Tuesday, January 26, 2016


The team, along with some of children from the village
The CSM staff take their students and their families on a mission trip annually. This past December, Matthew and I joined them to see if families from our ministry could join in future trips. Although this was our main goal in going on the trip, God had much more in store for us than simply figuring out if family mission trips would work well for us in Cambodia.
Matthew playing freeze tag.

While in Cambodia, we ran a VBS with almost 100 kids in attendance. I, along with a middle schooler, lead one of four groups of children around to each of their stations: crafts, teaching, games and English. Matthew helped run the game station with some of the students from youth group. At the end of each day and after feeding them lunch, we played hand games, painted nails, braided hair, had photo shoots, swung kids in the air and just loved on them.

Some of Sarah's group.
Day two is when I realized these children just wanted to give love and receive love from us. My van was a little late on this day because we had to stop for ice for our water coolers on the way to the village. Once we pulled up, I saw the large crowd of children hanging all over our team, some were playing hand games and some were just squeezing tightly to their new found friends. As I made my way to crowd, one of the little ladies (She is in the middle of the top row in the picture to the right) from my group grabbed my hand and pulled me away from everyone. I was not expecting her to take off her gold bracelet and gift it to me. I was speechless, delighted, amazed, shocked… completely humbled. She lives in a one walled, grass hut, with next to nothing and she is giving me one of her very own treasures. At first, I struggled taking her bracelet. I couldn’t help but think she could get in trouble for giving it to me. Then I realized it’s not just about giving to these people, but allowing them to give love back to us--however they wanted to show it.

I also enjoyed their love for nature. Each day, the kids would make flower bouquets for us ladies, (tied together with whatever plastic string they could find), put flowers in our hair and some even made flower headbands. Again, they just wanted to give their love. And that’s exactly what I felt.

Playing games after lunch.

As Sarah has mentioned above, this trip definitely had something more in store for us!  While on the trip, the Lord brought to my attention of how short of time we have with people.  We spent 4 days in the new village.  4 days.  We had to pour as much as we could into each moment.  This made me realize how little I do that in my day to day life. Sure, I do it well when I have to, but I don’t pour myself out like I should; I’m actually quite reserved in that regard.  It has made me realize how complacent I have become.  With that realization, I have picked a word to define my new year.  Intentionality.  I want to be more intentional with my time in everything I do.  So feel free to ask me about it any time you think of us!  I’m always only a Facebook or email away from anyone.

We are planning to return to this village in June and are inviting some of our families from ministry to join us. We will be gone for 10 days this time around and are looking forward to seeing the kids again, as well as, leading families on a mission trip together. We are confident this mission trip will bring families closer to each other as they pursue Christ together and serve together. It’s going to be an exciting time for them and for us.