Making an impact in Cambodia - Susan Lipscombe


…partnering with Legacy, you can be a part of the answer globally…

I could share my experiences on a mission trip to Phnom Penh in Cambodia by telling you about the buildings we created or the renovations we completed. I could describe the smells from our dusty, sweat-soaked bodies as we left the building site exhausted each day, or acknowledge the immense gratitude the New Life Church people showed us as we helped build their church practically.  

But the experiences that are imprinted on my heart are the ones that involve a 2-year-old orphan living in the slums who refuses to wear clothes despite anyone’s attempts to clothe him.  In that same slum a young mum living in a shack on top of the dump took time to place a ribbon in the hair of her baby. She wanted to make a good impression for our visit.  The frustration of the language barrier is forgotten when you smile or hug someone. Smiling is the universal language for hello. A hug means: I understand. 

Each year, the team will tour through the historical sites that vividly recount the atrocities that Cambodia faced. When we understand the tragedy that the Khmer people have lived through, we begin to understand our purpose in Phnom Penh. That is to give hope that comes from a relationship with Jesus. We experience this as we walk through the villages of church members and see the lack and their desolation, but are marvelled by the enormity of their faith and hope they have in Jesus. In the Bible, Matthew 22 asks us to love our neighbour. Our neighbours are New Life Church, Phnom Penh; they just live outside our postcode, but are now only a Facebook post away. 

The friendship bonds that we form as a team are unforgettable and unique. Each morning before breakfast we spent time in devotions. These meetings hold a precious place in my memories as it is always a time to be honest, open and vulnerable. We share our lows and highs in life and learn more about each other. As well as building long lasting friendships with each other, we build our faith and relationship with God. And laugh, boy do we laugh. The days are long and the work will break a nail or two, but I never laugh as much as I do on a mission trip.  

So, do you have a heart for impacting the globe? Before answering, realise that on a LIFE Global Impact trip your heart will be broken, shaken up, replaced and rebuilt and then radically aligned to the heart beat of the people of Cambodia. And by partnering with Legacy, you can be a part of the answer globally, resourcing teams, trips, projects and builds that are transforming lives, cities and nations! 

The idea that I was there to help the people of Cambodia is replaced by the heartfelt knowledge that Cambodia actually changed and enriched my life enormously. 

Susan Lipscombe
Connection Pastor

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