Well, the last year has been so busy but so beautiful. I’ve been reflecting on it because as of this month, June, I’ll have been based in Cocoa at the Overland world headquarters for one year. Somehow in all that time I traveled to Zambia, got engaged, got married, traveled to Scotland and I just returned from three weeks in Cambodia. In between all these wild adventures, I have been walking out the finalizing of my healing since my brain injury in September 2021 and growing closer and closer to God in every way. None of this is information you don’t already know, but to those who are new to reading my words here, that’s a short way to catch you up.
So, I went to Cambodia on the 30th of April and came back on the 21st of May. I went there with just myself and a camera. Sadly, Ethan couldn’t join me because he is currently in the middle of his busy season. You’ll read more about that in his portion of this letter. Anyways, the Lord put it on my heart to film and document what the Lord is doing in Cambodia through our team of full-time missionaries based there. I didn’t fully grasp just how life-changing that trip would be until I was in the middle of it. The Lord really has a funny way of healing, teaching, and transforming you all while you’re in the middle of doing what He’s asked you to do. It feels impossible to actually write about everything that happened, so I guess it’s good I was filming a whole lot of it.
When I first arrived in Phnom Penh, I was greeted and picked up by one of my best friends, Ingrid, and her husband, Adam, that are based there full-time. I spent about four days there, documenting the life of the team and what they’re up to. After that, I headed over to the Preah Vihear and Oddar Meanchey provinces to document the rest of the team and what God was doing. This is where the Lord really started showing me why I was sent to Cambodia to document this team. As I said before, it feels impossible to write about everything that I filmed. That video will be released either this year or at the top of next year. I will be sure to show you so that you see it all and hear from the team themselves. Like I’ve said time and time again, it is so humbling to be trusted to document some of the Lord's stories around the world. This season of my life is just so wonderful and I wouldn't trade it for anything. This time spent with the team and in that country just moved me so greatly. I sigh with so much love in my heart when I think about Cambodia. I can’t wait to see the future God has in store for that nation. What I can say is that Cambodia is going to be a country of sending. A country that sends people out to share the gospel around the world by the busload.
I was able to minister to a few people on this trip when Holy Spirit told me to put my camera down. But there were also times He told me to pick it up and just film what was happening. A few of those times will be shared in the video. But, one of my favorite parts about that process of just picking the camera up was seeing and being a part of kids ministry. They had such a desire to learn more about the Lord, it was astounding. My friend Tori, who's based in the Preah Vihear province, has a kids ministry and youth group that meets at her home every Sunday afternoon after church. So many kids show up from the village to learn about and worship the Lord. The thing that melted my heart was how the youth group had such a big desire to learn more. Tori said that the past few weeks, when she would teach them about the Bible, they would stay late after the lesson to write down different scriptures in their journals so they could read them at home. It was so exciting to watch Tori present them with Bibles translated into Khmer. Their eyes just lit up and they were beaming with the biggest smiles. They instantly started flipping through the Bibles and couldn't take their eyes off the pages. When they left to go home they wrapped their Bibles back up into the disposable plastic wrapping that they came in to keep them safe from the rain. There's absolutely nothing more beautiful than seeing a kid have such a desire to read the Word. I didn't expect to be so ministered to in those moments behind the camera.
All while working on this project, God was talking a lot to me about the vision and future plans that He has for Ethan and me. I think at some point during my recovery, I’d lost seeing what God intends to do through me in the future on a bigger scale. I think sometimes we can just get so focused on what’s directly in front of us and lose track of the bigger vision He’s already cast for us. We sometimes forget that His word doesn’t change just because time passes, or circumstances seem to turn out differently. Sometimes, when we finally look back up at the vision He cast, it can feel so far away all of a sudden. So distant. When it used to feel so close. When I was in Preah Vihear I was able to see my friend, Ally. She and I have had this beautifully intertwined friendship, that no matter the distance, the Lord brings us together somewhere in the world. We always have a word for each other. This time, she had a word for me. She reminded me to dream with the Lord. So, I started dreaming with Him again while I was over there. I started remembering the bigger picture.
During that time of dreaming, He told me to sit quietly and just listen. God reminded me of His character. He reminded me that He created me for a specific purpose. All of these things I knew but then He told me that the desires in my heart were not wrong or a pipe dream and that He put them there, not anyone else or even myself. He placed them there. That the nations He put on my heart where I long to share about his Love were not something to be forgotten or put on the back burner. That those dreams weren't too big or extravagant. He realigned my heart with His heart in a way I don’t think I’ve felt to that degree before. He renewed my spirit in such an unexpected way.
I share this with you in order to encourage you to take some time to dream with the Father. This applies to you whether you’ve forgotten about a dream, or you’re looking for a direction. Slow down, sit down, and listen to Him. Those moments of stillness can be the exact moments where you see the adventure He's trying to take you on. Adventure doesn't always involve intense movement but it can be quite the opposite sometimes.
You'd think this would be the end of my letter here but I have more to share. In the middle of filming and dreaming with Him, He was doing another thing. He continued to heal me physically. He showed me the stresses I had been holding onto in my own strength. Which was a lot. I think the big focus on this entire trip, spiritually for me, was to just get back to my child self. A child is not intended to carry a burden. I learned to allow myself to cry or to be excited about little things. To get a little distracted. To forget about the weight of the world that I didn’t realize I had been carrying on my own. To fall in love with Jesus all over again in a new way. Our love story with Jesus never ends or has a ceiling. What’s so astonishing about this entire trip was just how in the details the Lord showed me that He is. I’m out there filming a long video almost constantly with my camera in my hand for three weeks documenting incredible testimonies ALL while He is transforming me both spiritually and physically. I just feel it so heavy on my heart to write all of this to you to show you how deep the Father is willing to go with you. You might just miss all that He is doing if you don’t pause to see it. He is so active and so endlessly chasing after us. My brother always says, “God is not wasteful.” The Lord doesn’t waste opportunities to talk to you or be with you or impart wisdom to you in the most unlikely places. There’s not a moment He isn’t completely involved. Your assignment is never more important to Him than you are. His desire is to be with you all the time in every moment.
I believe that’s the end of what the Lord put on my heart to share here. I hope it blesses you.