Many days when I take the kids back to where their families are staying I am swarmed by other kids. They want to know what I’ve been doing and when I’ll run another program for them, but many more of them just ask if they can go to school too.
It’s hard when I have to tell them that this year our program is full. That next year we will try to take more. Something very deep in my heart wants to jump out and just agree to put them all in school right away. Even if we can’t put them in the same school as the kids we’re already sponsoring, and even if we don’t yet have sponsors lined up for them yet.
The longer we wait, the further behind they fall in their grade levels. Next year it will be more difficult to put them into school. Next year we may not even know where they are. It can be heartbreaking to have to say no to these children. To remember that we still have a long way to go before we can grow.
As we’ve been working hard to establish Crossing Cambodia we’ve tried to keep Matthew 13 and the parable of the sower before us as an example of how to do ministry. We try to keep in mind that the seed of faith not only needs to be planted, but the soil needs to be cared for and carefully prepared for it to grow and blossom and bear fruit.
But sometimes we become so focused on turning the soil and pulling out the rocks and weeds in other people’s lives that we forget to tend to our own plot of dirt and what we are doing. If we don’t slow down, we too can become like that seed that fell on rocky soil. We can spring up with such enthusiasm and passion for what we’re doing, but if we haven’t rooted ourselves firmly in faith and taken time to work out the details, we can find ourselves burning out and getting choked by the problems we didn’t take time to think about.
At Crossing Cambodia, we have to get our program right. These kids are in incredibly difficult situations and have not been able to succeed in other programs. We need to keep it small for now so that we have time to react when problems arise and learn to anticipate what kind of struggles we will have. We need to get our support structures in place so that when we have more kids and come upon problems we’re not only ready to react, but we’re calm, cool, collected, and able to keep God’s love for them as our focus.
Please join us in praying for our first small group of six kids. Pray that we’ll get them through this first year of school. And pray that next year we’ll be ready to take on more and put God’s love into action in their lives!