After many years of teaching in Cambodia I am finally returning to the United States for a time. My heart is still in missions and Asia but I believe God is calling me home right now. I don’t know exactly what the future holds in store for me, but I know that the last four years have greatly changed me and will stick with me forever.
Every year has brought new challenges. The first year, I remember that everything was just so new and challenging because I had never ever done it before. But most of students were very good and easy to handle. The second and third years were challenging because I had to be a dorm dean and love and discipline students who could be nice one minute and hate you the next because you wouldn’t change your mind about some work chore they must do. It was a deeper revelation of how God’s love is never changing and unconditional no matter the hurtful things we say and do to God. But at the same time, God still carries out heavenly discipline. For all of you parents out there, I am sure you already got those lessons down long time ago. But for me it was still a new experience. This last year, I learned a lot of patience. I saw how frustrated God must be with our slowness, our disinterest and laziness towards developing a Christ-like character. I could see more clearly how he must repeat again and again lessons important to our walk with God because we weren’t listening the first dozen times He gave us that lesson. As the years go by, I see myself more and more in the undesirable aspects of my students’ behaviors as it relates to my walk with God. It has taught me a lot about how much I still need to grow.
But besides all the spiritual lessons, I have grown to truly love all my students. Each are special and unique and just when you think you have them figured out, they surprise you. As the youngest in my family, I never had younger brothers or sisters. But now I feel like I have a few dozen younger brothers and sisters. I cheer their success, anxiously pray for them as they traverse their sloughs of despond, and rejoice to see sparks of spiritual interest kindled or burst into flame in their hearts. I love seeing the light bulb moments of understanding and the pride of accomplishment on their faces. I have experienced and seen so much here. I have seen God work miracles and answer prayer in powerful ways.
I have also seen how Satan is working more powerfully in this generation than any other to distract and cloud the mind to spiritual understanding. Young people in today’s world are surrounded by a constant barrage of attacks in every area of the life that is nearly impossible to escape from. Satan is working more diligently and successfully at “evangelizing” Asia than Christians. He is making sin in all its various distracting forms easily accessible to the new modern Asian. If only we could make Christianity as readily accessible. We are a step behind Satan, or maybe a few million is more accurate. But God is all powerful and has ways far beyond our imagination of bringing the gospel to every man, woman, and child in Asia.
But he does need human hands to do His work, human hearts to draw close to His hurting children, and human feet that will go onto Satan’s ground to rescue the dying and hopeless victims of a war they are unconscious of even being fought. There is an emergency in this world. Millions are dying in sin with no hope and you and I have the cure, the life-saving antidote. I am leaving Cambodia for a time because I believe that God has called me home right now. But I feel and see such a great need in the world for foreign missions that I want to return to it as soon as God leads me so. I encourage anyone who feels God impressing it on their hearts to go and share you knowledge to those who have none. All around the world people are desperately in need of missionaries to not only tell but show them what a true Christian is.
To those who God has not specifically called to foreign missions, do not let the normalcy of life hide the reality of the emergency of situation at home. Your neighbors and co-workers are living on a ticking time bomb. Do you recognize it as such? I know that it is easy for me to forget the true reality of situation. I pray that God will help us all not to be blinded by the mirage that Satan paints around us of a world that is not eminently in danger of a catastrophe of epic proportions.