Woven Moments & Memories

My life here in Cambodia is made up of little moments.  I suppose my whole life is actually.  But I think I thought that lots of big things would happen here.  A few have.  Realistically, I shouldn't expect huge, radical things to happen all the time.  Of course,  I absolutely believe that God can do that.  I can't see things the way that God can.  I can't always see the fruit growing from planted seeds.  But a lot of times, it's finding joy in small things- a laugh from a girl who is aching inside, it's drumming on a table together in worship, it's dancing, it's the down pour of rain after a hot day, it's a word or a phrase spoken.  There are these moments I just take a deep breath, survey the people that surround me and take it all in.  In those times, I forget about the difficulties and I feel complete joy.  It's being taught how to make a paper heart.  A girl printing a picture of me she took and asking me to write on the back so she can keep it when I'm gone.  It's the laughter that shoots out of my mouth when I think of memories.  Such as: Me and my team jumping on chairs trying to catch rats, playing banana grams with made up words and definitions, doing a slip and slide on our balcony after it rains, or acting out and filming American Idol in our room when we should probably be in bed.  It's the love I feel when I remember a girl making me a beaded ring, an encouragment note from a team mate beside my pillow, the hugs and "kngm solang nak" before bed to the girls every night, it's watching tears cascade down the cook's(practically the centre mother's) eyes as we sing Happy Birthday and give her a card and a mere Coke.  It's real cake and candles, a birthday hat and a girl giving you a ring for your first birthday away from home.

 God strings these small moments together in a remarkable and intricate way.  These small moments have immense power.  I don't want to dismiss these moments, because like my team mate Drew said, " things can literally change in five minutes." You honestly don't know what will happen.  So I want to treasure these moments, be intentional, do whatever the Lord asks of me.  I don't want to take anything for granted because I never know when I will see them next.

One of the girls here went away for a bit to visit her family.  She came back on Monday and we were ecstatic to see her face again.  Then we found out that she came to get her things.  She is having health problems so she went home to stay with her family.  We prayed for her, said our tearful goodbyes and watched her ride off on a motorcycle.  Two other girls left suddenly for different reasons. It is possible that they could come back but we didn't get to say goodbye to them and I don't think they will come back before we leave.

Our translator, Ratana also had to leave for health reasons.  He has been such a help to my team and I am really grateful for that.  We didn't get to say goodbye or thank him for what he did for us, but I am realizing that this is not an abnormal occurence here.  

In all honestly, it scared me a bit after I said goodbye to the girl who left for health reasons.  Practically everyone was crying and you  could see how hard it was for the girls.  For me, it was a foreshadow of what is to come. In one week I have to say goodbye to a whole group of girls that I deeply love and care for individually.  My "sistas."  I know it will be difficult but I also know that the Lord will give me strength.   

Since things change so often here, people come and go- I want to be intentionally taking the small moments to tell the girls that I love them, I'm thankful for them, I'll miss them and I will be praying for them.  And even more importantly, listening to God, sharing His love for them and make it clear that they can find worth and joy through him.  Thank you Lord for these beautiful moments that make up my life in Cambodia.

A few of the girls grinding rice into a batter for dessert

My leader Brittany, me and Ansley on my 21st birthday

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