washed by the water

To think that this will be my last blog post in Cambodia seems absolutely unreal to me and brings about so many emotions.  Tonight will be my last night hugging the women and children goodnight, my last night sleeping under a mosquito net.  Tomorrow morning my team and I will be loading up onto some form of transportation (I’ve learned to never count on an enclosed vehicle, a wagon is likely haha) and waving goodbye to the women, children, security guards, and the compound I have called home for the past 2 months.  “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  Share with God’s people who are in need,” Romans 12:12&13
We will be driving 8 hours to visit an orphanage through our contact in Battanbong for a night, then traveling to Siem Reap for a few days to close out our adventure in Cambodia as a team.  We are even getting to ride elephants!!     
Things I will NOT miss about Cambodia:
            Having rice for breakfast, lunch, and dinner
            Flies in my food
            Roaches, beetles, scorpions, flies, mosquitoes
            Being dirty all the time
            Pouring a bucket of water on me for a shower
            Squatty potty
            The smell of my water bottle
            The smell of Cambodia
            Spraying bug spray on me morning and night
            Surprise Cambodian “snacks” throughout the day
            Mosquito nets
            Market juice
Things I WILL miss about Cambodia:
            Waking up to joyful Cambodian women saying “Hello Lo”
            Morning hugs the moment I walk down the stairs
            Taking care of the babies
            Sleepovers on top of a wooden table with a little girl in my arms
            Using my headlight
            Seeing large ox walk down the street randomly
            Tela (the gas station with a few American snacks)
            Singing Khmer songs at morning and night devotions
            Cambodian women’s pure beauty
            Feeling like I am tall
            Riding on tuc-tucs.
            Having a team of 8 CRAZY girls ready to perform a music video, talent show, dress up like Cambodian                  brides, or try to be Ryan Seacrest.
        Sharing the love of God to my Cambodian sisters
        Calling everyone SISTA
        Holding new babies every week at church
        Going to church in a tree-house, with no shoes on
        Looking up at the brightest stars I have ever seen
        The way we all talk in broken English now
        Swinging on a swing and understanding true worth
        Seeing monkeys on the side of the road
        Afternoon rainstorms
Things I have learned in Cambodia:
            A new meaning of service
            True joy, true freedom
            Pringles will wash out any bad taste
            NOT to bite my nails
           There’s no place I’d rather be than in HIS love
            French braid
           Starting to learn guitar
            Always carry toilet paper with you, bathrooms don’t have it
            Bridge while shuffling cards
            Not having a mirror for 2 months is a beautiful thing
            There’s power in the name of Jesus
I’ve heard the realness of their individual stories, and felt the authenticity of those stories as I wipe away falling tears.  The Lord has set a fire inside me for women to understand their worth in Jesus Christ.  These broken women who have escaped shady streets filled with predators, red light districts, and the dark pit of brothels have heard the story of Jesus.  They have been guided on how to remain in relationship with Him. 
 As this journey is coming to a close, I am reminded that the Lord has had His hand in every day here, and He will remain here when I am gone.  These women entered the gates of this compound desperate and broken.  I know that through God’s love I was able to have a hand in changing the hearts of those same women.  “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful,” Hebrews 10:23
Thank you supporters for making this trip possible for me, I will forever be grateful for your financial and prayer support.
These women will be in my prayers as they continue to grow in their relationship with Christ and start their new lives as they reenter the community.  These women, as well as the new women that are brought to this safe place after I am gone, will be in my thoughts and prayers.  The land of Cambodia will always have a special place in my heart.   
“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,” Romans 15:5&6

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