Monday, August 20, 2007

Relaxing, Eating and Visiting

It's Monday morning here and the last two days have been quite relaxing. I think the Lord is teaching me to slow down and just be still before Him. It's so easy to come here and pick up with the activity oriented mindset that we have in North America to maximize every moment here by being 'busy'with meetings etc but its been nice just to rest and slow down. Yesterday we went to New Jerusalem Church, a church planted many years ago by the C&MA and even though the whole service was in Khmer it was good to just be there. I spent the time in quiet reflection praying and asking the Lord to bless this church where quite a few young people attend. At one point of the service the pastor invited an older lady who had a limp to come forward and he asked the congregation to stand and we all began to pray in Korean style that the Lord would heal her. This is the first time I've seen this done in Cambodia but I'm not surprised after all, people in South East Asia tend to be more sensitive to what is going on in the spiritual realm than us in North America.

We had lunch with an OMF intern who is of American Cambodian descent. In her mid-30s she has returned her for the first time since she fled this country after it fell to the Khmer Rouge. She is working with Blue Gate which is a ministry that is run by the prision fellowship here in Cambodia and is involved in training the counsellors who minister to ex-convicts that have been released. One of her challenges here is to stay focus on what the Lord has called her to do as the needs are so many in this place that it is easy to want to jump into too many things. We plan to visit BLue Gate tomorrow afternoon to pray over her and also the counsellors. So I'll have more insights on that ministry later on. But I realize from talking with her that Cambodia indeed can pose a challenge for those of us who have a tendency to have that 'Messiah complex' of wanting to rescue all who are suffering. It is very easy to fall into compassion fatigue here and in talking with other international workers here it is not surprising that burn out especially is common. We all need to be mindful that Jesus is our safety net and as one of my mentors once told me a 'need'is not a call.' Abiding in the Vine becomes of utmost important in this environment when you are constantly bombarded with needs that are so in your face.

Later that evening, my 'personal translator'and good friend Cathy who is serving here with OMF invited us to a sumptious dinner at her place. She and another friend used to run the OMF home in Toronto. SHe is gifted in the culinary arts and an amazing chef. We ate home made Pad Thai, her Filipino version of Lok Lak--a Cambodian dish of meat and french fries---Char you would have died for this, and my favorite Asian vegetable Morning Glory which for those of you not familiar with this veggie it is very leafy and flavorful which perhaps can be attributed to the fact that it grows rampantly around the sewage areas!!!! It really does taste good though and this is coming from one who is a meat eater!

This afternoon we will go to TLC --the Transitional Living Centre. I hope this will be the first of many visits there. I'm looking forward to seeing these young 'friends' and giving them the gifts we brought. We will spend our first hour praying with the team of counsellors there before the girls arrive as they spend most of their days at school at the Newsong centre.

More to come on my next update.

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