North Way Christian Community Church in Pittsburgh, PA

Saturday, August 4, 2018 | Leave Like Children

And it is done. The trip has come to a close and we have departed Phenom Phen. It’s hard to sum up the trip, but I’ll try. We laughed …. man did we laugh. Like the “belly till it hurts laugh” or the “I didn’t know I made those noises laugh”. We also cried. (Some more than others, John… some less than others, Cassy…). I think we had to laugh. We had to laugh long and often to keep the sadness of leaving out. Everyone was in on all the jokes. We were, we are the definition of a team. A team. A group of individuals coming together for a common cause. We all played a part. I am so proud of this team. We also stepped outside of our comfort zones and pushed. We pushed for the kids. We were, we are the hands and feet of Jesus. The days were long. The spiritual battles were real. Whether it was sickness, personality or roommate challenges, food challenges, schedule challenges, or weather challenges, all of this is the “The circus that Satan loves to use behind the scenes” to take our eyes and focus off Jesus. The team was focused. Prayer… man did we pray. Daily devotionals, biblical discussions, nightly debriefs, baptism, all to strength the team, tighten the bond, help each other, support each other. We all had each other’s back. We all grew. In Mark 11: 25-26 -- Jesus prays, “You have hidden these things from the wise and understanding, and revealed them to little children”. There were profound things that happened, battles, forces at work. Some of things were hard to understand and new to some. But being around the kids, they didn’t worry about understanding. They simply were focused on Jesus. God, their Father. His love. He is I am so they are I am. Simple as that. Children have a way of teaching us these simple things with just a smile, a hug, a “I love you”. Debates of scripture, theology, and views of doesn’t matter. Jesus’ love matters. His love for us and our love for others. “By this all will know you are my disciple, if you love one another”. The kids got it. They helped us get it. Now it’s our turn to pass it along to others. Share our story. Tell people what we saw, what we experienced, who we met, what we did. We need to craft our stories, share pictures, share videos. Stay in touch with friends, stay in touch with everyone that touched our lives. Everyone that showed us love. So what is next? I don’t know. God hasn’t revealed that to me yet. Maybe he has revealed it to the kids? Maybe they know. This is going to be the hard part. The part where the “white noise” of life comes back. Where the voice of God and the Holy Spirit can fade. This is a whole new battle. We have to keep pushing as a team. Use our stories and laughter to continue the work that God has planned for us. That’s my prayer to our team. For God to reveal purpose. To help us focus on him, help us to keep walking on water with him. The texts and pictures are already being passed back and forth as we sit feet away from each other on the plane. Lord, please help us to keep this. Help us to keep pushing, give us strength, speak to us and keep us strong. — Josh Elliott