My verse for this trip is Jeremiah 31:3-4. It is the ultimate love God has for His children and what He can ultimately bring for them here on earth:
"I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving kindness.
I will build you up again... Again you will take up
your tambourines and go out and dance with the joyful.''
There is great joy in Cambodia and I have found it at unexpected times. Yesterday we went to a rural school three hours outside of town. I saw poverty in Ecuador, but this was a different type. This was idle poverty where you sit around because there is literally nothing else to do. This is boredom that robs people of opportunity and denies them a good standard of life. It was hard to watch and I wondered who could come in and sit beside these people and help them achieve what they desire for their community?
We pulled into this school with shrieks of joy coming from the students. It was the most amazing sound. We made simple crafts with the kids and they held them up like prizes possessions. We passed out PB&J sandwiches to some of the neighborhood kids who aren't in school. They accepted them and ate them so meekly. Cautiously taking the seconds we offered. But they giggled while they ate - the pure laugh only true happiness can bring.
Cambodia is blowing away all my expectations and then some. I find myself learning from those we interact with what "dancing with the joyful'' means. How is it that I, blessed with so much, do not have half the joy these people do?
I can't wait to come home and share it with you, well actually, I can. But I miss you all and feel your prayers for the team.
See you soon.