Hi everyone! January 2016
I am so sorry for my lack of updating you guys. It was very difficult to find time and a computer to write these updates in Cambodia as I don’t have a laptop of my own.
Cambodia was so amazing and fulfilling. The people were so beautiful and loving!
My team and I had a number of different ministries including English teaching, various different children’s ministries, evangelism on the streets of Battambang and in the slums and helping out at different churches every Sunday encouraging other believers. We explored different parts of Cambodia also, including Seim Reip and some remote villages about 2 hours away from where we live and God has taught me so much along the way!
First arriving in Cambodia was a little bit crazy – everything there is so different than anything I’ve ever experienced before and I was quite shocked. I knew I loved Cambodia so much (the joy of the people is infectious!) but it took about two weeks to really start to settle in. I had to learn to really rely on God and although I seemed so far away from home as I just leaned in on Him more and more, I began to find my comfort and rest in Him. He’s the best Father and wants to be a home for us – we just need to trust and let Him!
“Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge and my place of safety; He is my God and I trust Him.” – Psalm 91v1-2
This passage became so real for me in those first few weeks and I am so thankful that in every situation He has the opportunity to teach us something new. Go God!!!
After settling in more I really started to fall in love with Cambodia. I have become very good friends with a Khmer* girl, Sopheak and on the back of her moped (the transportation of choice in Cambodia) she took me on adventures around Battambang and the surrounding area and I loved experiencing true Khmer culture. Spicy (VERY spicy) noodles from a slightly dodgy looking side of the road food stand, 400 stairs leading up to ancient temple ruins on the top of a mountain, eating fried rat, snake, cricket and grasshoppers, market places with stenches I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy and sooo much more. It was all so much fun! There are so many crazy things to do and I did my best to try it all. Praise the Lord that I never caught some strange illness or parasite after eating so much dodgy side of the road food and drinking unfiltered water with my Khmer friends. Food is such a way of bonding with people and such a good way to experience culture and I knew I couldn’t turn down food offered to me because it “wasn’t up to standard”, instead I just prayed that God would strengthen my immune system and He was faithful!
One of the best experiences for my team and I was staying in a remote village for a week. There was very little access to electricity, no running water, no beds – true Khmer style! It was some of the most fun I’ve ever had! I had to put away my “western princess tiara” for that week and really rough it but it was so worth it! During that week we stayed at a tiny church and during the days we did house visits in surrounding villages.
It was a crazy week! We saw 10 salvations, baptized 10 people and saw a handful of healing’s! So, so, so cool! I was praying for one lady whose eye sight was very poor and as I was praying I specifically prayed for colour to be restored and when she opened her eyes she began to touch her grandsons bright green jumper and said that she’d never seen colour like that before! It was so amazing! God is so amazing!
Through everything I just fell so much more in love with Jesus. He taught me that my role or job is not to see hundreds of healings and salvations but my role is just to be His child and have fun with Holy Spirit on the adventures He takes me on. From that place of personal encounter, my prayer is that God will use me to help lead others to a place of encounter with Him – this is my prayer forever and in whatever journey He takes me on next.
DTS has been so life changing and looking back on it now makes me feel so incredibly thankful. GOD IS SO GOOD! I am so confident in His faithfulness and He is so tangible and real in my everyday life. I am determined not to let DTS be something I look back on in years to come and think, “I was so happy and close to Jesus then”, NO! DTS has launched me into the rest of my life – His love is all that I need and as I have now finished DTS I will still be seeking after knowing Him and the ways of His heart more. I am so excited to do the rest of my life with Jesus!!!
Thank you again to everyone who has supported me financially through this. Not only did your gift of money enable me to go on this incredible journey and learn more and draw closer to God but it ALWAYS came in such perfect timing – I would be freaking out one day because I needed a certain amount of money in and then the next day I would get a call from my mum saying that the exact amount of money had been donated! Crazy! God used your generosity to teach me so much about His Father-heart, so thank you, thank you, thank you for listening to Him and being obedient. It is more appreciated than you know!
And thank you so much for supporting me through prayer. I can truly tell you that I always felt the effects of your prayers on the other side. You are all so awesome!!!
If you EVER need prayer for anything please let me know and I will pray for you or we could catch up for coffee and pray together! I would love that so much.
Bless you heaps!!!!! With love, from Jasmine
(*word used for Cambodian)