I like the water better over there.

I am currently sitting at T & Coffee World, otherwise known as the “Starbucks of Cambodia” (according to the internet). I recommend ordering either the iced coffee or mixed fruit smoothie. I also recommend choosing the more comfortable chairs on the left side of the café. Josh recommends not ordering the $1.50 bottle of water that you could get for $.30 downstairs at Lucky Market. This little world of comfortable furniture and expensive water has become our office away from home as we reflect back on the past three week stretch that marked our last two teams of the year.

The first of these was a medical team from Norway (and a nurse from the Philippines) who came to serve the community within the province of Svey Reang. They worked tirelessly and selflessly over 5 days and were able to treat over 1,000 people. These were people who may otherwise have no access to any sort of health care. They were able to be treated physically as well as have a chance to hear the gospel and get a tract that we are fortunate enough to have as a resource. We were talking the other day about what a tremendous resource this small book is because it is written all in Khmer and presents the gospel in a way that is directly related to the Cambodian culture, faith and individuals.

On another cultural note, I was introduced to some of the finer Norwegian delicacies during this time with the team such as “bacon paste,” “Bixits,” and "Fullkorn." We also have the offer of a place to stay if we are ever in Oslo. We like to make friends with people in as many countries as possible :)

The second team which left on Tuesday was a dental team comprised of folks from both Iowa and Oregon. They blessed Josh and I tremendously not only in their musical giftings (serenading us with an ode to themselves on the last night at the airport), but also in their humor, their attitudes, and their willingness to give us free dental cleanings :) No cavities.

We traveled to the province of Kratie to do dental work for 4 of our orphan homes over the course of five and a half days. This team, much like the Norway team, worked diligently and selflessly, blessing our kids and church home staff members, many of whom had never before seen a dentist.

The view from our hotel in Kratie.

Some of our favorite Cambodian staff and favorite Iowa dentist.

Over the course of these last two teams and doing teams in general the past six months I have been stretched a great deal, learned a great deal, and will hopefully grow a bit as a result of this. I have also (sometimes hesitantly) admitted to myself that the growth doesn’t always find me in the form I would prefer. I read this passage out of 2 Kings a few weeks ago and (perhaps embarrassingly) could very much identify with it.

2 Kings 5:10 (Elisha speaking to Namaan the army commander who had leprosy) “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed. But Namaan went away angry and said, ‘I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than any of the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?’ So he turned and went off in a rage.”

Okay, honest moment.

I like predictability.

I like my expectations to be met.

I like to ignore the fact that perhaps I become more concerned with the end results than the way those results are achieved. I genuinely want growth, and the ability to love wihout agenda, along with strong leadership skills. But then I find my plans are changed mid-way through the day, or the timing of events doesn't fit with my opinion of how they should fall, or my selfishness is challenged (so unfair). And I come away angry at the injustice of it all.

I want the nicer water.

It's warmer and less abrasive, less stony and slightly more shallow. Couldn't it just as easily (and more comfortably) produce the same results??

I am a slow learner in this regard. It's a daily process of wading in and trusting that the water will take me exactly where it is meant to.


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