For those of you who don’t know the backstory, last year (2011) I undertook a fantastic gap year at Morling College called “Plunge”. It’s a year-long program for 18-25 year-olds where participants are challenged to rethink their worldview, receive training in various topics varying from theology and ethics to cross-cultural mission and leadership skills, and are thrown into ministry opportunities of all sorts (including spending two and a half weeks in Cambodia), emerging somewhat bruised, giddy with excitement, and in serious need of a shower, but triumphantly clutching a Cert. IV Ministry in their sweaty fists.
It was one of the most difficult years of my life, but it was also the best. During this year my life was richly blessed by Plunge’s very inspiring, talented and challenging facilitators – Pip Berglund and Andrew Palmer- who used their gifts to help me develop my worldview and work towards deciding what kind of life I want to live. (For more information on Plunge you can find their blog here.)
One particularly challenging reality that was revealed to us during this year was during a lecture given by Pip Berglund about Missio Dei, the Mission (or sending) of God’s heart. Pip spoke to us about how the bible didn’t end with Revelation. In fact, with evangelism, the bible continues on past the 66th book as the story carries on – through us, the new disciples. You are the 67th book of the bible. I know for me that’s a huge challenge and an enormous responsibility. I mean, how many times do I do or say things that, in hindsight, I realise probably don’t make me the best ambassador for Christ-like living? How many times do I mess things up and do whatever I want – because of pride, or weakness of character, or jealousy, only to fall flat on my face?
It’s encouraging to know that God has worked through countless ordinary people before me, who have also made mistakes and done stupid things, who weren’t perfect – and he has used these people to accomplish amazing things despite themselves. God is lovingly taking me on an adventure; he’s taking me on a life-long adventure that will no doubt be painful and humiliating at times, but will always be worthwhile. This mission to Cambodia is just another chapter, and although I’m just plain old me, and I’m not particularly great at public speaking or brain surgery, I believe God is going to do some wonderful things and show me realities I’ve never seen before.
Please be praying for me in the next few months as I prepare to venture into this chaotic, beautiful, yet very broken country. In the coming weeks I will post more photos and information about Cambodia’s history, its people and some of its current challenges.