|The Team just before they left|
As much as I love Cambodia and a piece of my heart still resides there, it is a terrible and evil place. 90% of white men are there to buy sex with young girls (like 3-15 years old young). In Svay Pak (pronounced s-why pock), where I was with Laura last summer and where our team is now, 50% of girls are sold every night by their own parents.
This morning I woke up to this update from Austin (Laura's husband who is leading the trip):
|(Click make it bigger)|
But when I looked into the face of girl who had just been raped, it became real. I looked into the eyes of a man who had spent money to rape a girl who barely looked 15. And my life changed radically.
Less than an hour later we saw the horrors of the Cambodian Genocide where 1/3 of the population was killed in less than 4 years. We walked the halls of the tourture center where there was still blood on the walls. I don't think my crying eyes had a break all day.
I begged God to please show me how this evil could possibly show His character. How could murder and rape reveal the glory of God?
And as I cried a heavy, ugly, cry all day God reminded me of two verses:
"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed in us" Romans 8:18God does not delight in evil. He destests sin. He hates when those made in his image are disgraced. God weeps alongside of us when we hurt. Jesus felt the pain of the whole world, past, present, and future, when he was on the cross. He isn't unable to sympathize with us, or with any who are hurting.
"The Lord is not slow in keeping his promises, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but everyone to come to repentane" 2 Peter 3:9
|The team with some awesome belivers in the local church|
Yet He withholds his wrath for the sake of his name. (Is 48:9) He is patient, meaning willing to endure suffering for a long time, because he wants more people to come to know Him.
He is willing to endure pain because of this evil because His love is so radical that he wants more people to know him.
He wants those men to know His grace.
He wants the moms who are selling their daughters to know His forgiveness.
He wants the whole world to turn and repent and see His face.
The God who loves,
The God who saves,
The God who forgives,
The God who comforts,
The God who sends,
The God who waits,
The God who is willing to take the wrath we deserve on himself.
That is the God who is in Cambodia.
Despite all the evil, God is there. And always will be.
Would you please pray for our students? Austin, Aaron, Korina, Jacob, Marietta, Nolana, Stella, Hannah and Luwam. Also for this man- that justice would be served and that he would know the gospel. They will be gone all week, hopefully I'll be able to keep you all updated with what He is doing there!
Counting my gifts:
37. A team of servant hearted students willing to go to the hard places
38. A wonderful new coffee shop that doesn't add to the slaves in the world by serving Fair Trade coffee
39. A patient God
40. The promise of glory revealed and knowing one second in Heaven is going to be all worth it
41. Extra surprise money so I can go to Allume with Laura!
42. Green marshmallow peeps (my favorite treat!)
43. A free cup of delicious french press coffee just when I was wanting one
44. The feeling that Uniquely Made is really coming together!
45. New music that refreshes my soul