To say that Cambodia has had an impact on my family would be an understatement. Marquita’s experience there literally rocked her entire world. God sparked something in her in 2010 that has continued to blaze and spread like wildfire to this very day. (You can read about her experience here!)
When I think of seeing what she did with my own eyes, that something (or collection of somethings) that revolutionized her worldview, I admit I’m overcome with an array of emotions. Thankfully, heart-wrenching excitement comes out on top.
All that I’ve seen in Marquita and learned from her over the last five years has ultimately lit a fire in me, challenging me to discover that one injustice in the world that makes my own stomach hurt. And for the both of us, it’s vulnerable children. Words can’t describe the feeling of knowing your purpose in this world let alone finding someone to share it with.
Abused, abandoned, fatherless, vulnerable, whatever the label the world chooses to drill into their minds, I am invigorated by the Truth of who the Cambodian children really are:
Known, loved, beautifully created in the image of God.
I can’t wait to tell them. And I can’t wait to see how Jesus uses this experience to remind them that they are not alone. That they are deeply known, unconditionally loved, and precious in the eyes of a Heavenly Father.
To remind them, as my friend, John Sowers, once wrote, that “Jesus willingly chose to experience a divine fatherlessness for them…that they might belong to the Father.”
Our 10-day mission journey begins on June 16th to Phnom Penh. The purpose of the journey will be to see first-hand the ministry of World Relief in order to build a core team of Bent Tree leaders who will become advocates for this vital partnership.
Cambodia was persecuted by the Khmer Rouge genocide in the 70’s and is still plagued by it. It is a country hungry for healing, restoration and hope. World Relief is committed to working alongside the Church of Cambodia in building its capacity to serve the poor so that the healing and transforming power of Jesus is spread throughout the country.
World Relief focuses its work on 5 key sectors that include: HIV/Aids Prevention and Education, Maternal and Child Health, Micro-Enterprise Development, Church Mobilization and Trafficking prevention. While we are there we will be working alongside World Relief and the church empowerment zone cell church leaders in the above five sectors.
So basically we’re going to be ninjas in Cambodia.
My prayer is that, together, we can both be a small part of what God is up to in Phnom Penh and its surrounding villages, especially in the lives of their incredibly beautiful and resilient children.
Reggie Joiner recently reminded me that when kids believe they are made in the image of God, they recognize their God-given potential and worth.
Most importantly, they pursue knowing the God who made them. But they are already wired with a divine capacity to believe, love, dream, imagine, care, trust, reason, improve, lead.
Sounds to me like they can be ninjas, too.