Samaritan’s Purse Discovery Trip #3: 7 Days Before You Depart

This is my second journal entry as part of the OCC Volunteer Discovery Trip. The material relates to the first day of actual journalling but publication here will not align to that actual day/date.

The other articles available for this series are:

  1. Samaritan’s Purse Discovery Trip #1: Introduction
  2. Samaritan’s Purse Discovery Trip #2: God First
  3. Samaritan’s Purse Discovery Trip #3: 7 Days Before You Depart [this article]

Journal Guide

So, have you answered this question yet: Why am I coming on this Discovery Trip?


God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

You are in for perhaps one of the greatest days of your life! You’ll be hanging with friends, making new ones, and sharing the greatest story of all time with people you do not even know now. If you let God do what He wants to do – in and through you this week – it is going to be great.

But why are you going? I hope you are here for more than the reason to see a new country, to be with your friends, or to just get away from home. I hope you are going because you have sensed God calling you to a deeper commitment, one that calls for you to give of your time and talent for Him.

What you to this week will be worthwhile, but let us remember that what you will be doing does not earn you your salvation. We see this clearly in Ephesians 2:8-10, where Paul tells us,

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Did you catch that last phrase? The first part of this passage is important, for in it we see that works do not earn a way to heaven. And then there at the last part of the passage is a statement that is so profound: God has prepared things for you to do in this life! Our Discovery Trip is one of those things God has prepared, in advance, for you to be a part of. Will you let Him do His thing? Write a few thoughts answering this question: What does ”… for we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Close this time of personal devotion time in prayer, asking God to use you (even before you step on that plane and go on our Discovery Trip). Let Him know, if you are willing, that you are totally His this week.

My Journal

I think to a certain extent, the Introductory and God First articles provide reasons for why I am going on this Discovery Trip. The joint application of my church team was a big factor – and yes, there is a social element to that, but it is also God at work. Personally, it makes sense that my very first mission trip is not an actual Clayton Church mission trip. It remains to be seen if and when I do go on a church-organised mission trip. I have always felt God’s clear calling to me that my main, long-term mission focus is the local community here in Melbourne, Australia. Opportunities like this Discovery Trip are put into context when you understand that this opportunity is an extension of the Samaritan’s Purse program and how they connect the local giving via churches to the global and international aspects of the program.

The call and selection of Cambodia was always a given since Clayton Church has sown deep into the Cambodia mission field, as of 2016 for a good 5 years or so. Cambodia was a chosen nation that my previous life-group chose to pray over. The call of Cambodia has also touched many people in my vicinity – not just friends at church going there on holiday or missions, but even my work colleagues have been attracted to this destination for their personal travel. The revelation of my colleagues also going to Cambodia / Siem Riep gives me affirmation that God is really up to something. Now, Siem Riep is a huge tourist attraction, and the Ankor Wat no doubt is one of the world cultural heritage sites, but the spiritual warfare also beckons.

My journey as a believer over the years has been strongly characterised by ministry service. Use of the Sacred Pathways material and style quiz, my results were:

  1. Activists (22) – bringing about social change
  2. Caregivers (20) – caring for and serving others
  3. Intellectuals (20) – their minds
  4. Contemplatives (18) – personal adoration and heartfelt devotion
  5. Enthusiasts (18) – celebration and mystery
  6. Sensates (15) – the senses
  7. Naturalists (14) – nature
  8. Traditionalists (14) – ritual and symbol
  9. Ascetics (12) – solitude and simplicity

The service combination with activism and care-giving is balanced by my intellectual and contemplative approach. In many ways, XBOP blogging is an opportunity for me to make the time for reflection and contemplation. I have been firmly rooted in my foundation of faith built upon the rock that is Christ my Saviour. It is my identity first and foremost in God that enables and encourages me in my walk as a believer. I am constantly walking by faith, trusting that He knows this pathway that He has planned for me from the very beginning.

My top three from the list show the strengths and nature of my style of worship/approach to God but holistically, all nine areas have double-digit scores, so even though solitude and simplicity are my least favourable way to approach God, I do utilise aspects of that pathway to approach and worship God.

Seven days out from our departure, my mindset is slowly catching up to the fact that the trip is just around the corner. To a certain extent, this week is still quite busy. Tomorrow, Australia Day, is a public holiday and I will be spending it at the Australian Open tennis. A few other events are booked in my calendar, but they all are considered essential with the plans for Sunday 31 January shaping up to be a moderately busy day.