Samaritan’s Purse Discovery Trip #15: Day 6

Discovery-Trip
This is my 15th journal entry as part of the OCC Volunteer Discovery Trip. The material relates to the 13th journal day which aligned with Monday 8 February.

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
  4. Samaritan’s Purse Discovery Trip #4: 6 Days Before You Go 
  5. Samaritan’s Purse Discovery Trip #5: 5 Days and Counting 
  6. Samaritan’s Purse Discovery Trip #6: 4 Days – Not Long Now
  7. Samaritan’s Purse Discovery Trip #7: 3 Days Left
  8. Samaritan’s Purse Discovery Trip #8: Less Than 48 Hours!
  9. Samaritan’s Purse Discovery Trip #9: What Will Happen When You Return?
  10. Samaritan’s Purse Discovery Trip #10: Today Is the Day
  11. Samaritan’s Purse Discovery Trip #11: Day 2
  12. Samaritan’s Purse Discovery Trip #12: Day 3
  13. Samaritan’s Purse Discovery Trip #13: Day 4
  14. Samaritan’s Purse Discovery Trip #14: Day 5
  15. Samaritan’s Purse Discovery Trip #15: Day 6 [this article]

Journal Guide

READ MATTHEW 28:19

Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

If we want to really accelerate our spiritual growth we have to learn to care for other people’s spiritual condition. This verse is a command from God but will not be seen in our lives unless we view people the way God does along their spiritual condition. God is inviting us to be a part of His process for reaching out to humanity. When you choose to join in, hold on… you are in for a spiritual growth ride of your life!

In your life, what connection have you seen between knowing God and talking about Him with others? What is your spiritual story? What would you tell someone about the impact God has had on your life? So, who needs to hear your story?

Journal Write-Up

The nature of the Samaritan’s Purse Discovery Trip is not directly evangelistic. Instead, since the whole organisation is a Christ-centred missional organisation, the Gospel and disciple-making is embedded deep within its culture and approach to bringing about the Kingdom of God here on earth. Whenever we/Samaritan’s Purse impacts the lives of the poor and needy we are fulfilling Jesus’ command to help and love our neighbours. Instead of being individual-focused, Samaritan’s Purse has worked really hard over the many years and is now in a position to bring God’s influence to whole communities. The way that the Gospel underlines everything SP does truly demonstrates the long-term commitment to the people of Cambodia.

I have found that over the years of being a part of the God’s community and Kingdom, a lot of what I do is about the Kingdom of God. Previous commitment to para-church organisations like Christians 20/30, Engage, Church Unite and Prayer Across Clayton are all examples of where I have helped to be a part of the greater body of Christ, particularly in the specific cause of standing in the gap. Working in an environment where I know there are fellow Christians presents me with more opportunities to talk and share my faith. This has come to reinforce my view that I am where God has called me to serve – the local work-place mission field. As shared in the previous journal entry, I strongly believe that it is by the love, grace and strength of God that I am able to do what I do. Thus, the impact of God on my life is there for all to see and bear witness to. All my achievements glorify God. He was there helping me cope with the workload of full-time work and part-time MBA studies, He has been a part of all the periods of long hours at work.

Event Reflections

Monday’s program was focused on the one school and not even from the consideration of the Operation Christmas Child project, distributing shoe-boxes to the kids. Were we less effective in terms of mission and making disciples? Im my opinion, no. We were there to show God’s love in a different way to the kids. This was a school that was benefiting fully from the Samaritan’s Purse educational program, which included things like the classroom of tablets which enabled each class of kids to spend time using the apps developed that helped them learn vocabulary in a very interactive and modern way. The school books and resources showcased also were developed in partnership with both local providers as well as resourced from global sources of income. Sustainability is always part of the SP model of growth and progression.

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The realities of education in Cambodia are such that not even half the number of primary school leavers go on to high school! The reasons are varied but include the fact that parents themselves do not see the outcomes and benefits – where their children spend 6-7 years in school yet come out and are still struggling to read and write. The government is also taking steps to address the educational crisis plaguing the system – in April 2016 the salary of teachers will increase and therefore become not just slightly more appealing as a career choice, but actually affordable as a lifestyle. Prior to this improvement, the livelihood of being a teacher is really low; the pay and overall conditions barely enable a teacher to survive, let alone prosper. Past examples of just how bad this has been included teachers requiring students to pay before class, because the teacher him/herself would have been in need themselves!

At each of the schools and churches we had visited, we presented to the leaders a bag of gifts for the school to continue using in the future – soccer balls, the paint sets, and various small goods that the schools would find practical. We took the opportunity in Sisophon to visit the local market to add extra items to these bundles of goods and ensure these were sizeable packages. Our local SP hosts initially misunderstood the scale of these additional donations, and when they saw the amount of stuff we had brought to give to the kids they helped us to package up the bags of items so that the churches and schools received the optimal set. Each school received a nice big bag of items, which was pretty amazing considering this was a bonus. The trigger for this item began after our December information briefing where we were told, as an aside, that we could also bring toys and gifts to the children. The general recommendation was Australian-based removal tattoos, which we brought. The four of us from Clayton Church had already planned to contribute our boxes of paint sets and bubble blowing toys. It turned out that our generosity was independently matched by the others in the group which was why we ended up providing a sizeable blessing to each school community. The playgroup equipment installed at the school we visited was part of the Samaritan’s Purse delivery.

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Bonding with the kids on this Monday was a special time. Whilst I may never see them again, the memories captured in some of the photographs (less so in videos) will remain some of my favourite moments from the entire trip. All photos included in this post were part of my selection in identifying the top 10 photos for submission in our post-trip photo sharing activity.
Nic Lee - 1007

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