Some of us toured a silk farm on our last day in Siem Reap, we saw the undertaking of how this company produces its goods, from worm to weave. It's a long process with many stages that were intially interesting to watch, however, the tour wasn't quite geared to my pace, and I wandered, so take my summary of the process with a grain of salt.
It starts with the worms. The worms are raised to spin their cocoons; the cocoons are exposed to direct sunlight to overheat and kill the worms inside; the cocoons then go through some contraption that unravels the cocoons and spools the silk; the weavers take the spools to their looms and weave away, then next thing you know, there's a fancy silk scarf or what have you.
Once we got to see the weavers in action I was immediately reminded of a book I had read, The Grand Weaver, by Ravi Zacharias, which had a great analogy portraying God as a weaver, and one's life as an elaborate sari, an analogy that I will now proceed to knockoff like a Russian market supplier.
Rescue is like that silk farm, just with an invaluable purpose: raising orphaned children in a Christian context.
Like silk from worms, most of these kids came from Buddhist or other cultic backgrounds where karma is the explaination for their misfortunes. At Rescue many of the kids are introduced to Jesus, the light of the world, and the idea of divine grace, the gospel, for the first time. They are shown that they are valued by God almighty, that he delights in them, and that Christ alone is our hope. Twisted misconceptions of life are unravelled and set straight, and they go on to flourish, being fashioned into the weaver's meticulous designs, each one unique, each one cherished.
Rescue portrays adoption into God's family. They were a joyous bunch, it was a great atmosphere to be in, and it was a privilege to go see what God is doing there in Cambodia.
...Speaking of weaving, I'm considering adopting some aspects of the East's driving styles. Vancouver's roads are resembling those of Phnom Penh more and more every day anyway, so I figure it makes perfect logical sense.
I also found that joining the Cambodia team and getting into a track car is loosely similar. You acknowledge the fact that you're manning something that cost a pretty penny, you're entrusted with it, and there is an expectation laid upon you. I can attest to the fact that track cars aren't comfortable, and that often just clambering into one is half the challenge! Butterflies begin to flutter in your stomach as you squeeze behind the wheel, then take flight as you reach out with a jittery hand and crank the ignition.
There were seven months of tuning and warm-up before we took off, seven months filled with learning about Cambodian culture and history; fundraising; planning curriculum; and team building exercises; all necessary to ensure that things ran smoothly.
Fundraising isn't my cup of tea, but I'm glad the team did it. I saw that community is strengthened through it, and accountability is forged. Those are two things I would have originally bypassed, never leaving an opportunity for others to support me financially in our effort to go strengthen our church's ties with our brothers and sisters in Cambodia, which I now think, in hindsight, probably would have left a barricade more awkward to maneuver than fundraising was to blast through.
As we approached July 28th, the anticipation for the trip amplified, and days on the calendar faded away like start lights signalling the beginning of our race. Like drivers idling on the grid watching the start lights go out, our focus zeroed in on the race.
When you go, you strive to achieve your goal, you endeavor to lead. Should you spinout, the clock doesn't wait for you, you have to recover quickly and continue. Many eyes that you ought to be mindful of observe you, but none so much as those of your sponsor, whose name you sport.
I did spinout a few times on the trip, I think at least half of my teaching activities misfired. Though it was far from a perfect performance, the days' graces were sufficient, and I could always carry on.
Ultimately, we had success, we covered for each other when teammates had to collect and reorient themselves, it was a good concerted effort that I'm happy to say I was a part of.
It was a good challenge going there, 10,000+ klicks out of my comfort zone with such. . .fascinating teammates.
Like it was said: "Everyone misses the tuk-tuks when they leave Cambodia." Some people wished the rides kept going; and that's how it is with our race: there is no checkered flag. Not at the airport, nor our driveways, nor our pillows. We compete 'til we complete our course, however and wherever that may be, by God's appointment.
That is the reality of the Christian life I don't want to ignore or forget, every day we're to fight the good fight. The completion of a missions trip by no means allows one to ease off the accelerator.