Hello my family and friends. I hope you are all doing well. I am excited to be writing you and telling you what God has been doing here over the past week. So much has happened and it seems like ages since I have seen all of you.
The weekend was a bit chaotic and overwhelming for me, although it did have some positive points. Saturday afternoon I was able to visit some temple ruins with a few of the Khmer staff and a girl from Iowa named Molly. There is so much rich history in Cambodia and it is so evident when you see the ancient buildings they have made. There is also so much beauty. One of the most beautiful things I have seen so far were the rice fields stretching out to the horizon from the back of the moto on the way to the Wat. More than I loved the beauty of the temple though, I loved the beauty of the children there. It seems you can find children wherever you go.
Sunday morning we went to church at one of the Four Square Children of Promise Orphan Homes. Just after lunch I went to the church at the military hospital. Later in the afternoon we hosted a house party for the students that come to the classes held at the youth center. A massive number of students and their friends came out to eat snacks, practice their English, participate in a volleyball tournament and hangout.
Monday morning I was able to meet with the leaders here and find out more of what my schedule will look like over the next few weeks. There are several different ministry opportunities available. I know what I would most like to do, but I also need to seek God to see exactly what he has for me here.
Tuesday morning I went to the pagoda to visit with some of the monks. They are extremely interested in practicing their English and talking to foreigners, but today they also had several very real questions about who God is.
By far the highlight of my week was my visit to the government orphanage. We only had a brief time there this afternoon, but I was able to meet a few of the babies. They are so precious and so tiny. I am excited that over the course of my time here they will grow so much and I will be able to see them all learn to walk and begin to talk.
On Friday afternoons I will be leading a small group at the orphanage for some little children. Over the next two months before Christmas we are going to be working our way through this little book that explains the story of salvation similar to the wordless book (but this book has words-) Pray that they hear what God is speaking to them through this time.
On Thursdays I am going to be teaching an intermediate English class at the youth center (our downstairs) to help Molly out a little bit. She has an amazing seventy or eighty students in her class and more keep joining all the time. Praise God!
Here's something I have been realizing lately- if we are living a life without belief in the resurrection from the dead then we are living a life of utter futility and of course there should be no joy in that because each moment that passes only serves to bring us closer to an uncertain death and afterlife, so of course we should gorge ourselves in the present: eat, drink, waste- all to excess because what else could we know and why not enjoy everything we can now. Our secret- which should not be a secret- is that we know what is coming. We have hope. We can profess God be faithful to be good- you are all we need. We are living our lives with belief in the resurrection from the dead, knowing full well that in all things our God is faithful and true and will keep his promises. I know that my body will die, but I also know that because of Jesus' death on the cross and his resurrection my spirit will live forever- and I ache for eternity, my spirit longs for it so much, but guess what? It's not my time to go there yet- there's more for me to do here. There are children to love and bless, there are hearts that need to be restored, there are cities and nations that need to be transformed. I want to worship in heaven with all my family and friends and I want the nations of the world as my inheritance. And so my prayer for all of us is Jesus, give us strength to live with this ache and fight to see your kingdom established on this earth.
I love you all,