Why is international mission important to God? That was the first question I asked before leaving for Cambodia and Singapore with the GROW Leadership team. Sharing the gospel is a worthy thing to do but why would God call me from my local community and church to travel to a developing country with a haunting […]
Why is international mission important to God? That was the first question I asked before leaving for Cambodia and Singapore with the GROW Leadership team.
Sharing the gospel is a worthy thing to do but why would God call me from my local community and church to travel to a developing country with a haunting past – a place I never really wanted to go? Leaving for Cambodia meant overcoming the challenges of missing out on a key ministry event for my local area, obtaining a passport, pack according to aviation guidelines and getting through airport security and customs.
In the village of Phum Krus, at the Life Centre owned by the Lutheran Church in Cambodia, we made mushroom packs, which would provide income to the centre and surrounding villagers. This involved packing soaked hay in plastic cellophane bags, then steaming the packs for four hours. This was a fascinating process and a practical way we could be involved and encourage the staff as they help their local community.
We had the privilege of attending a church service conducted in both Khmer and English at City Church in the capital Phnom Penh. It was a memorable time, and a moment I will always remember is when we were all singing 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman in both languages. Later, we were told they had an increase in the number of local visitors, as the hostel students studying at university who were living above the church were keen to enhance their English skill from the Australians.
One night our team went to join in the bible study at City Church. That night we were broken up into groups and discussed the differences and similarities of how we came to faith, our churches and home country. In my group we had a university student who explained why she moved from her own rural farming community to the city especially for study. One thing she described was the changes in how her home community perceived her since moving to the city for study. Now, as I was sitting there listening, I could relate to what she was saying, as I had a similar experience when I first moved to the city to study. How could we have a similar experience when she lived across the other side of the world?
That’s when I realised God is God of the whole world, for the whole world, for all of time. God doesn’t just work in my community or church, or at Phum Krus producing mushroom packs. He is there at both places, all the time. He is a global God.
So international mission is important to God because sharing the love of Christ is important no matter where it is. By going to Cambodia, we were an encouragement to the children at Phum Krus, the believers and non-believing students at the hostel and the leaders within the Lutheran Church of Cambodia. God had taught us things that couldn’t be taught in our own home communities, and had equipped us every step of the way. God had called all of us to serve in Cambodia, help build relationships and grow in our own faith journey.
This story was also published in the March 2018 edition of Border Crossings, the magazine of LCA International Mission.
If you would like to consider the opportunity to serve as a volunteer in mission, serving in practical ways, teaching English, teaching in the seminaries and institutions of our partner churches, or in local churches, you are invited to phone Nevin on (08) 8267 7300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, go to http://www.lcamission.org.au/join-gods-mission/volunteer/
Read more stories about volunteering at http://www.lcamission.org.au/category/join-gods-mission/volunteers/