03 December, 2011


The question is: What exactly is my mission?

I am a volunteer. Many people I know are. I've spent most years of my life giving up hours, days, and weeks to one cause or other, volunteering, serving, putting up my hand to join in. Church, beach mission, youth ministry, even at work and with friends, "I'll do it!"
And I am happy to. I am happy to serve, I am happy to be a volunteer.

But, I'm only asking the question 'why?' now, on my longest volunteer mission to date.
And still, 5-6 weeks isn't really a long time, but at just over the half-way mark, I'm beginning to be able to place my thoughts together and ask the question, what is my mission?

I tell people I'm going on a 'missions trip', well, what does that mean? What is my aim, my goal? If I felt that God wanted me to come here, then what is the reason he wanted me?

I asked him at the beginning of the trip, and have since, and every time I ask I get an immediate answer: "Love my people."

That's all well and good, I'm very prepared to do that, at all times, whether at home or elsewhere. But how does that work here?

The culture in Cambodia is vastly different to that of Australia in Melbourne's eastern suburbs. Life at the children's centre can be challenging but it's by no means poverty. The children get educated, get three full meals a day, have plenty of clean water, the facilities here are amazing compared to the surrounding 'houses' (dilapidated shacks) they sing worship songs every night and pray and read the bible at dinner. They're fairly independent and do all their own washing (by hand) and get themselves washed and dressed and off to school...

The answer to the question is very clear when I'm at youth on a Friday night, the answer is even there in writing when I'm on beach mission for a week or two of my year. I know who I am, and I know what I'm doing in those situations.

Here, I am lost.

I try to take it as a good thing, because it makes me press into God more than I usually would. But in this place, I don't know where I fit, I don't know who I am, and I don't know my purpose.

Still I hear the words echo: "Love my people."

But I'm not sure what love looks like here. I've tried and I only seem to be further mystified by the culture.

What can I bring to these people? What can I show or teach them? How can I bless them? How, oh Lord, how, do I love your people?