Posted by: សារ៉ា(Sarah) | August 19, 2013

Transformed

Where can I even begin?  I am still Sarah, but I am a different Sarah than I was nine months ago or even five weeks ago when I entered the AFM training simulator.  Sarah with a different perspective, a different experience – a reshaping worldview.

Although God had already been working to transform each person who attended AFM training, our experiences there remind us that He will continue that work and one day complete it in each of us.

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”  ~Romans 12:2

“Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”  ~Philippians 1:6

I could tell you about many things we experienced, some serious and others humorous (some part of every training, others unique to our group): the Crucible (or not!), penguin circles, sak sak, made in America, carrying friends, delivering medicine to a village, “I’ll teach you how to do a headstand…” and other distractions, “One-two-WOO!  One-two-RAA!”, shipping Bibles, worldviews, searching for raw eggs blindfolded, making friends at the mall, poached eggs and haircuts, a wall of lights at the beach our final night, and so much more!  But what we did is not important; rather it is what we learned from our experiences that transformed our thinking and ultimately prepared us for service (and that preparation continues indefinitely, even in the field in the midst of service).

We learned how not to be individuals focused on our individual rights.

We discovered the challenges, privileges, and joys of being a team forged in the testing fires of strain and adversity.

We practiced fighting for our team by listening (James 1:19 in action).

We participated in discipleship as disciples and as disciple makers.

We recognized problems with sharing the gospel from our worldview with people of a different worldview.

We considered dangers of mixing worldviews while at the same time learning how to lead people from their current worldview to a biblical worldview.

We witnessed the Lord working in our lives to transform us more and more into His image.

We saw the results of God bringing searching people in contact with His united children in such a way that those searching will never be the same again.  (Another story for another time, but please pray for Angie and Corry.)

In short, we experienced transformation.  And that is only the beginning…

This month and the next, nineteen more missionaries launch to various places around the world.  Our goal?  To allow God the opportunity to transform the lives of those we meet by continuing His transformation in us.  Please join us in praying that we will be able to, by God’s grace, remember and apply the principles learned in training to our real-life situations.

I thought you might enjoy a few pictures from training…

We enjoyed time reconnecting with old friends – Joelle's family were the first people I learned about Cambodia from.  I enjoyed the privilege of working with Joelle at WPY for three months my first year.

Emily H. (right) and I enjoyed an evening with old friends – Joelle’s family were the first people I learned about Cambodia from and I also enjoyed the privilege of working with Joelle at WPY for three months my first year.

Emily F., Jessica, Keirsta, and Julie enjoying one of our Penguin Circle lunches.

Emily F., Jessica, Keirsta, and Julie enjoying one of our Penguin Circle lunches.

One evening for worship we all went to Lake Michigan and built sand castles representing our various fields of ministry.  Each group shared their vision for God's work represented in each sand construction.    Chris (a returning student missionary from Cambodia), Emily H., and I attempted Angkor Wat, a symbol of Satan's stronghold in Cambodia and shared our desire to free people from that stronghold and build a stronghold in Cambodia for God's kingdom.

One evening for worship we went to Lake Michigan and built sandcastles representing our various fields of ministry. Chris (a returned student missionary from Cambodia), Emily H., and I attempted Angkor Wat, a symbol of Satan’s stronghold in Cambodia, and shared our desire to free people from that stronghold and build a stronghold in Cambodia for God’s kingdom.

Quentin and Casey preparing a special music for sundown worship our last evening together.

Two of the boys preparing a special music for sundown worship our last evening together.

I've learned to treasure time with other missionaries – especially the ones I'm related to!  Uncle David and Aunt Cindy live right at the training center, so I enjoyed very much running over to their place during free time.

During these past few months I’ve learned to really treasure time with other missionaries – especially the ones I’m related to! Uncle David and Aunt Cindy live right at the training center (for now), so I enjoyed very much running over to their place during free time.

A beautiful sunset down at the dock on AFM's property.

A beautiful sunset down at the dock on AFM’s property – have you ever thought of all the beautiful sunsets you’ve seen and realized that no two are exactly alike?  They remind me of the glorious work God wants to do in each of our lives and in the lives of those we will be ministering to this next year.


Responses

  1. I laughed at poached eggs and haircuts. 😀 Ah, what memories! I’m looking forward to all of the new learning experiences that are in store for this new year of service…

    • Jas, I know, right! 😉 Only five more days!!!

  2. Dear Sarah,

    I so appreciate the updates on where you are and what you are doing! I know that you are leaving soon and I probably will not get to see you before you go. I want you to know that our prayers are with you as you seek to do what the Lord has in mind for you.

    Love,

    Carol

    • You have no idea how much I always appreciate your comments, especially when I’m over in the mission field so far from half the people I love. Even just a few words can be such an encouragement at times when one feels isolated…and in that way you are as much a part of our ministry in Cambodia as we are because you help keep smiles on our faces!

      Love you, too! Hugs if I don’t get to see you before I leave…

  3. Couldn’t have said it better myself, Sarah. Happy early birthday!

    • Words can’t really describe the experience, but it was an attempt. 🙂 I’d say, “Same to you!” but since I already wished you a happy birthday a couple weeks ago, I’d better stick with “Happy Sabbath, Quentin!”


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