(I sent this out to a distro list on my email, but thought I would post it here as well)
Hey friends and family,
Well, i'm home safely! The trip was amazing. Its so hard to put it into words but I will try to give you a little bit of an update. First of all, if you would like to see pictures I have tried to sum up all my pictures into an album and you can view it here http://picasaweb.google.com/rwalkup520/CambodiaMissionTrip. Also, if you want to see the detailed day by day account you can go here http://missionincambodia.blogspot.com. I will also continue updating the blog as I get updates from the Pastor there. And there is a team going in December so if you are interested you can continue to get updates. Ok here goes what I have to say...
20,000 miles of traveling, 74 hours of travel time, 13 hour time difference from home, 37 kids, 10 team members...with ONE mission...showing Jesus' love by personally loving these children. As I wrote in my journal, I left the US excited to see these children and just love on them. When I arrived in Cambodia, tired and jet lagged, my heart was FULL of compassion for this country. I have never seen such poverty in my life. We spent a lot of time traveling in a bus and for as long as you can see on dirt roads is rice fields and markets. There was children taking care of children. Everywhere we went children and adults we trying to sale whatever they can. "Lady, you buy-one dollar, please, you buy" is etched in my memory. But the second we pulled up to the orphanage and these precious little angels were jumping up and down excited to see us and as the door opened they are bowing at your feet saying "chumree-uhp soo-uh", my heart filled up with love. I had been praying God would allow me to see the children as He sees them and my prayers were answered. Our time was limited with the kids and I wish so bad I would have had more time. But the time we did have was precious. I just fell in love with the kids. It's amazing to me that I could make such a deep bond with kids that don't even speak my language. I felt God there and saw Jesus in their eyes. They were the most well behaved children I have ever met. Always satisfied, smiling, content, and loving. Seeing their faces as they played in the Ocean was so rewarding. The hardest point was leaving them. I can see their tear stained faces chasing after the bus as we left. It was so sad to leave them but I know they are right where they need to be. These children are the future of Cambodia. Less than 1% of Cambodia is Christian and it will take these warriors for God to change Cambodia. It can happen! The Pastor there at the orphanage says he has a 3 part mission- 1)take care of the kids (give them food, shelter, and love) 2)train them with some type of skill and teach them English and 3)lead them into a growing relationship with Jesus. He has the kids from the time they come into the orphanage until the time they graduate college and get a job. I'm so excited to support this ministry too. Especially since I have personally met the children. It only costs $360 a year to send one of the kids to college. If you are interested in sending a child to college, please let me know! I know you weren't there and it's much different for me, who was there, but I would love to help them as much as possible. Overall, the trip was a success and I cannot wait to see what God has in store for me next. Thank you so much for all your support both financial, prayer, and encouragement. I definitely could not have done any of this without you! I have never been so uncomfortable in my life but I have also never learned so much and felt so close to the BIG God I serve. The trip was totally worth it and I will do another one as soon as I have an opportunity. I love you all very much! in Khmer, "Knyom sraw-line ne-uh nah"
With Christ's unfailing love-
"O Lord my God, you have performed many wonders for us. Your plans for us are too numerous to list. You have no equal. If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds, I would never come to the end of them." Psalm 40:5