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Grateful

The past couple of days for me have really been focused on thanking and praising God for His goodness.  I had a conversation with one of the boys at the orphanage that made me realize how I have taken some of the good things God has given me for granted.  The boy—who we will call Lon—is nineteen years old and he lives at the orphanage with his younger brother.  Lon is trying to finish up his last year of school and he would like to go on to study at an university.  As Lon and I were talking, he told me that he is the only Christian in his class and he always feels alone.  He explained that he didn’t have any close friends and no one believed the same things that he did.  He said, “Every day I feel so discouraged.”  Lon asked me if I had any Christian friends and it hit me then how much God has blessed me.
 
I am blessed beyond what I deserve with wonderful friends and family who love the Lord and are great examples to me.  I am spoiled with unconditional love and support from my team here in Cambodia and from my loved ones back home.  I don’t feel that I am ever seriously persecuted in my classes at school or from my community, like Lon is here in Cambodia.  But being mocked, persecuted, accused and feeling alone is a very real thing for Christian’s in Cambodia.  I know there are Christian men and women here that I can connect Lon with and that is what we are working together to do—but man, I felt so thankful for what I have been graciously given.  I can’t take that for granted, because I think of Lon and the battle he fights every day.  For some reason, God hasn’t chosen that battle for me.  Lon and I agreed that even though my team and I would be leaving soon that we could email each other to encourage one in another in our faith and walk with God. 
 
I’m also grateful that God is continuing to make a lot of things clear to me.  There were many reasons I came back to Cambodia—but one thing I knew was that God could get me away from my routines so that I could really focus intentionally on Him and His will for me.  And that has happened.  I have been able to step outside of my world and look back at it with new eyes.  There are definitely parts of my life that will be different back in the United States so that God can continue the work that He is doing in me.  I’m looking forward to that and every new day that I get!
 
It’s awesome seeking a deeper intimacy with God every day—I know it’s an ongoing journey that will continue through my life.  But I love knowing that my relationship with Christ didn’t hit its max in Cambodia, because it just keeps getting better from here.
 
I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!
 
Peace,
Hannah

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