Happenings…

Recently, there have been a lot of exciting things that have been going on.  I realize I haven’t actually posted about any of that, so I want to share with you some of the awesome that I’ve gotten to experience so far.

 

For one, Derek and Hiatt brought home their three beautiful foster children a week ago.  Their journey of being parents has begun, and it is so beautiful to see.  This morning after church I looked over and saw Derek pick up one of their sons and just hold and cuddle him.  Yesterday I was over at Jen & Ty’s house and Chay E, Derek and Hiatt’s new daughter, smiled so big at me, ran over, and wrapped her sweet little arms around my waist.  It was one of the sweetest hugs I’ve gotten since being in Cambodia.  I am excited to see how these lives bend and weave together to form a family, and how their lives will change the lives of each other and onlookers like myself.

 

Yesterday a bunch of Rapha staff and The Americans celebrated Jen’s birthday.  It was a surprise party, and it was so great.  Lily and I bought $20 worth of chocolate for Jen and as we were driving up to their gate, Jen and Ty were walking outside!  Lily had to crunch up the bag and hide it behind her leg and we just kept driving past pretending like we were heading to the Fleenor’s house.  Luckily, they didn’t see us.  When we came back around to the gate, the surprise had already happened, pictures were already taken, and the candles on the cake were already blown out!  Cambodians don’t mess around when it comes to birthday parties.  (:

 

This morning was church.  Church begins at about 8am (sometimes, usually, fifteen minutes after) and lasts about two hours.  There is some worship time, which is mostly all in Khmer (it is a rare treat when there are English songs).  Then there is the greeting time, which is my favorite, and then some announcements shared, a time of offering, followed by some children getting up and singing and doing a little dance.  Then comes the sermon time, complete with a powerpoint presentation that has Khmer AND English words on it, then maybe some more singing. Next is communion which is taken together as a whole church, maybe another song, some long prayers, and then goodbyes!  It’s a really great church.  Sometimes it’s really hard to feel connected because the entire service is in Khmer, but it is really nice to look around and see how the Church spans generations, cultures, skin color, and languages.  Usually during the sermon I’ll take notes from the English on the screen, or just read my bible and pray in my journal.

Tonight begins The Americans’ first official Sund Night Worship Night/House Church.  I am really excited to be having Sunday Night Worship Night/House Church because it means I will be singing English worship songs that I know and able to actually sing along and reflect on lyrics.  It really is exciting, you guys.
Every weekday morning the Rapha staff meets for devotions, and on Friday they have a staff meeting.  Since I’ve been teaching Tyler I’ve been skipping out on the devotions so we can start school right away, but on Fridays I will be going to the staff meetings.  This past Friday, the staff were going around reciting the books of the Bible and then their memory verse, which is the Lord’s Prayer found in Matthew 6.  One friend of mine decided that she wanted to sing a song that had the words of the Lord’s Prayer, so she recited her memory verse that way.  As she began singing, it was just her voice.  Then an older gentleman joined in.  Then everyone joined it.
Friends… it was so beautiful.  All of a sudden, their voices melded together and they were singing prayers to the King of Glory.  I’ve heard Khmer people sing to Jesus before, but there was something just so special and remarkable about the staff joining together.  Maybe it was that they hadn’t planned on singing, that it was just going to be my one friend singing.  Maybe it was that it was a really beautiful song.  Or that I knew what they were singing for once.  Or that it was so spur of the moment.
But it was beautiful.  So beautiful.  Ty and I just looked at each other from across the room and made a face like “what in the world? This is great!”  All I could say afterwards was “wow, that was awesome.”
And isn’t that what God really is, friends?  That’s the response I want to have when I gaze into the face of Jesus.  That’s what I want to say when I leave a time of prayer, or finish a time of singing worship songs, or finish hearing a sermon that was glorifying to the King.  That’s what I want to be able to say when something happens and clearly, clearly, it was only because of Jesus.
“Wow, that was awesome.”
What else is there to say?
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