Cambodia Journal: Day 5:1

It was our last day at AIM today.

It kind of felt like we were just starting to break the ice with many of the children as well as the staff. It’s honestly quite sad to be leaving today; to be finished with our time at AIM for 2013.

If it was up to me we would spend a week working the children and a full week working with the adults. The disciples are a really special groups of teenagers and adults who have been called to and are living out the call to take care of their community, their families, and perhaps most importantly the children of Svay Pak.

Story after story after story a glorious display of Gods unchanging love and grace. Their stories are stories of Gods’ great movement in his people regardless of position, wealth, race, creed, or station.

The morning started out as usual. Our team has been very committed to prayer and preparation every morning. Prayer, whether short or long, has proven to be the necessary crux on which our trip has hung on. This has been pretty amazing to me. God shows His power and his faithfulness in so many ways in our lives, but coming to Him in prayer always brings about answers and action. God always responds. He never leaves you hanging, and the Cambodian people are just another shinning example of this truth.

So, we prayed. Doing so in faith that again God would show himself in the midst of our day. And He did not disappoint. We got down to the van and pastor was asleep waiting for us. We climbed aboard to take our journey to Svay Pak one more time for this trip. As we arrived a few minutes early again it offered us a chance to spend time with the children, those precious children, and reach out to the staff.

We delightfully distracted the class up stairs as we played guitar and sang, “Making Melodies.” The kids have really taken to our songs even though they are not really as exciting  as their songs that they worship to during their worship times. It just goes to show that God works through the heart not through our earthy flesh.

Our time passed quickly through the morning. We were really woken up to the loud shouting and dancing of this mash-up of a DC Talk song (Jesus Freak) and a Matt Redman song. The kids are so cute and so many of them know the words to the songs even without being taught. They know all the dance moves giving everything they have each time. Giving everything they have to Jesus!

Two of the most special moments of worship for us with the kids was when the song “open The Eyes of My Heart” started playing. We were witness to some of the most awe-inspiring pure worship I have ever seen.

An aside. I have intentionally, until now, left out stories and vivid examples of these kids lives. This trip I have intentionally kept from taking too many pictures so that the story I tell would not be tainted by the gawking of first world people at third worlders.

The reality to me is that even though theses children live in the worlds worst conditions, and the most dangerous areas of the world their physical poverty is nowhere near the level of spiritual poverty that first world countries are currently experiencing. Jesus is able to take the worlds worst and turn it into the bearable and blessed. Even in their suffering, perhaps especially in their suffering, Jesus is with them and working through them.

Each day, for the past three days we have gathered at 9am  and 2pm to worship with children that live in stilted wooden boxes. Children who wear the same clothes day in and day out. Children whose only hope is in the AIM organization, who is there everyday to take care of and minister to them.

These are children who just the day before might have been taken by their parents and sold to a pimp or someone else. Often times they are rented out, like a car, to be used and abused for the day. This is a reality that is so far from our minds and realities. 70-80% of the children that come every day have been victimized. Unimaginable to someone from the outside. Imagine if you went to an elementary school in the USA and pointed out that even 1% of the children in that school were being trafficked each day and night by their own parents for profits. There would be a tear apart, a ripping away of the parents from the children. But this is their reality. This is their life.

In any case, these are the children and teen disciples that stand before us. Some of the teens just barely avoiding capture, who stand before us singing out the lyrics, “Open the eyes of my heart. Open the eyes of my heart, I want to see you. Lord I want to see you. To see you high and lifted up, shinning in the light of Your glory. Pour out your power and love, as we sing holy, holy, holy.” As we sing this song this tired and worn out song, it was refreshed and renewed by the ones singing it.

Context is always a great reminder of what truth is. It reminds us that truths never become untrue just because we’re grown accustomed to them. Truths never lose their power because they seem powerless in our daily lives. Truth is always true, and truth is always powerful.

These children singing out these prayers asking God to show himself is so powerful. They ask and they surely receive. Out of the ashes comes life. One must allow God to burn away the unusable in life in order to showcase his brilliance! And God has designed us to be brilliant, bright, and beautiful!

After worship we told another testimony and the miracle of Jesus walking on water. The children continued to enjoy our puppet show. I have to admit, at first I thought it was not the greatest idea. Especially since we didn’t have time to properly make really nice puppets, but God totally used every second of the chop stick heaven for His glory. Every moment of questionable story telling for His name, glory, and renown.

Stay tuned for Part 2.