Samaritan’s Purse Discovery Trip #9: What Will Happen When You Return?

This is my ninth journal entry as part of the OCC Volunteer Discovery Trip. The material relates to the seventh 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
  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? [this article]

Journal Guide

Once the Discovery Trip is over, and before you know it, you will be home. I wonder how this Discovery Trip will change you. Will this experience leave you with just a few great pictures and perhaps new t-shirts? Or, will the time spent overseas encourage you to be the Christian that God has called you (and us) to be. Will your parents notice a difference in your life – not just over the few days after your return, but in six months to a year later?

I recently asked a parent of one student who went on our Discovery Trip why his daughter chose to come on our trip that year, and he responded by saying that she had wanted to experience whatever it was that made the huge impact to her brother’s life, who had gone on a Discovery Trip just the year before.

Remember 1 THESSALONIANS 5:24

God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.

Close your personal devotion time in prayer by asking God to help you live out the commitment that you have made in response to His call. Thank Him for the faithfulness you know He will exhibit in answer to your request.

Journal Write-Up

It is timely that I spend the mid-afternoon today to blog/journal. The first half of the day was spent at church, where the two Cambodia mission teams were commissioned. Whilst it was so encouraging to see the entire 12-member team that make up the Clayton Church/Campus Crusade team on stage, our small team had to make do with one member unavailable. The sharing before the whole church was definitely very thorough and all-encompassing, complete with some photo slides. A church-wide prayer was offered up and I was happy that my Dad also came along to show his support – normally he attends another church.

I had already agreed to join the church mission team in their prayer support group lunch, and even though I was not expecting it, they included me in the group prayer session at the end; my presence at this event providing a link and sole representation for the Samaritan’s Purse mission team. It was also interesting to hear briefly from church families/friends who had just returned from their own holiday trip to Cambodia. As we prayed, I saw God bringing together all our different teams in a grand strategy type of way, where each team was a cog instrumental in his long-term movement across the nation of Cambodia.

The sermon preached this morning was the first in a new series Arise & Build, focused on burdens. One of the key takeaways for me was that we can have earthly burdens or God-given burdens. God-given burdens can also be considered Holy discontents. The key difference in helping us identify whether our burdens are early or God-given is in the focus. Earthly burdens tend to reflect our selfish desires and intentions whereas a God-given burden is a compulsion of sacrifice and personal cost. An earthly burden would have us think about what others need or should be doing, instead of a God-given burden and mentality where our thought process is focused on how we can rise to the challenge. It was in this way, the topic of burdens relates to the series theme of “arise and build”. We face daily burdens, but when they are God-given, instead of selfish worldly burdens, we maximise our chances of arising out of the situation and improving our lot in life. Whilst an earthly burden and our motivation to address it can crumble under pressure, Godly burdens result in a purification and deepening instead. Ultimately, the resolution of an earthly burden results in a restoration and focus on ourselves, our reputation. However, a God-given burden will end up glorifying God.

In this way, the sermon was preached in a God-given timely fashion; each of us going on this Discovery Trip have a shared God-given burden for the cause – helping to distribute Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. God does not just give us burdens to bear, He also equips us with His Words of wisdom, His strategies around prayer, and His vision that He is sovereign over all. In considering what is our own vision and view of God in relation to our burdens, we were given a quote by Cyril J Barber:

The self-sufficient do not pray; they merely talk to themselves. The self-satisfied will not pray because they have no knowledge of their need. The self-righteous cannot pray because they have no basis for their approach before God. Nehemiah in spite of his influential position and leadership capabilities, still found it necessary to go to God in prayer.

The lesson for us is not to lose sight or focus on God and what He can accomplish. After all, in God, all things are possible. In seeking and following God’s plan for us, we can combine both a spiritual and pragmatic approach, preparing ourselves with both a view for touching and connecting with the people involved, as well as connecting and receiving from God.