I was planning on staying home and preparing for my first year of teaching. But God had another plan. He sent me to Cambodia for three weeks. I had no idea why, but after much prayer, I decided to obey His call and go. I thought that He would reveal His purpose for me going when I got there, but He didn’t. It was frustrating being in place where I had to constantly trust and obey that this was the Lord’s plan. I’m still in the process of processing the trip, but I can now say without a doubt that God sent me to Cambodia to have my eyes opened to the horrible injustices millions of people face each day. He wanted me to understand what it means to enter into the brokenness that surrounds me.
I am confused and lonely upon returning to the States. I am disgusted with how the world in America works. How we live such rushed lives and honk horns because someone can’t pull out of a parking space quick enough. How we throw away money on worldly things. I saw sights in Cambodia that I will never forget. Pictures and places that will remain ingrained into my memory. I heard stories of the deepest pain I can imagine. I saw children working in brick factories. I saw eyes that are lost and people aimlessly wandering around looking for hope in the wrong places. I cried puddles of tears for the lives I couldn’t save. For the kids I had to leave. For the lost souls.
For the first week of being in Cambodia, all I could think about was how broken and unfair the world we live in is.
Life is not fair in the slightest. I hated seeing the houses some of my favorite kids lived in. I cringed when I heard stories of girls still being taken away on the back of a moto in the middle of the night. My heart shattered each time I was holding a precious child in my arms – not knowing what the rest of their life would be like. I was frustrated that I couldn’t do more to help the people in Cambodia. My sweet friend and seeker of justice called these frustrations with the injustices in the world holy. Holy because only the Lord is able to heal the deep brokenness. We are so weak as humans. There is not a quick 3 step solution to solving the horror of child sex-trafficking or other injustices in the world. It takes patience. It takes faith. It takes prayer. I love what Romans 8 says:
“Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Likewise the Spirit helps ups in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groaning too deep for words.”
We have to have hope in the unseen. We have to have enough faith to believe that God will bring justice and healing. We have to surrender what we cannot do to what He can do. When I realized that the Lord has already accomplished justice for the world through the Cross, it was easier to hope for the unseen and pray for healing in Cambodia. In God of Justice, the author writes: “The cross of Christ gives us the hope that we need to do the work of justice…The cross of Christ teaches us that justice is ultimately won, so no matter how long it takes we know that when God invites us to do justice with Him, we are already part of a successful mission!”
What a beautiful mission the Lord has called us all too. To seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with Him (Micah 6:8). Yes this world is unfair. Yes, there are senseless horrors everywhere we look if we took time to look up from our phones. There are hurting people out there waiting for shalom – flourishing peace – to be restored. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to work with Agape International Mission (AIM) –they are living out the Lord’s call for justice. I am filled with hope and awe at how God is working on one little street. Places that were once brothels are now a church, a school, a sewing shop, and a children’s home. The Lord is working and bringing His light and His healing into one of the darkest parts of Cambodia.
I ask that you join me as I move toward brokenness with compassion. Compassion that loves the lost, serves the sinners, and cares for the outcast. The Lord moves toward us with compassion & grace. What’s stopping us from doing the same?