Global Renewal’s Blog

Archive for January, 2012

God’s Provision=Luxury

by davidnliney on Jan.28, 2012, under All

As Told by Volunteer, Rachel Guzy

Nothing could have prepared me for this trip to Cambodia until I walked it out, and it was the more phenomenal than I ever imagined.

I felt prepared since first hearing about the epidemic of human trafficking in Cambodia.  I wanted to know more and wondered how we as Americans could allow slavery to exist on any level, anywhere in the world!!

Being the first time to travel to Asia, I learned about Cambodia before arriving in June 2011, as well as human trafficking as it existed there.  I felt ready, but soon learned that readiness and preparation failed to prepare my heart and eyes for what I experienced.

Although there are many differences between myself and Asians, that didn’t seem to matter.  I felt love.  The natives I interacted with were quiet and reserved yet made their presence known through their hospitality.  They are overly generous with the little they posses.  Much can be learned from this people.

As I visited members of the church, although, I had an interpreter, if that were necessary, it didn’t matter I couldn’t communicate in their language or them in mine.  I later learned we were both well versed in the language of love.  We were warmly welcomed into a member’s home.  Even though it was my first time to meet this family, I felt as though I was catching up with an old friend.  We sat on the floor as the grandmother began to share the many ways in which God has provided for her.  I wanted that, too!!  I thought how easily accessible it is for us to just go to the doctor when we are sick because we can afford the payment of that in some way or another.  Here, they don’t have that luxury.  God’s provision is their luxury.

I was asked to teach English to the Bible school students in their facility every night.  I was reluctant to teach.  I remember thinking to myself, ‘This is not what I came here to do, I had not prepared for it, nor do I have the slightest clue as to how to begin teaching, let alone building rapport with people I couldn’t communicate with.  I do not want to do this.’  I quickly learned that structured lessons were of no benefit because they would just write/repeat what I would write/say without knowing the meaning.  The change had to first start with me and so I adapted.  We were active in learning; I taught them the hokey pokey, and we enjoyed each other.  Teaching was on the forefront of my mind when I woke up, went to sleep, anytime I was not teaching, I was thinking about teaching and what I would teach the students next.  They were so hungry for it.  They pulled everything out of me; I left them not knowing what else to teach.

By this time, I had forgotten all about the reason I went there, until plans were made for me to take a trip to the safe house.  Now I didn’t want to go.  The day after our arrival at the safe house, Trully and I, headed out to local remote villages.  I experienced things in these villages; my story does no justice for.  I learned that these people have nothing because they don’t know better and if you don’t know better, how can you do better?  It is impossible without an education or freedom from oppression.  And if you think it is so simple to get an education there, think again.  While school is free, if the students do not pay the teachers, the teachers will fail the students.  So what is a child to do when faced with poverty in a nation where $60 per month is excellent pay?  “Get a job,” they say.  Well if it was only that easy.  Whatever your hands find to do that day is what you do.

Walking the “bar area” (which really means prostitution area), I wanted to know what I could observe.  Acting as though we had no idea as to where we were, we met a young woman, 14 years old.  My mind was racing with how I could save this child from slavery.  I mentioned that if she would leave me her contact information I would teach her English by writing simple letters and she was delighted.

I brought this issue to the attention of the Chackos upon our return to the training center.  As we debriefed, I realized that my idea  to rescue this girl and the others involved would not be beneficial at that time.  I wanted this child out of situation badly, but I didn’t want to have to prosecute the bar owner we also spoke to.  She was working in this condition out of means to meet a need. I was confused until I reminded Liney she told me to pray for my own victim of trafficking and this was the answered prayer and that she had to do something.

We decided that on the next trip to visit this girl, we would share with her the plans we made to have her stay at our safe house and I would sponsor her education (of $15 per month), with the condition that she not return to that work. (NOTE: We are still following up on this case–please pray for her freedom.–GR Team)

I left Cambodia, sad!!  I regretted not extending my trip.  I was not prepared for this night.  I cried with the students that shared how I impacted their lives.  This trip is forever engraved in my memory, never to be forgotten.

Since being home, God has not stopped His work in me.  He is showing me more and more His love and provision that is unique to me.  I pray that I will return to Cambodia some day

 

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The Slums–A Place of Extravagant Joy (11.04.11)

by davidnliney on Jan.04, 2012, under All

As told by a GR Volunteer–SUSAN A. THOMAS

One day, I had the opportunity to visit the slums with Kim Cheng and another student.  The first area we went to was flooded with thick brown water; until then, I had never witnessed a flood.  There were slum homes (with open windows and doorways) lining up the alley with logged water trespassing through the inside of the homes   Where did all the residents go, I wondered.  The students will forge through despite the floods (if they are on a motorbike) but since we were in a tuk tuk (google it :-) ), we could not go.  I was both upset and relieved.  Upset because of all the things I had the opportunity to do in Cambodia, this could have been the most fulfilling; and relieved because of the fear I had of entering into murky waters that would cover me up to my waist.  To my comfort, Kim Cheng did not give up; instead he turned around and went to another neighborhood.  There was trash everywhere.  People lived in 200 sq. ft rooms – that was the whole house.  It had wooden planks as floors – underneath which there was no foundation.  The wooden planks had spaces between them, underneath was the earth filled with trash.  They would slide little pieces of trash through the space in the planks and so they lived above and around trash.  The stench was awful.

There, we visited this lady who was on fire for God and her Buddhist mother.  The mother is 78 years old.  We had a chance to talk to them for some time – of course I could not talk much because of the language barrier.  Before we left, one of the students who were with me, Kim Cheng, asked the grandmother if there was anything she wanted to bring up in prayer – she said her legs were giving incredible pain.  So, he prayed for her.  Under normal circumstances, we would have left after the prayer but for some divine purpose, I was suddenly led to ask if she would like for me to massage her legs.  There was no forethought of this request; rather, the question just flowed from my breath as if I were being guided physically to speak out loud.  When Kim Cheng translated the message to the grandmother, she nodded in response.   So, I showed Kim Cheng and the other student how to massage and all three of us began massaging her.  The experience I had during this time is difficult to explain but was incredibly fulfilling.  Because there was a language barrier, I did not talk much; instead, I spent those quiet moments in prayer.  I suppose it must have been the prayer and the Holy Spirit’s impression upon me that enabled me to take the bare feet of this stranger and rub it with so much compassion and love.  I began to feel so much love flowing through me; it was overwhelming.  We spent a good 30 minutes or so massaging her legs and back in 90-degree weather in an enclosed room with no air condition.  My shirt was drenched in sweat and sweat stains even soaked through my pants; the grandmother kept saying that it felt so good.  I could see in her eyes that she had such gratitude for our labor of love.  I could not have been more fulfilled.  She said that the pain is so severe at night that she cannot sleep.   I told her that Jesus loves her and for her to ask Jesus to heal her in the middle of the night when she feels the pain.  She just nodded and smiled.  I don’t really know what we did for her – the language barrier made it difficult to communicate – but I could tell by her arms around me and the gratitude in her eyes that she felt loved.  What better thing can you do for a person?

Then the King will say,
Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored,
that was Me—you did it to Me.
Matthew 25

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