For many that travel to Cambodia and serve the kids of New Life Ministry orphanages they realize as familiar as the country and the children become, every trip is different. God works through each of us in different ways regardless if it’s our first trip or 10th trip. Kelley has traveled to Cambodia 4 times in the last 5 years and he shares his story and experiences with us.
You might guess after three trips to the New Life Orphanages in Cambodia over the last five years, that a fourth might be just a tad less exciting.“Au contraire!”Just the opposite in fact. Why?
- New team! I have been privileged to serve under three, now four, terrific leaders. Each as dedicated as the rest and each unique in their vision, approach, and enthusiasm. Each time, we had a different set of goals and each time, we had the perfect team to meet those goals.
- Great new friendships made. As soon as I was driving away from our preparation retreat, I knew “this is going to work and work well!” The Lord assembled the right people.
- Seeing the Lord at work in new ways for the team and in my own journey. The “Lord of the just in time” met us as a team as we dealt with sickness while in-country. ”Mysteriously” team members were suddenly better. Being my fourth trip, I also came to expect how I might be attacked by the spiritual dark forces. The Lord protected me in such a manifest manner, I was left thanking and praising Him. Still do.
- Even though I missed the travels to Battambang and Bantey Meanchey, it was terrific to have ALL the kids from “up north” plus (for me) the bonus of meeting and getting to know the kids from Phnom Penh.
- Having seen many of these kids grow up over the last six years, knowing that somehow, my meager presence makes a difference to them… it excites me even more. As a past teammate said, “when I get there, I feel like I am home.” And I add, “I feel like I will see old friends that I have missed terribly!” God gives us such sweetness to our work.
There is no doubt that Christ will use each of us who journey half a world away to Cambodia to the extent we offer ourselves and allow Him to work through us. I am far from perfected in that respect, but am grateful for the times He has allowed me to be on the team; and, to be a big brother, a daddy, a friend to each of these precious young people and their dear leaders. Even if the Lord shows me my last trip has just happened, I can be thankful for the most special of times serving with loving brothers and sisters in Christ who have impacted very special and loving Khmer brothers and sisters in Christ.
I pray the Lord finds this small offering of myself to be worthy in His eyes. If He allows, I will gladly do so again and pray I will be more effective for His kingdom and for His glory.