‘I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert’ – Isaiah 43:19
This verse in Isaiah speaks to me about how God is in control and can do anything – He can cause water to spring up out of a barren desert. He has been teaching me this in so many ways during our time in Cambodia.
The team from InnerCHANGE Cambodia extended us extraordinary hospitality, inviting us into their homes and lives for 3 weeks and so we had the privilege to glimpse life as a missionary living with the urban poor. These are people who have been serving in Cambodia from a few months up to two decades. They taught me that following the call of Jesus to love people on the margins in a cross-cultural context is laying down your life for the pearl of great price: the Good News of Jesus Christ.
We witnessed what a sacrifice it is to learn a new language as an adult: re-learning basic words for daily survival. It’s a humbling process that seems to strip you back and require a deepening of your dependence on God.
During a neighbourhood walk we were invited to consider how the Kingdom of God is already breaking out and active in the lives of Cambodian urban poor. A team leader explained that since arriving around 20 years ago, their work has been to try to keep up with what the Holy Spirit is already doing here: such a hopeful and humble perspective to take as followers of Jesus, particularly in a cross-cultural setting.
This lesson of dependence and submission was reinforced for me when I attended 4 days of training in Christian Coaching. We met an inspiring cross section of Christian workers, Cambodians and ex-pats, and witnessed the power of the Holy Spirit at work in their lives through coaching conversations.
One of the premises of coaching in Christian context is that every follower has the Spirit at work revealing His will. The work of the coach is to ask powerful questions to expand the coachee’s thinking and begin to reveal what God has already placed in their heart. Learning the process revealed the depth of my self-dependence as a strong desire to give advice rose up in me time and time again. Over the 4 days of training I was supported to release more control and to see the Spirit powerfully at work. It was a deeply freeing experience, the truth of which I will hold onto and work to remember for all areas of my life.
Through the faithfulness and generosity of the people we encountered in Cambodia, God extended my faith, opened my eyes to see His sovereignty more clearly, and drew me to both a deeper dependence on Him and more concretely towards a life lived with people on the margins.
We are beyond grateful to Mark, Susan and Soriya Smith | Sopheak, F, Bethany, Em and Ben Soeung | Joy Kreider | Olivia Wyatt | Maggie Wong (Inner CHANGE Cambodia) and to Kevin Stebbings who delivered the coaching training.
Looking forward to what God reveals through our time in Manila throughout February!