Greetings from Siem Reap!
Dear friend, Sheryl and I would like to wish you a very blessed and joyful Christmas this year. It’s the first time that we are both away from Singapore on Christmas, and we miss all of Singapore badly. The friends, the food, the convenience, the comfort, the safety, the ease of language, and more..
As we serve and reach out to the villages here in Siem Reap, we are reminded of our Father God’s unfailing and perfect love, and this is enough cause for us to celebrate and enjoy this special Christmas.
In the past 2 weeks, we both of us had opportunities to lead children programmes, and we also got to share our testimony and preach a sermon in a local church. It was a joy and a privilege to be able to serve in such a capacity, and the local church received us well!
Through all the challenges that we faced as we adjust to living conditions in Siem Reap, the word that has consistently been surfacing is the word “surrender”. It’s funny how this Christmas, God wants us to experience joy, through a revelation of surrender. Sounds more like a Good Friday revelation yea?
But God is faithful, and He delivers.
Amongst the various things that I had to surrender, one stood out clearly. It was the need for a plan, a schedule, and adherence to it.
As soon as we reached Siem Reap, we were bombarded with countless changes in plans. Our local hosts had to do a major revamp of our involvement. For the past two weeks, we had to live and plan day by day, sometimes even by the hour.
Regardless of what the cause of it was, I felt that God was trying to teach me an important lesson of surrender. Surrender my desire for stability, surrender my need for certainty, surrender my need to feel well prepared, surrender my fear of unpreparedness, surrender my fear of having to flow with sudden plans, surrender the sense of control, surrender the image of readiness. All these, so that I can tune into the voice of the Holy Spirit as I serve, and let Him be my stability, my certainty, and my guide.
As I surrender in faith, I find joy and His faithfulness. It was through the past 2 weeks that I realised how much I hinged my life upon plans and certainty. Yes, they are important and can be God-inspired as well. But it cannot become an idol, nor a stumbling block that will render me impaired and ineffective in circumstances where plans can’t be made.
As Singaporeans, we are trained well to strategise, plan, and execute. We tend to gravitate towards visionary leadership, and emphasise on the spirit of excellence. We do our best in our service towards God. However, danger lurks amidst such an attitude, that we would grow overly reliant on these things, or worse still, use these things to mitigate the risk of following God. Of course we shouldn’t make unnecessary risks, but we also shouldn’t take things into our own hands,and in extreme cases, replace the need to be guided by the Holy Spirit step by step. This is a lesson that we’re still learning as we serve alongside the Cambodian ministry leaders and staff.
In the next few weeks, we would be working in 3 villages, doing English classes, as well as leading Christian values classes. We hope to continue to build relationships with the kids and the local staff, and be a vessel for God to express His love. Keep us in your prayers! Also, we have been sending out live prayer requests through WhatsApp, if you are keen to pray with us, but haven’t been receiving any prayer requests from us the past 2 weeks, drop us a note 😁