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Opportunity Knocking at Your Door.

This past week was good ole’ thanksgiving. Being my first thanksgiving away from my family I was a bit sad but that feeling was wiped away with our lovely team thanksgiving dinner of chicken, KFC mashed potatoes, Dino Mac n’ cheese, cheese and crackers, corn, and stuffing brought from the US by one of my lovely leaders Elle. Following dinner we ate pumpkin pie, which I don’t usually like, but being in Cambodia it was a little slice of home.
 Luckily I was given an opportunity to skype with my wonderful family and speak with my love. Being here has made me realize how much I really appreciate my family and all of the people close to me in my life, so it was great to talk to a few of them. 
                                     
First Cambodia thanksgiving= Success  
 
Typical thanksgiving dinners involve going around the room and sharing what you are thankful for. Usual answers are Family, friends, food, shelter, careers, etc…  
 
Being in Cambodia makes you thankful for a lot that you never expected to be thankful for. For example; normal toilets, food that isn’t rice, air conditioning, cold showers, people not honking their car horns every two seconds, and junk food.  
 
But in all seriousness this thanksgiving, I had an epiphany. Yes, I am thankful for all of the typical things. I mean I have an amazing family, wonderful boyfriend, strong church family, great friends, food, shelter, and tons of other things but I never realized how thankful I am for the opportunities that I have been given. Forgive me for the overuse of the word opportunity in the rest of this blog.
 
Anyway, being born in the United States automatically gives me more opportunities than millions of people around the world. In the last 18 years in my life I have been given an immense amount of opportunities that seem so out of reach for a huge chunk of the population of the world. On this trip alone God has given me the coolest opportunities. 
These include;
Sharing the gospel my English class for the first time. 
Sharing my faith with three monks and showing them the Bible for the first time.
Teaching devotions to young women who need Christ more than anything
Loving on a community of people that live on little to nothing every day and providing a few practical needs to them.
Loving on a group of Orphans.
 
 
My list above only scratches the surface of the opportunities I have been given on this trip but this surge of thankfulness for opportunity didn’t hit me until the day after thanksgiving. I was sitting in a bar with a group of women that are working in the sex trade and it hit me how easy my life is. They shared their stories and these girls really had nothing. It didn’t matter how they ended up in the sex trade, they felt as if there is no other way. I have now realized the main reason why these girls are in these bars, clubs, and brothels is because of a lack of opportunity. These girls have huge dreams, they just feel as if there is no way to make their dreams a reality and in some situations that may truly be reality for them. Every single one of them would rather be doing something else, whether that be owning their own salons, being translators and/or wanting to be teachers. I thought to myself crap Erin, you have big dreams like these girls and it is so easy for you because you have been given opportunity. They don’t want to be working in that bar. I mean, who really would want that? I thought about how easy it would be for me to make their dreams in my life a reality just because of my birthplace. Yes, I would have to work hard but definitely not as hard as they would.  
 
Opportunity is defined as a favorable circumstance or advantage. How many times do we pass up opportunities that God blesses us with that other people can only dream of? How many times have we passed up using the gifts God has blessed us with in the opportunities God has blessed us with?
 
I am so thankful for the opportunities God has blessed me with. All I am sure of now is that I want to take advantage of the opportunities God has given me in order to use the gifts he has given me to bless the people around me. I want to use the opportunities I have been given to help others receive opportunities.
 
Fun Fact of the Week- Don’t color your hair dark brown in Cambodia. Cambodians don’t like their dark hair so they say its “dark brown” and it ends up having bleaching agents in it that turn your hair really light brown. Some things you have to learn the hard way.
 
America Bound in two weeks!
 
Much Love from Cambodia,
Erin


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