Slightly amused with my visits to Cambodia – First was pre-braces, Second with braces and third (this trip) without braces. Okay cheap thrill.
I went to Cambodia this year without much expectation. All I wanted was God to show me His heart. I knew that MHI’s mission trip wouldn’t be as draining as other trips but yet it was not an excuse to not be aligned with God.
The journey to the airport was already amazing. Firstly, I managed to wake up. Secondly, PP came to pick me and the driver who is her friend’s friend, refused to collect money from us. Thank you for blessing us, uncle.
I was on the plane, overlooking Cambodia and my heart jiggled. I imagined what Francis Chan said in ‘Crazy Love’ that God, the God of the universe knows us BY NAME and has a plan for our future. Yet with my 550 degrees eyes, I was unable to see a single being, let alone their names or their future. Thank you for loving me!!
Cheap thrill 2: A random kiddo at the supermarket asked if I am a film star. My ego was polished. LOLOL
Devotions that day, I felt led to share on Acts 20:20-25 – Faithfulness and Ministry.
I really never imagined myself signing so much throughout this trip since I wasn’t official interpreter yet, I don’t know why I signed so much, that I feel my sign is better. Also, rooming with PP was amazing because I never knew how a deaf wakes up in the morning. Now I do (: Thank you PP, you are much loved!!
We started the day at the first school, KT. I did not know what to do or how to react as it was my first time in a deaf school. In the past, the first thing I would do would probably run around with the kids and make weird noise as a form of communication. In that school, it was serene and everything was just through sign language. I think even in this, the introvert in me took awhile to adjust to my surroundings to step out of comfort zone to get to know them and even start teasing. Maybe the devotions I led was meant for me. Lunch time = play time and the kids were earnestly learning our sign names and ensuring that all their friends know our sign names. This particular girl, as I was playing with her, one side of her slippers broke. Her lost face got me lost as well and my heart sank. There was nothing I could do for her. I would totally go out to get slippers for her, if I knew the place well enough, I would fix it for her if I had superglue but I had none. All I could do was to use first-aid tape to tape it together temporarily. Yet, that temporary moment got her smile back. Is there more that I can do for her or for these people?
Cambodian Sign Language class was veryyyyyy draining. Yet, I really think it is an honour to learn how to sign in another country’s language. One thing that most of us agreed on is that it is easier to sign than to be speaking the language.
I have never been the soccer or even ball game kinda person. In the past, captains ball was more of dodgeball for me and I will run when the ball comes. Now, BRING IT ON! It felt even more amazing that even though they can’t hear, they play with their eyes and play with their limbs. My legs felt like they were communicating with them through soccer and as rough as they are in the game, after the game, they are just gentle giants!
Dinner with Pastor BL was life changing for most of us, if not all. I was at the other end of the table and did not really hear what was happening at his side. Much life changing jokes and we started talking across the table, till he shared his journey as a missionary, the table was quietly listening. He made it sound as if responding to God was so easy like ‘hey God, what’s next’ kinda thing (imo). So when I asked ‘why does it seem like responding to God is so easy?’ Yz asked ‘how about you just share what you are going through and hear what he has to say?’ So I shared that I am taking my first step to DTS next year and God is preparing my heart for this next season.
Shock shock horror, Pastor BL went through DTS too! And when he shared his struggles and God’s faithfulness, my heart jiggled. He emphasized that God is the God of ‘how much more’ and He will give you far greater than you even require. He also talked about living under your means so when you give you will give generously. What he got me thinking was that even after DTS, I may or may not be called into full time immediately but it is the waiting and the trusting that moulds me and my character to receive God in His perfect timing. Remembering what God said to me on day 5 of my journey, patience.
A simple dinner got many to be vulnerable and even helped someone else be affirmed of her calling. Wow God, I asked You to show me Your heart and You have already blown me away!
We went to church that day and the moment I entered, my heart started to swell… Worship got me cryinggggg even at ‘One way Jesus’. Every time I enter a worship session with another language, I will cry. Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord!!! There was this song with English title but the rest of the song was in khmer “Your love enough” and though the song was in Khmer I totally did not understand, the presence of the Lord was soooo strong! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VF4zP04-0Bc
Lesson of the day: You don’t need lyrics for God to move in your heart.
What I was also amazed with was the translation system we had. So imagine: the Cambodian pastor preaching in Khmer, a translator to translate Khmer to English and another translator to interpret English to Sign Language and for those who could not hear the Khmer to English translation, some would read the Sign Language to voice it out in English. #teamwork