God, where is Your Glory? Father, where is Your Hope? What are you doing Lord? These were some of questions that rattled through my brain and heart as I (Cathy) walked through the past two weeks in Thailand and Cambodia.
From 15 February - 1 March, I had the priviledge to join 13 women on a two week mission trip. We spent time in orphanages in Chaing Mai, a refugee camp on the Thai/Burma border, military communities in Cambodia and the bars of Bangkok. Our goal was to point people - primarily women & children - to the one true God that can bring hope to their lives. Yet, I must admit, I found myself questioning "Lord, how can they hope in You?"; "How are You going to shine in this situation?"
Despite my cries, fears and unbelief, I saw God bring comfort, peace & hope to people that should be angry & depressed. I was challenged to think past my own personal feelings and to see how these people would embrace the love of Christ. Not all did, but some did and some had in the past and were excited about what God was doing in their lives!! Amazing and beautiful!
I will share more stories and pictures with you in our next newsletter - for I could go on and on, but I won't bore you too much. It truly was a life changing trip.
Many times we go on these trips thinking we are going to be the blessing, we are going to serve and what ends up happening is we are blessed more, we are stretched more, we are taught more by the people that we go to minister to. This trip had the same outcome for me.
Our team had two primary goals: teach and spend time with the women and children at the places we visited. I was on the women's ministry team. I had two talks that I gave. First, I gave the "gospel message" to the ladies at the Minefield. This community is primarily Buddhist and most have not heard the message of Christ.
It was an honor to share part of my story, how Christ has changed my life and the love He has for them. God moved and a few ladies entered into a relationship with Christ that day. The challenge now is the discipleship and growth piece.
There is a small community of believers there. We learned that there are three women that are Christ followers. This lady is the only one who can read & write. I visited with her and I was touched by how much she loves God, despite her situation. She lives in a hut, with no running water, cooks over an outside flame, survived the Pol Pot regime and the "Killing Fields". She lived several years in a refugee camp after Pol Pot was over thrown before she was able to leave and be reunited with friends and family. She became a Christian in the refugee camp and is so excited that we came to spend time with them.
We had shared our testimonies with the ladies at the MineField. We asked her to give us her testimony. Here she is sharing with us about her life, her walk with God and what she is hopeful for!!
As an American, I'm so spoiled. I start to question God's goodness towards me if something doesn't go my way. If I struggle with sickness, or a bad job situation, or have an argument with Lou, I wonder why God is allowing this to happen. It is all so trivial compared to what so many other people have to deal with -- that's where God's glory comes into play. This little lady, from Cambodia, loves God, despite everything she has walked through, she brings glory to God and her life challenges me to reflect on God's goodness and glory. I thought I'd be bringing that to her and God used her to teach me about His character. Amazing!