I just got back from a soul-changing visit to Cambodia. It went beyond the way I live, to who I am.
I will try my best not to blog about Cambodia ad-nauseum, because the trip blog is still up and you can read about it there. But, I am going to take this one day and hit the one thing that, from this very close perspective, indelibly marked me.
1975. A woman named Sameoun is forced with her husband from her home, with a two month old baby in her arms. They walked for days and were sent to a rice-farming camp. Sameoun and her husband were missionaries, and even under the near-starvation and tangible fear instigated by the communist Khmer Rouge, their faith never wavered. Nor did their purpose. They had no guarantee they'd survive--sometimes God's people don't--but they had peace with that uncertainty because they knew their God.
He is good. Always.
Today Sameoun in her fifties and she's got about 96 orphans who call her mother. She and her husband make their home in the 1-bedroom apartment above the rice storage room at an orphanage and regularly commute between two others to bring love and hope and Christ to kids whose backgrounds range from poverty to much, much worse.
These kids, who have every excuse to founder emotionally, are strong and bright and free.
Because our God is bigger than even the worst this world has to offer.
That is a big truth. Huge. And yet easy to miss.
I am so glad that Sameoun didn't miss it. She has lived it. She carries herself with a peaceful dignity and a quiet joy. She shows it to these kids, who are flourishing like the tropical flowers that garnish their home.
I saw it and I wanted it. It's not that I have no excuse for pain or for sadness in life. Every life on earth are touched by these to some degree. It's that I needn't be scarred by it. I can be free!
It was a powerful thing to witness this truth actually lived and it gave me a great hope and a great conviction to live like that. Free.
My Dearest God, thank you for freedom! For winning! May you dwell ever more in me. May I shine You to the world. Please bless New Life Orphanage.