For the last hour I felt like I was right in Cambodia with Darryl, Jeremy, and Sarah. I could hear the motos, see the sweat glistening from their faces...all in the comfort of my cool room and snug duvet. That's right. I do not miss the heat. I do not miss the smells. But I do miss that edge. The edge that made me work to understand other cultures. The edge to understand the gospel as it relates to all people. The edge that made life uncomfortable enough to keep running back to safety in Christ.
Darryl has had a wonderful trip to Cambodia and will leave tomorrow for the USA again. The first few days were filled with happy hellos. He visited Logos and was overwhelmed by students and no doubt must have thought, if only I'd been this popular in junior high. It was good to touch base with students, staff, and the MTW team. It was good to reconnect with the bike mechanic, the landlord, the lady at the corner market, the burn lady at Russian. All those little relationships built up year after year.
"I'm ready to come home," Darryl said. "The first days were so nostalgic but without my work here, and you and the kids, I don't fit here." That's what life is isn't? We want to be where we have purpose and live that purpose with those we love. And that's how God moves our hearts to open and close to new avenues in life. I have a feeling Darryl will be much more eager to start a new job here after closing the Cambodia chapter.
I want to live that way. With my face forward. Looking with expectation and hope from the Lord. Each time I look at Cambodia I want to remember what God taught us in that time. I want it to sharpen us and push us forward in serving the Lord.
Imagine if we layed all of our experiences out before us and reviewed them...pain, hurt, joy, growth...and looked at them in the light of eternity. Imagine if we really profited from each one. Imagine if not one of those experiences was wasted but instead pressed us closer and harder to Christ allowing us to reach new levels of communion, service, zeal, worship. That's the joy of being a follower of Jesus Christ. Everything in life has a purpose. Everything has meaning. Isn't that beautiful?