My year in Cambodia is coming to an end, and more importantly, my year volunteering at this Christian International School is coming to an end- in exactly 4 days. I will be honest about many of my struggles this year. This year has been difficult in many ways and absolutely incredible in others.
Though I might not understand how God has shaped me this year in Cambodia, I know sometime in the future the fruits will grow and He will show me what all those struggles were all about. If there is one thing that God had me work on this year, it’s submission.I don’t like to complain too much about not getting paid while doing the work that I do here, but I won’t deny that it is not a struggle. As the teachers talk in excitement about getting paid each month for their effort, I sit in the back and wonder what I get for my effort?
It is not the easiest to get along with my colleagues as well. Yes I have definitely had great moments with them, going to the beach for a few days, random nights out in town eating ice cream… but more often than not, I don’t feel 100% comfortable around many of them. Whether it be an invisible tension or the fear of being judged for who I really am, it causes me to venture out into the rest of Cambodia and meet friends in many different other ways. And perhaps that’s exactly why God put me in that position!
Since I had to venture out into town more often than not to get a break and some fresh air, I have met amazing people who are either traveling for a few days or have decided to settle for a few months. Friends who I know I will be in contact with for many years to come. God has proven His faithfulness to me through the joy I have recieved from outside of my work and living enviornment.
I am happy to help any of my friends if they ask for help, but when it comes to an acquaintance who I don’t get along with, one who takes me for granted and one’s attitude that gets to my gut every time they speak, you’ll have to drag my butt off the chair to do anything patiently with love for them. It’s only through God’s strength and grace this year that I have learned to submit to others, at the same time have patient and be humble in everything I do.
Before I came to Cambodia, I had been telling myself that it will be good to spend a year in a Christian enviornment, living with colleagues/house mates who I would be able to fellowship with and build up my faith before I go to University. Ironically, God has not only pulled me out of that eniovrnment a lot this year (though I feel like it’s a little sad…) , He showed me I don’t have to purposely put myself in an enviornment of Christians in order to feel Christ Love. God has used me to speak to friends who might not be Christians through my time spent with them, and simply being a friend. I have heard friends question me about the stereotypes of Christians, and how I break many of those stereotypes. I praise God for the gift He instilled in me to be able to minister the way I do.
With that being said, I’m no where near perfect. There are days where I will be proud, arrogant and just want to be Praised for what I do here. There are days where I curse and wonder why I’m spending my time with people who are causing me frustrations and stress that I don’t need…. Thankfully God is still working on me. Despite all that, I Praise God for His patience and His constant unchanging love.
1 Peter 5:5-6 … Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.