It is a short trip, but being 9,000 miles away from home makes two-weeks seem a lot longer. I arrive in Phnom Penh next Wednesday. Getting things ready for a Cambodia journey is a challenge. I don’t mean packing my bags—that is the easy part. Carol jokes about me being a seasoned traveler (I’m not). I can pack my bags on the morning of my departure (I won’t).
What takes time is getting things ready at home. I like to make sure our cars are in top running condition, so I have spent the past two weeks taking them into the shop for oil changes and other necessary fixes. There are things to get done around our house too—making sure the pool is balanced so I don’t come home to a green mess. Replacing light bulbs, cleaning up the yard, pruning shrubs. Even a visit to the dermatologist! And then there are Bible studies to teach, communion service and resurrection Sunday to celebrate.
The paramount thing to do is to make sure my heart is ready for the trip—not my actual heart (although that’s not a bad idea); a better word than heart is “mind”. Cambodia is exotic to some (It is actually called, the Kingdom of Cambodia), yet it is a country in spiritual darkness. Idol worship and ancestor worship are on every corner. And while they put on a good face, the deported men I meet with are often discouraged and mired in despair. They miss their families and loved ones in the United States. I want to be prepared in my mind to minister to them, to give them my attention and encourage them in the Lord.
Having traveled enough times to Cambodia, I know there will be spiritual forces attempting to thwart any advances of Christ’s love to those I will visit. Attacks will come, sometimes from friend, sometimes foe. Pray I will be filled with the Holy Spirit, that I will put on the armor of God each day, and that Jesus Christ is evident through me. Nine thousand miles is a long way from home, but our LORD is near. There is a lot of falsehood and deceit lurking. The apostle Paul writes, “Fasten the belt of truth.” Buckle up and join me. Get ready for action.
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