“For I do not want to see you now and make only a passing visit; I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits. But I will stay on at Ephesus until Pentecost, because a great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me.” (1 Corinthians 16:7-9 NIV)
I am counting down the days until I return to Cambodia. The truth is that I loved every minute of my time there and I wasn’t really ready to come home yet. So, even though I have barely recovered from jet lag, I will be hosting the first team meeting for the November 2014 Cambodia Mission trip. This team will work on Phase 2 of the biogas digester system construction begun by the September 2014 team. November is right around the corner!
Since I have been back in the United States, so many people have wanted to hear about our September 2014 trip, listen to our stories, and look at our pictures. However, as many people have expressed their misgivings, fears, and doubts about missions trips. Their main issues are: 1) why are we spending money to help people in a foreign country when so many of our own people in America are suffering?; 2) why are we traveling in foreign countries when there are so many threats to personal safety and health, like ISIS and the Ebola virus?; 3) how do we know that our money and time are well-invested in a developing country like Cambodia? I don’t know that I have answers that would satisfy everyone, but I do know the command that Jesus gave to His apostles that I believe apply to Jesus followers today:
“He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts of the Apostles 1:7-8 NLT)
I believe that some people are still being compelled by God to go to the ends of the earth with Jesus’ message. I happen to be one of those people. In addition, I know that God is concerned about all those who are oppressed and needy wherever they are. David wrote this Psalm that describes God’s concern for the poor:
“He will rescue the poor when they cry to him; he will help the oppressed, who have no one to defend them. He feels pity for the weak and the needy, and he will rescue them. He will redeem them from oppression and violence, for their lives are precious to him.” (Psalms 72:12-14 NLT)
Our small outreach in and around Phnom Penh, Cambodia is our humble contribution and expression of our understanding of God’s concern for the poor.
So, with that being said, our November team will pick up where the September team finished. In September, we made great progress on the new toilet/shower facility adjacent to the biogas digester, but only made a small start on the new piggery. When complete, this new piggery will be the home to 25 new pigs who, along with the existing pigs and cows, will provide the manure for the biogas digester’s resident bacteria to produce methane gas. Christy Francois is standing on the site of the new piggery in this picture below:
While we are there, we plan to spend time with Lacy Beach who was a member of our September mission team. Lacy stayed behind in Phnom Penh, Cambodia as an intern with Cambodian Care Ministry. We are proud of Lacy and are looking forward to participating with her in an outreach to homeless children in Phnom Penh in November.
While we prepare for this November trip, a few team members and I will be singing this song by William McDowell that was so beautifully recorded and placed on YouTube:
Is there something that God has asked you to do that you are holding back on because of other people’s expressed misgivings?
“Never hope more than you work.” ~ Rita Mae Brown
(photo credits: Linda Freeman and Lacy Beach, Takeo Province, Cambodia, September 2014)