This blog post was written by Mason. He came on an eight person short-term team with Eternal Life Ministry http://www.yselm.org.
It seems like only yesterday that we were on our flight to Cambodia. Our team leader, John Lee, put together a manual that contained numerous articles regarding the current state of Cambodia, MTW’s core values, short-term mission values, and devotionals. The team read the manual to prepare our hearts and begin the trip grounded in the Lord. When we landed, we were greeted warmly by Pastor Luke, Chris Tak (an MTW intern), college students, and the hot weather. After a three-hour van ride, we arrived at Angk’jeay village, where we’d serve for the next week.
Over the course of the trip, our team primarily facilitated English lessons, taught Bible studies, ministered to children through Bible lessons and activities, and led praise. Our team also held special workshops, such as a computer class, personal finance class, guitar class, and photography class. We also partook in the village’s Sunday worship, which was a huge blessing because we got to worship God with people from all walks of life. For the worship, Pastor Walton preached the Word with the help of Bolong, a college student who interpreted the sermon for the Cambodian members. We also joined a Bible study with adults, which blessed the team tremendously. After a fruitful time in the village, we traveled to Phnom Penh, received an overview of Family Clinic, worshiped with the MTW team, and fellowshipped with college students from local churches. Throughout all the work, we developed rich bonds with the Smith family, MTW team, and the people of Cambodia.
Coming to a foreign country and serving constantly definitely came with struggles. We didn’t realize how big of a toll the heat and packed schedule was on us. Thankfully, Pastor Luke reminded us how critical getting good rest was to serve and to not burn out. Also, given the extensive preparation prior to the trip, we wanted everything to be perfect and stressed over every single detail. In these times, we’d remember the power of prayer and lift our anxieties to the Lord. The devotionals prepared beforehand were essential to once again see the big picture and know we are not doing any personal mission, but God’s mission. Although it was tough during the trip, the struggles definitely helped us to understand what the Smith family endures constantly and how we can better pray for them in the future.
The missions trip was certainly a blessing for the entire team. This trip was especially impactful for not only our team but also for our entire congregation because Angk’jeay will be the village John Lee will be serving long term. We all remember the initial village tour and seeing John’s future living quarters and how real it all became. As we were serving in the village, we realized that John is as much a member of the village as he is a member of our church. We’re excited to see our brother serve the amazing village of Angk’jeay and glorify the Lord!
We want to thank the Smith family for their loving hospitality. We will never forget Sohka’s delicious home-cooked meals that gave us energy throughout the tiring days! Because of the family’s warmth and love, we felt welcome in the village since day one. We also want to thank the MTW team in Phnom Penh for showing us the great work God is doing in the city. The entire team was a huge encouragement to us and we were truly able to experience God’s glory and faithfulness.