Soaking up the Village Life

This month my team is teaching English in a beautiful, remote Buddhist village in southern Cambodia. It is located about an hour away from where we’re staying with YWAM. We’re literally the only white people there for the whole month. Every morning Tuesday – Friday, we wake up early and set off for the village, where we’ll do home visits, strike up conversations with the people, and get to know them as best we can.

Annie and Morgan teach the littlest ones from 12-1pm, Amanda and Jessica teach from 2-4pm, and Amber and I teach the oldest kids from 5:30-6:30pm, after which we head back “home” for dinner. We reunite with the other teams and share stories about our days.

One of the biggest blessings this month has definitely come unexpected. We get to spend some solid time together—literally hours and hours. Because we were so separated last month, we’re extremely grateful for this time. We’ve been able to start each day with prayer, visit the villagers, enjoy some great down time to spend with God, teach English, get to know the kids, prepare our lesson plans, and simply spend time together playing games, chatting, doing life. We’re “forced” to be around each other all day long, but it has really been such a beautiful thing. So rejuvenating.

What is it about this place that calls to me? It’s:

The golden rice fields.
The carts filled to-the-brim with hay, freshly harvested.
The lone-standing palm trees standing like sentinels guarding their pastures.
The giggles and laughter of the kids.
The little chicks and puppies running around our feet.
The flock of ducks that always runs away from us every time we come near.
The red-dirt roads and white-sand paths that meander through the countryside.
The thatched-roof houses on stilts.
The cows wandering aimlessly.
The cute grandmas and grandpas with their almost toothless grins.
The best pork I’ve ever tasted.
Our dusty feet, turned almost orange by the end of each day.
The mesmerizing sunsets, set above mountain ridges, past palm tree silhouettes, shimmering pond waters, and fields glowing golden.
I love it here.

From jesseischens.theworldrace.org

It’s experiences like this that drew me to the Race, and now here I am, in Cambodia. Living it out.
I feel like I’m in a completely different world.

There couldn’t be more of a contrast between here and home.
It’s hard to even call this reality.
I wish I could capture this feeling…so I could show you.
I wish you could experience what this village life is like, so you would know, too.

It’s so picturesque in so many ways—so simple, so basic.
There is such freedom
… yet …
there’s a feeling of entrapment here, too.
A way of life—the way it’s always been.
But change is just around the corner.
I can smell it.
I can see it in the eyes of the children.
I can see it in their parents’ faces as they watch us.
Hope.
A glimmer, a beacon, a chance.
The beginning of a dream.
It begins as a curiosity, then springs to life.
The hint of more to come.
There’s such potential lingering just beneath the surface, hidden and yet so very obvious.
Oh, it is coming.
Even if I don’t see it…I know it’s coming.
I feel the Lord’s excitement.

 

From jesseischens.theworldrace.org

Lord, please raise up these precious children to be a generation that rises up against passiveness and tradition and fear and chooses to follow You and Your Truth…may this country find Joy and Life again through its children!

Your thoughts would look GOOD here :)