I’m sorry it has taken so long to write this letter, but your kindness has not been forgotten. My trip to Cambodia is one I will hold in my heart always. Thank you so much for your sponsorship and ultimately your partnership on the wonderful adventure I was blessed to take this summer. I truly believe that God blessed my life after seeing and experiencing Cambodia, and I hope to share some of that with you.
As I try to sum up 6 weeks of God’s glory into one letter, so many emotions and thoughts fill my mind and my heart. I wish I could bring Cambodia back with me. However (that being impossible), I hope to bring what I have learned back with me to share with others. My time there was so sweet and it was great to see all the work God is doing among the people of Cambodia! I went with a team of 7 other Americans (all in their 20s) from all over the United States. We met at training a week before departure, and spent that week together getting to know each other and getting to know God’s heart even more. We started off as complete strangers but 6 weeks later, saying our good-byes in the airport, it felt like we were saying good-bye to family. Each of these wonderful people has such a heart for God and a heart of servitude. It was amazing to see how each of them was seeking after God on their own, and together as a group.
Once in Cambodia, the first amazing opportunity we had was to teach in a local school. This school, Logos International, is a private school that started out as a school for a few orphan children and has now branched out into two sister schools. Here, we were able to teach English as well as various subjects at summer school. The children (as well as us teachers!) had a lot of fun learning and connecting God’s Word to every aspect of the summer school curriculum!
Another opportunity that we had was to teach an outreach program in the school’s gym twice a week. The gym at the school was outside and yet, in pouring rain or scorching heat, the kids showed up every chance they got to learn English and get the chance to swim in a clean swimming pool. The bonus was, when they got there, they were told Bible stories and sang praise songs in their own language. Most of these children had never heard of Jesus before, and were fascinated by the stories being told. It was such an eye opener to see how much we take the ‘common’ stories in the Bible for granted and how much power and awe we should still find in stories like that of Jonah and the Lepers that Jesus healed.
My very favorite thing we were able to do on this trip was spend time at Haley’s House Orphanage. Because of the major problem of child trafficking, most orphanages will not let people in to visit. However, this orphanage was affiliated with the church we were attending in Cambodia and they allowed us to come on several occasions and love on the kids and just spend time with them. Each of the kids in the orphanage has a heartbreaking story, and yet each of them knows they have a Savior that is ultimately their Father and they are filled with so much joy from that. These kids (ages 5-16) go out into the community and share the Gospel and its power with the people around them. They are unafraid and really show what the faith of a child looks like.
Coming home was difficult. Although I was ready to be back to see family and friends, I felt like I was leaving something behind. The last day we were there, we went to go see the Haley’s House kids one more time. While we were there the kids clung to us and cried, begging us not to go back. It was a hard goodbye. When we got back to our house, I immediately went to my room and cried. I sat on the floor, suddenly angry wondering why God would allow those kids, and myself, to hurt so much and asking why he brought me there. It was then that song lyrics came to my head and all I could hear over and over was “break my heart for what breaks yours”. These were the lyrics to a praise song we had sung at training. During this song, I had asked God to make that my prayer. I asked Him to break my heart for something that breaks His, and he did….the orphans.
I know now where my passion lies, and where my ministry is. I don’t know exactly how God plans to use this long term, but my heart is for the orphans. Right now, I am planning on spending my spring break in Russian orphanages ministering to children. God has also shown me more and more that He is in control. I am recently engaged, and my fiancé shares the same passion for orphans that I do. I know this is just the beginning of God’s path, and I can’t wait to see where it leads.
Thank you again for being so generous and for partnering with me on the beginning of the amazing adventure that God has laid before me. If you would like to continue sponsoring me as I journey now to Russia, it would be a great joy. More than anything, however, I would just like to thank you and ask that you keep me in your prayers as God continues to reveal His plan in my life.
Thank you and God bless