As my room mate and I stepped out of the metro station in St. Petersburg, Russia, it was as if someone had pushed pause. There was one significant difference: traffic stood still, but time didn't. The clock was ticking. At 8:50 a.m. you could almost feel the collective blood pressure rising. People were late for work, late for school, late for appointments. People on trams had paid their fare, but weren't getting their ruble's worth!
Was there any significance in this grand inconvenience? Could anything be worth this pain?
A few summers back Laura and I had the opportunity to go to Cambodia (you can read about it here and here.)
But when the opportunity first came up, I shut it down with out even blinking an eye. It turns out the objections I had to going were pretty common. Here are the objections I had to going (and ones you might have):
1. I'm not called to overseas missions.
Yes, you are. We all are. This is a direct lie from Satan to stop you from obeying God. God commands (not suggests or strongly encourages) us to go to ALL nations. Matthew 28:19 says: "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations." Do you know what the Greek word they translated as all means?
“Be still, and know that I am God.
Until the age of twelve I lived on a dairy farm with my parents and four siblings. We never went on vacation. Neither of my parents had been on a plane. Our lives were full and hard-working and centered on the 70 acres and the dairy cows that comprised our farm. Here I learned to trust God, especially as our dreams of farming crumbled. I have not had a chance to go back to that farm except for a quick visit, but I know if I could, I would remember and experience anew the presence of God as He met me there in hard times and young faith.
In 2011 I went on a mission trip to Cambodia. When we arrived at our ministry location, a small village surrounded by coconut trees and rice fields, we were all smelly and hot from the intense humidity of Cambodia. They handed us a bucket and showed us the muddy pond full of fish, frogs, and the occasional snake and told us that we could use the pond water and the bucket for our showers. I didn’t shower much that month. I didn’t sleep much either because it was so hot at night, but God showed me the reality of how the Cambodian people live, and for that I was so thankful to live as they live, to experience life as they experience it, to share in their meals, and to learn as much of their language as I could. That month I went by the name Sung Khem the Khmer word for hope. Khmer is the language spoken in Cambodia.