Monday, December 31, 2012

A Quote You Need to Read

I was reading through the book Goforth of China, a biography about missionary Jonathan Goforth, and I came across this quote that "got all over me."  I wanted to share it with you. The quote is by Mrs. Whitfield Guinness.

"A great 'without' has been written on heathenism. Men and women are toiling without a Bible, without a Sunday, without prayer, without songs of praise. They have rulers without justice and without righteousness; homes without peace; marriage without sanctity, young men and girls without ideals and enthusiasm; little children without purity, without innocence; mothers without wisdom or self-control; poverty without relief or sympathy; sickness without skillful help or tender care; sorrow and crime without a remedy; and worst of all, death without hope."

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Update 12/27/2012

Praise the Lord for His protection as we traveled from Cambodia to California, then from California to Georgia. We made it to the States on December 5, and we spent a wonderful 11 days with Linda's family in Bakersfield. Linda's parents picked us up from the Los Angeles airport, and our first stop was Wendy's! I cannot describe to you how blissful it was to eat a Frosty after nearly two years of Frostylessness.

 It was so cool to be able to speak with my mother and father-in-law in Khmer. Honestly, I was able to communicate with them on a deeper level than ever, and I feel like I know them a lot better now. We had such a wonderful, memorable time with Linda's family. What a blessing it was as well to spend time with two very special churches to our hearts: McKee Road Baptist Church in Bakersfield, Pastor Fred Fies (this is the church where I met Linda and the church where we were married) and First Baptist Church of Long Beach, Pastor John Wilkerson (the church where we served for two years before starting deputation). 

On December 17 we flew from Los Angeles to Atlanta, and we were greeted at the airport by my parents and my sister, along with my pastor, Derik Lawrence, and some of my best friends in the world.  We have enjoyed so much this precious time with family. What a blessing it was to be in our home church with our wonderful church family. The choir, the orchestra, the preaching, the hugs and kind words from our church family, and the overall spirit of the church blessed our hearts in such a special way. 

We are looking forward to our furlough and the opportunity we will have to get reacquainted with so many wonderful friends at our supporting churches, and hopefully make some new friends at some churches we have not yet visited. We will be starting our meetings the second Sunday of January and will finish this furlough the last Sunday of May. Our return date is May 27. Please pray that God will give us safety on the roads and opportunities to share the Gospel as we spend a few short months here in the States. 

Frustrations of a Foreigner- The Bottom Line

Let me be frank- living in a different culture has built-in frustrations that must be overcome. I was prepared to write a ten-post series on all the different frustrations that I have faced since living in Cambodia. I was going to write about being run off the road by rich people while driving; being blatantly and repeatedly cut in line while at the grocery store or mini-mart; having my family shamelessly stared at and my kids pinched by strangers at most public venues; strangers asking me in front of my wife on several occasions, "Why did you marry such a dark-skinned lady? You should have married a girl with whiter skin"; repeatedly being asked by the barbers on the side of the road next to my house, "Where are you coming from? The prostitutes?" (followed by loud and obnoxious laughter); and the list could go on. Trust me, these things can get under a person's skin if....that person is not walking in the Spirit. And that's the bottom line. I must confess to you I have had more occasions than I would like to admit in which I reacted according to my flesh and then was filled with regret because I missed an opportunity to respond in the Spirit and be a light in this dark world. So, I am going to end this particular series on the blog by asking you to pray for me and for the other missionaries that you know and support. Pray that we will be constantly reminded about the importance of being sensitive to the moment by moment leading of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Oh, this isn't just for missionaries living in a different culture. It's for you, too.