I need to start this post by stating that at Crossing Cambodia we are Christians and everything we do is because of our faith in God. When you come to our website, a permanent fixture at the top is “Stepping Out on Faith, Trusting God to Change the World.”
I say this because lately I’ve been looking at the websites of other organizations in Cambodia and something I notice on many of them is an almost immediate statement that they are “a secular NGO” or “not religiously affiliated.” At first I thought it strange, but as I’ve lived out here and met a lot of people working with other organizations I’ve had to realize that they don’t want to be associated with us “missionaries” and Christians so to speak. In fact, as I’ve been around I’ve had the opportunities to hear people refer to us as “Christian do-gooders” in a negative way and somehow sharing our faith automatically makes anything else we do into an unforgivable crime against humanity. And because of things like this, at times we as Christians are tempted to try and put our faith in the background for the sake of greater acceptance into the communities around us, be they locals or expats. We sometimes want to emphasize the help we are bringing to others over our association with Christ. I won’t deny that at times I have fallen victim to this temptation. I like others fear that I’ll be immediately written off and ignored because of my faith in Christ. It can often be a challenge to stand by what I believe.
However, for me at least, the process of forming a new organization and a new ministry to children has been an exercise of really standing by my faith, of trusting God and letting Him be in control, regardless of what others may say and the persecution (which we are promised to face after all) that comes along. It has been a reminder that as a Christian, I am not just going out and loving people, but in order to really step out on faith, and to really trust God, means that I need to do what He has commanded us as His followers.
A long time ago (if you consider over 6 years ago a long time) I started a blog and called it Crossing Cambodia. It was where I’d attempt to put updates about my life as a missionary for all to see. At first my tag line was “Proudly in Cahoots with (insert name of whatever organization I was working with at the time here.)” But then one day as I started to think about my job and my faith, I had to realize that the work I was doing wasn’t about my partnership with others, it was and still is about trusting God and following His calling in my life, about really acting on faith according to what I believe. So I changed the tag line to “Stepping Out on Faith, Trusting God to Change the World” and ran with it.
Last year God started to push me in the direction of forming an organization and suddenly this line started to feel a lot more real. There was a lot of uncertainty going on about what to do and until about this time one year ago I had always envisioned myself working under some other organization and their structure. But sometimes God uses strange circumstances to move things along according to His plan and amidst a lot of uncertainty and personal fear, I realized that it was time to do exactly what I advertised on the top of my blog and take a step into uncertainty and trust in God and His commands.
I prayed, I spoke to friends and family, and took a huge step into uncertainty by taking Crossing Cambodia and changing it from being a blog to being the beginning of an organization that is going to put Christ before us in everything we do. Now more than ever did that tag line seem to be word’s we needed to live by.
As followers of Christ, He gave us only a few simple commands to follow. First is “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” and second is “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39) And lastly at the end of His time on earth Christ commanded us to “go and make disciples of all nations.” (Matthew 28:19) There are a lot of other instructions that Christ gave to us, but almost all of those will fall under one of these, and all that we do ought to fall under them as well.
At Crossing Cambodia, the first thing we want to tell our kids and others is that we’re Christians, even if they are not. We opened our little center because we believe that God loves us (as in everyone on earth) immensely. He loves the broken and the lost, and because we love God for what He has done in our lives we want to put His love into action in the lives of others, loving them as ourselves, regardless of whether or not they believe in Christ or ever will. And because we love God we want to do what He calls us to do, and to share our faith with those around us, with those whom we love (meaning all our neighbors) again regardless of whether or not they believe in Christ.
“Stepping Out on Faith, Trusting God to Change the World” is not just a catchy tag line, it is our way of letting others know that we follow Christ, that all the good works we try to do are because of our faith in Him, and that we believe God is moving through us and working for the good of others in a world that we humans have filled with sin and darkness, and we are going to let other know what we as Christians know is the way out of it. We hope and pray that by letting others know this that they will respect our faith and us for following what we believe, but even if they don’t, at least they know we’re still going to continue “Stepping Out on Faith” and “Trusting God to Change the World.”
Sincerely in Christ,
Gregory P.W. Holz
Crossing Cambodia Mission Director