served in stopping child sex trafficking.

And so the debate that I subsided slowly resurfaced.   It would take a miracle for me to go to Cambodia.

Not because I am afraid.  Because 
OMF medical adviser cautioned with liver transplant I shouldn’t go to Cambodia while I am in Singapore.  That was the condition I could come to Asia to work for them.  After asking OMF for permission, to my surprise, they approved.

And so in the past four days, my 
fiancee traveled to a country I visited a year and a half ago I figured I would never return.

The last time I was at Cambodia, I was shocked. Traffics were everywhere.  I can’t describe in words.  You have to be there in person to witness.  Cambodia is Cambodia.  Strangely this time, I felt very normal to be in a busy city.

Perhaps, in a good way, my bad experience in Cambodia, that memory faded away.  On the plane to Cambodia, I had no hesitation.

As finacee and I stayed there for four days, we were more blessed than bless others.  The most incredible is the 6 am morning prayer time with the students at the Bible school.  The hunger for the Lord was incredible.  In a way, it blessed me (and shame me) that these new believers have a huge desire to seek Him.  We pray with them and shared them our stories.  We pray along the KTVs where the prostitution takes place.  We visited a safe home where abused kids where taken care. We visited Daughters of Cambodia.  We witnessed a kid hit in the head by a moving truck while crossing the road (and how to love these neighbors as ourselves).  And through this trip, no STOMACH ISSUE EVER.  Praise the Lord. ((Will blog more as I digest the experience))

As we boarded the plane back to Singapore, I couldn’t help to give thanks.  The Lord directs and opens doors.

As I often do, I thought about the church back in Canada. I thought about those events or conferences where the speaker will ask the audience to participate.  Maybe it is a money offering.  And of course, to be respectful and to be polite the speaker will say something along the line to give whatever the Lord is prompting you to give.  And people will put in 5, 10, 20 dollars in the collection plate.  Then I thought about the missionaries and those who gave up their life to come to Cambodia to prevent child sex trafficking.   They didn’t just give a bit of their lives. They give their whole lives for this cause. They believe this cause is worth giving their life to.

And how this kind of giving is exactly what Jesus expects His followers to do.

I am thankful to have a 
fiancee, and soon to be my wife, to travel with me on this journey.  This journey is not merely a physical one.  We both realized that we need to prepare ourselves more in prayers and in the Spirit.  This is a spiritual warfare and it is not merely skills, money and talent will get the job done.  We are dealing with dark spiritual stronghold.  The Lord is on our side.  But we ourselves have to prepare.  It is like someone training for a triathlon. No one ever go to a race without training.  Because the moment the race comes, just like when trials come, we need to be strong and show no compromise.

We both came back encouraged.  The Lord brought us together to serve in ministry.   Side by side.  Supporting and encouraging each other.  Our minds are now open to see what the Lord will do.  There are so many potentials and possibilities.

I always had trouble explaining how’s Cambodia is like and the ministries there are.  But I am glad she has the heart to go and willing to come.  I felt that this trip brought us both closer to each other and to what the Lord has called us to do. :O)))

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By Cliff

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