I am less than 11 hours away from the beginning of one of the most exciting adventures of my life! I leave tomorrow at 7am to fly to Washington DC where me and my fabulous partner Sarah will be prepped by IRD (International Relief and Development) for a week before traveling 12 time zones ahead of east coast America to Cambodia. I have never been so far away from home before! What an awfully large adventure!
I’m really excited, not just for the adventuring aspect of the trip, but also because it will be a learning and growing experience. Cambodia is a country I know very little about. It is a culture wholly different from my own. It is a nation with a bittersweet past – one that as an American I am intimately connected to – and a timidly hopeful future. I am excited to see and experience local customs, to take part in local worship (which promises to be absolutely different than my traditional Presbyterian Sunday service), and to peer into the daily lives of regular Cambodian people striving to survive in substandard living conditions.
I have been on mission trips before. I have twice gone to Guatemala and each trip taught me something profound about God’s love and human endurance. I know that those trips were essential in forming my call to seminary. But, I will be in Cambodia for two months! That’s quite a difference than the 10 day alternative Spring Breaks I participated in as an undergrad. The nature of my internship – interviewing families who have taken part in a malnutrition prevention program – means getting to spend lots of personal time with local Cambodians. There’s no glamour to this job! And, that’s exactly why I so badly wanted to do it. It will be a trial-by-fire in the best (and maybe worst?) ways. I guess this is good practice for being in England for a year. :)
I pray that this opportunity allows me to grow as a Christian woman. I pray that this internship allows me to see the world how Christ sees it and to love those who are so completely different than myself in the way that Christ loves them. I pray daily that I may become the hands and feet of Christ; perhaps this grand adventure will be a refiner’s fire in my formation.