HAPPY CANADA DAY!!!
The tiniest detail in which I obey has all the omnipotent power of the grace of God behind it.
-Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest (June 15)
The past couple weeks have been action-packed and wonderful. I've done a lot of reflecting on how the Ashley of today is different than the Ashley who moved to Central Illinois in September 2009. Thank God for the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. And for grace. And for His love...
I keep challenging myself to keep God as my "frame of reference" through which I view all little aspects/details of life in this world. It has been difficult and uncomfortable but truly a growing experience and I am so thankful for my beloved family in Christ who keep me on track and speak gracious truth to me! Believing/trusting and living what [Romans 8:28] says, that God works all things for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose has been SO freeing and scary all at once. Letting go of my agenda, my hopes and my plans for the "perfect conditions" or "perfect scenario" has allowed me to be receptive to God's direction, God's plans, and God's conditions and scenarios... which of course are THE BEST directions, plans, conditions and scenarios! It's so cool how He does that; promises us the best (which, admittedly may not be what we categorize as "the best")..... and then carries it to fruition. How little we think of Him to question and hem and haw when faced with the tiniest bump in the road of our existence!
I am still awed by how God has blessed and opened doors this year, especially in the area of Cambodia.
I had read the books, researched articles and watched the video clips, but I had experienced a couple closed doors and was at one point looking into just booking a flight on my own and had even asked a friend if she was interested in accompanying me. I knew I had to somehow get to Cambodia. Dennis (THANKS, Dennis!) suggested I look into OMF for summer mission trips, and I was very excited when the Cambodia team coordinator (hi, Bonnie! ^^) replied right away. Ever since that first email I sent, I've been prayed over and encouraged and I am so so grateful for everyone at OMF and especially for Bonnie for giving me wise words of advice and guidance! She's off to Japan for her own mission trip and I'm looking forward to hearing about what she learns during her time there...
Now it's the end of June. Just over ONE MONTH until I fly to Cambodia... and I still do not know what to expect. It was SO wonderful meeting my Cambodia teammate Carmen Chow at the OMF training session in Toronto on June 11-12, and my prayers are with her and her family in Hong Kong right now. Our plane tickets were booked last week, which makes the pending trip much more real to me... but still it hasn't really "hit" me that I will ACTUALLY be GOING to CAMBODIA. Praise God that He is big enough to handle (and guide... and teach) my small-mindedness hahaha.
So! Quick overview of my current Cambodia Preparation Status
(Let's also make this double as a Prayer Request List! Please pray for all items that are un-CHECKed~)
- Met with, am keeping in contact with and praying for teammate Carmen: CHECK
- Valid passport: CHECK (remember to tuck in $25US for traveler's visa!)
- Plane tickets: CHE- wait. They're booked, but have not yet received e-ticket from OMF office
- Travel insurance: CHECK
- Immunizations: Please someone keep me accountable for this! I should have done this ... a long time ago.
- Finances: Still a few hundred dollars to go, but I totally trust that God will provide! There is still time for this.
Woo! I took a break from writing because I was getting sleepy and MAN did anyone get outside tonight??? I went for an exxxxtra-long run, just to enjoy the black, velvet-y, star-dusted sky! AAAND as I was cooling down and stretching, an orange moon rose and... .. I really revel in moments like these. MMmmmmmM.
I've been trying to go easy on the Cambodia reading as of late, because I found that around May all my reading and thinking about the nation had started making me feel veryyy burdened and heavy and weighed down. I do want to keep up with current issues, especially in the Phnom Penh area, but I also want to do so with discernment and wisdom. Please pray for this with me.
Oh I have so much more to say, but lest I bore you I shall stop for now! ;)
You do have a video to watch, after all (PLEASE forgive my lapses of major nerdiness). I clearly cannot gauge time when recording videos... watch til the end for a couple "bloopers". HAHA!
If you've stopped by and read this update, please do leave a comment! Whether to respond to the question I ask you in this video, or just a word of encouragement.. I would really appreciate it. Thanks! :)
Once again, I thank God for my friends and family in Christ who have prayed me to this point and I am so excited to see what MORE God has planned. Whether it be joyous revelation or painful heartbreak, I am praying that I maintain a teachable heart.
I love you! Thank you! Talk to you soon.
Blessings and Love in Him,
For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! AMEN.