Monthly Archives: March 2013

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Well, I am packing and reflecting on this amazing experience in Cambodia. My flight leaves about 11 tonight.

At the moment, my brain is still pretty scrambled, and I know it will take some time to sort it out. Maybe on the way home? Uh…no, I think I’ll sleep on the way home. But I’ll be sharing the overall perspective and lessons observed and hopefully learned as they become available.

This morning I had the pleasure of doing my “happy” gift buying at Daughters of Cambodia, a wonderful sister ministry. Daughters’ employees are young women who were formerly in the sex trade with no other way of surviving financially. Daughters has created successful entrepreneurial businesses – jewelry manufacturing, clothing/accessory sewing factory, a cafe, an amazing bakery. These businesses are legitimate, self-supporting businesses. The young women are paid fair wages, and the business model stands up to ethical standards in the…

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CAMBODIA UPDATE: NEXT TO LAST

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Wow, it’s been a whirlwind! Only one more day left until I board the plane to Seoul about 11:00 P.M., then come by way of L.A. and on to New Orleans. The interesting thing is, I arrive a couple of hours after I leave. Leave Saturday night at 11, arrive Saturday night about 1. Considering I will have totally reversed days and nights and will have lost a day in the process, my body is going to be very confused.

Today was the last full day with the staff. We finished up the series on the Ten Choices in my book, “This Wasn’t Supposed to Happen to Me.” Well, actually there was not time to do all of the choices, but we did the ones that were most relevant to this group. Today was a great ending: powerlessness vs. purpose. It is the strong sense of God-ordained purpose that keeps…

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CAMBODIA UPDATE: WHAT HAPPENED TO THE QUIETER DAY I WAS GOING TO HAVE?

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It was scheduled to be a less-packed day. Do those exist in Cambodia? Don’t think so.

We began the morning with a wonderful time of worship and devotional, led by the Grace Temple team and Dixie Broadhead (who we still claim, though she has moved to Nashville).

Next, I worked with the staff members on another aspect of Compassion Fatigue, as well as a frequent experience of their clients. We learned ways to tell the difference between grief (an understandable, healthy, and necessary process) and depression. In particular, we examined the thought processes that are likely to lead to depression. These people are full of hope, which definitely fights depression. But there are so many heart-breaking situations that they face every day, it’s hard not to feel depressed. In particular, they feel they SHOULD be able to do more than anyone possibly can. That’s a recipe for self-condemnation and eventually…

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CAMBODIA UPDATE: TAKIN’ IT TO THE STREETS

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It’s been a very eventful day in Cambodia. After a devotional this morning by members of the Grace Temple team, who arrived last night…hooray!…I taught the staff on letting go of bitterness and choosing forgiveness. This topic is difficult here, I must say. There is so much to be angry about. Not only does the country have a modern history of genocide, wrought Cambodian upon Cambodian, these staff members deal with the most infuriating of circumstances. Children are being physically and sexually abused, sold time and again for money as a means of family support. Further, the cultural belief is that revenge is the appropriate response; you hurt me, I hurt you to show you how I hurt. It was challenging to acknowledge the understandable anger, but also explore the personal damage one experiences by being bitter. We then discussed the “how-to” of forgiveness.

Next, I went to the Safe…

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CAMBODIA UPDATE: PUTTING “THE TEN CHOICES” TO WORK IN HARD PLACES

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It’s been another intense day. A wonderful devotional from Pastor Ron Gray kicked off the day. Ron reminded us that God says, “I AM,” not “I WAS.” All that He ever was or ever did, He is still doing today. Well, it’s a good thing, because we certainly need a miracle or two in the work we’re involved with here.

I did a session with the Hard Places Staff this morning on the ten choices described in my book, “This Wasn’t Supposed to Happen to Me.” In particular we worked with Choices 2 and 4.

Choice 2 is Victimhood vs. Responsibility. It was a hard one to explain through the language interpreter. After all, I’m working with a staff of people who deal with exploited and victimized children. So explaining “the victim mentality” was pretty tricky. With many examples and various ways of stating the concepts, they began to grasp…

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CAMBODIA UPDATE: DAY 1 OF WORK WITH THE HARD PLACES STAFF

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Some long time friends are part of a Team who are currently in Cambodia delivering much needed love, joy and encouragement. Here is a reblog of Dr. Bev’s posts from this week. I plan to add all her submissions to this blog. One more example of the fact that “Man does not live by ‘bread’ alone but by every Word of God’ ~

Dr. Bev's Shrink Rap

In case you dont know, I’m in Cambodia. I’m working with a Christian organization called, Hard Places. Their mission is to rescue and restore kids who are victims of sex trafficking.

It was an exciting morning – eagerly anticipating meeting the Hard Places team as well as a visiting staff, getting into the rhythm of working with an interpreter, praying all the while for the divine ability to communicate and connect with the people. All of that happened and exceeded my hopes of what could be accomplished on the first day. Though there were both English-speaking and those who spoke only Khomer (pronounced Ko-my), it seemed that the barriers were quickly removed and people were sharing openly about their struggles.

Smiles and relief were palpable as we talked about compassion fatigue – what it is, why it happens, and how to know if you have it. Many had felt it…

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