Teresa Smith’s Reflections from Her Trip (Luke’s mom)
On Jan 7, 2017 DeAnn Harris and I took off on our almost thirty hour flight to Cambodia. We went to visit missionaries, Luke and Sokha Smith, who reside in Ank’jeay village. Luke is my son and Sokha is my daughter-in-law. DeAnn is a good friend of Luke and Sokha’s and now a good friend of mine and a great traveling companion.
Once you arrive you feel like you have already been through many dangers toils and snares (jet-lag). Ha! Even though it was my second time to Cambodia. It was a time of venturing out of my comfort zone and putting my complete trust in God.
First of all it was a joy getting to know my long distance grandchildren. Hannah was two and one half last time I saw her and is now four and one half. We had lots of fun with tea parties, playdough, and puzzles. I also gave her bread making and cinnamon roll lessons. She has mastered kneading bread very well. The dough took some pretty good punches but turned out some tasty bread and cinnamon rolls. Good job Hannah!
This was my first time to meet seven month old Asa . He is a very busy boy and just beginning to crawl.He seems to enjoy life in the village with the constant attention. What more would a seven month old boy want?
Now a bit about life as a visitor in a missionary’s world.
One of my highlights of course was just experiencing life as a villager. Since I am a country girl I adapted well. Not to mention eighty degrees in January. Not bad.
One of the things the Smiths’ do is teach English classes in their yard to the children. It was great to meet them and interact with them. Some are very fluent in English.
I read Bible stories, played basketball, and oh yes! The girls and I had a hoola hooping contest. You are never too old to hoola hoop. After meeting these beautiful children I know why Cambodia is referred to as “The Land of Smiles.”
Another thing I done was to recite a couple of the books of the Bible that I have committed to memory. I recited the book of Jonah and the book of James. I taught them the value of the memorized word of God. On my last night in the village three of the students had memorized Psalm one and recited word for word.I never dreamed that when I started memorizing scripture in my forties that God would send me to the ends of the earth. World Traveler was not in my vocabulary, but God had a different plan for my life.
I spent eight days in the village and four days in the city of Phnom Penh and two days of travel time. What an adventure! I truly saw God’s love all over the world.
This video is from the Christ Central Pres Church (http://christcentralsf.com/) and Christ Central Southern CA (http://christcentralsc.com/) short-term that served with us from August, 14th-19th. We appreciate their time and preparation in serving our family and the students in the ministry here.
This video was made by the Eternal Life Ministries Short Term Team (http://www.yselm.org/). From the 2:14 minute mark to 4:14 is about our ministry. They served with us on August, 12th and 13th. We are grateful for their help and encouragement.
This is a guest past written by Hojin Lee who was a member of the Christ Central Presbyterian Church summer 2014 short-term mission team.
When I first came to the village, my prayer was that God would show these Khmer brothers and sisters (most of them probably first generation Christians in their families) how precious worship is because worship is where we taste the heaven on this earth. To share God’s love was my personal goal for this mission trip, and I thought doing so was a good way to help them to see the greatness of our God as long as God enables each and every one of us. However, as soon as the Sunday worship started the day after our arrival, my entire perspective of this mission trip changed. Although shy, they were very welcoming and willing to be taught; they loved praising even though all they had were simple Khmer hymns; their eagerness to learn more about God was no less than any other Christians that I know of; and I could see that some of them truly delight in the Lord and enjoy the fellowship as I got to make friends with them. It was a humbling experience for me because I often find myself looking for something “greater” to satisfy what I “think” is the right and sincere kind of worship when all we need to know is the sufficiency of His grace and nothing more. It was myself, perhaps more than these Khmer brothers and sisters, who needed to acquire greater understanding of worship and realize the depths of the love of our Lord.
Now that I am back in the States, people often ask me, “so, did you learn a lot?” when I tell them I just came back from a Cambodia mission trip. To be honest, I have hard time answering such a question because I don’t know how much is “a lot.” Besides, I’m not very good at describing the events that took place either. However, I definitely believe and want to share that God has taught me what I had to learn through this trip.
There was a song that we sang together before the team departed from AKJ. The title of the song is “God is So Good,” and I would say that this song pretty much wraps up everything that I learned in Cambodia. The song goes like this:
God is so good
He answers our prayers
He loves you so
He’s so good to me
Also, one of the brothers named Sophea gave me a note that reads how all of us are going to see each other again though may it not be on earth because we believe in Jesus. How amazing is this? That we worship and praise the same God regardless of our backgrounds and that we will see each other again one day because we possess the citizenship to Heaven through Christ Jesus.
Indeed, God was good to the team, He answered all of our prayers, He showed us how much He loves us, and because of all these things and so much more, He was and is so good to me.