Before I left the US to come to Cambodia many people told me that they would pray for me because there are many dangers in foreign countries. Disease, heat stroke, malaria, and sex trafficking are a few things we could be faced with. But before I left, I went to my church and the sermon that day was about how God is our God in every circumstance. In American, we are a culture of feeling. We think that we should FEEL God in every aspect of our lives, or when we need reassurance on the decisions we make. That’s why we see in churches in America, people raising their hands during worship or joining hands when a group is praying together. Some people might even pray for something and wait to see a sign or feel peace from God for that decision. But in Khmer culture, touch or any source of PDA is seen as uncomfortable and uncommon. The Khmer people are a people of loyalty. Loyalty to your king, to your elders, and to your community. Here in Cambodia, the Khmer people don’t fear heat stroke or even Malaria, but as Americans, we fear anything we don’t understand and can’t control. We reject change or feeling uncomfortable. I’ve been thinking a lot about how even though we come from different cultures and different backgrounds, we still praise and worship and love the same God. But to think on that even further, I might even say that the Khmer people have a better advantage when it comes to understanding God because of their culture. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that we need to feel God in order to trust in Him or believe He is real. The Bible says that it is by grace that we have been saved, not by how much we feel God’s presence. Though we like the thought of us being able to feel God in everything we do, sometimes God’s peace or his presence just isn’t there. But does that mean that He is gone or that He isn’t blessing the work that we are doing?
There is a verse in Psalms that says, “Be still and know that I am God.” This is a verse that I have folded up and put in my pocket to take wherever I go. During this time in Cambodia, I believe and have faith that God is using us as His hands and feet and that He is blessing our team and the Khmer people we have the privilege of talking to and playing with every day. Though I haven’t felt God’s presence at all, doesn’t mean that His love and our example as the body of Christ isn’t being seen and received by the Cambodian people. I trust in God and His purpose for leading us on this journey to Cambodia. I trust that I need to only “be still and know,” and God will guide this trip, our prayers, and the Khmer people to Him.
Morgan Horn, junior from Prescott, AZ