Monday, April 23, 2012


When we moved to Cambodia almost 2 1/2 years ago, I was excited to get busy working and making a difference here. One of the things I did first when we arrived was to familiarize myself with all of the various departments of Asian Hope and our partner ministries. That meant meeting a lot of great people and witnessing first-hand all of the lives that they were impacting. It was such a huge blessing and encouragement. However, as much of life here can be, I was simultaneously hit square on the forehead with the 2x4 of paradox. It was only a few months after we arrived and I had just left a small Christian school that Asian Hope supports with teacher training, material, resources...etc. This particular school enrolls very poor orphans from local orphanages (a likely place to find them). As I was leaving the school I had a sudden overwhelming feeling of insignificance. I felt like a drop of water in an ocean. What could I do in country that had so much hurt, pain, poverty and loss of hope? How could I help these wonderful people? I was one person. Still not sure of where I was going, how to get there, how to ask questions if I got lost...etc.
Some sweet kids that received clothing after their homes were burned.

Sharing the gospel in a remote village.

Some of our "neighbors" at our Christmas outreach at Logos International School

A young girl working at a fish market early in the morning.

Some happy neighborhood kids at our Spring outreach.

That feeling remained for about an hour or so until I listened to what God was trying to tell me. His words to me went something like this: "You are so hilarious and full of pride. Do you really think it is up to you to make a difference here? Do you really think you can do ANYTHING to impact these amazing people for good? I have been in the business of changing lives for thousands of years. I will orchestrate change in Cambodia, in my way and in my time. It really has nothing to do with you. The only thing I need from you is obedience".

It may sound funny but that conversation lifted a huge burden from my shoulders, heart and mind. All I need to do is obey what God has set before me and the rest is up to Him. Huge sigh of relief. It was then that I was reminded of a conversation that I had just had with one of my kids. I had asked child A to clean the kitchen while I was gone. When I returned the kitchen was still a mess. In a frustrated father tone I said "Why didn't you clean the kitchen?"
"I was busy."
Snickering a bit I said, "Doing what?"
"Putting the laundry away."
"But I asked you to clean the kitchen."
"I know but I thought I would put the laundry away since I know that needs to be done, too."
"But I had asked Child B (Not what I really call them) to do that".

This conversation illustrated to me the importance of doing what God has asked me to do and not trying to do everything. "Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice and to heed is better than the fat of rams" 1 Samuel 15:22. Don't sacrifice your time, money, talents on something that God isn't calling you to do. First, you will wear yourself out completely and second, you will be doing a job that He has likely asked someone else to do. If they don't do it, that is between them and God not between you and them and God.
When I think of the issue of each person in the Body of Christ doing what God is calling us to do, I often think of a huge, beautiful tapestry. The tapestry is the work of God in the world and each thread represents one of His faithful followers. If you are standing with your nose pressed against the tapestry, all you can see are a few threads intertwining. They don't make any sense and don't even approach a masterpiece. But when you back up and see the entire thing, you see a magnificent piece of art. The few threads that you saw up close are now an integral part of the whole picture. Missing any of them would be make the tapestry incomplete. In the same way, when individual believers don't do what God is calling them to do, threads are missing from the work God is doing on the Earth.
That is why God needs obedient Christians. What is He calling you to do? What part is He asking you to play in the tapestry? You are not insignificant!

"For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10


  1. Well said. Not long after you joined Asian Hope, God decided it was time for me to move on to another place of service in Cambodia. At the time it was very painful, but looking back I am able to see how God used those experiences to get me to where He wants me now.

    This also reminds me of the story of the boy who was throwing starfish into the sea. There were so many of them and someone asked him what difference would it make. The boy's answer was "It made a difference for that one!"

    Thanks for sharing openly and honestly. Your family has touched many lives during your time here, and I know it will touch more. May you continue to be blessed as you bless those around you.

    1. Thanks Karen. I appreciate the feedback. We are blessed to be here. Thanks for giving so much of yourself to Cambodia.