Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Experiencing the Body

Mini-Series: Why I Love Living In Cambodia
Experiencing the Body

I know it's been a little long since I last posted on this mini-series, but it isn't due to a lack of things to love about living in Cambodia, just time to write about them!

Last night I was chatting to a friend as we drove together in my trusty old Camry through the dark streets of the city. The events of the last weeks filled our conversation.

The night before our husbands had been called out on their bikes to look for a newly arrived teacher who had been missing for an hour and a half on the dark night roads. Thankfully she had just lost her way and eventually made her way to someone's house. Only two weeks before the Roberts had opened their home to the Rhea family and housed their entire brood of kids (I think that made 14 kids total in the house!) while the parents went with their daughter to Bangkok who was seriously sick from a snake bite. She laughed and said the new name for their family was "The Rescuers".

It is true. We do rely on one another so much over here. There were many times that we called on people for advice or help in the beginning years. Now as we shift to the “veteran” sector (the people called on for advice, help or late-night rescues) I realize what a blessing it is to be tangibly involved with those around us.

There are no safety nets here. There is no fire department to call, police security to trust, no adequate emergency medical care, and very little infrastructure in the country. Life feels raw. It comes, not neatly packaged, not with directions, and there is no number to call if you have questions or complaints. You feel your stark aloneness. But you also realize and depend more on the nearness of God and the body of believers that surrounds you. Strangely it makes me feel more alive than I’ve ever felt before. Less scared, less alone.

When I’m together with other women, there is a common understanding, a desire to help and lift one another up, a blossom of friendship that can exist even because “we are here together.” Most of us are stretched beyond our comfort zones, sometimes lonely, sometimes exhilarated about being able to be here, sometimes struggling with marriage, family, with following after Him.

It has been a tremendous blessing to find a common bond, to gain sisters in Christ, with women from extremely diverse traditions and circumstances. It’s like I am allowed to peak just a bit further into the masterpiece of God’s hand at work. Brilliant colors, stories of redemption, stories of pain, but ultimately stories all wound up in the red thread of Christ’s redeeming blood. His work is beautiful.


Kate said...

This reminds me of some good conversations you, Kelly and I had about feeling nearer to God overseas than at home.
You should compile your mini-series when you're done and submit it for publication somewhere....

Barry and Norine Plett said...

Thanks Kara for the inspiration!! You have said it so well. That is what we felt there. (You really blessed us and took great care of us.) I have been wondering how to get that here in Canada. We are so independent and maybe don't always feel the need for God and HIs body the wame way. We love being part of the body with you--even if we are across the ocean. All the best with your family, and the next school year!!

Mom Z. said...

I'm just reading a book that says 'One great purpose in all affliction is to bring us down to the everlasting arms. What new strength and peace it gives us to feel them underneath us!, in its essence is simply resting on the everlasting arms. It is trusting them and not our own weakness." When all the outward securities are stripped away, which you definitely have over there,you feel the need for and resort to those everlasting arms much quicker-what a blessing!

Kara said...

Kate, I do remember those conversations! Wish we could pick up again soon...

Norine, we did nothing for you when we you were here! We were still the newbies too and juggling kids :). We continue to miss and love you guys.

Mom, good quote! Sometimes I worry about going back and getting used to the "cushions" and feeling all to self-sufficient.