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Posts Tagged ‘Cambodia’

I was chatting with my friends Mat and Lisa Weddle from my Missional Community and we were reminiscing on how exactly six years ago today (New Years Eve) we were boarding a plane with thirty other young adults to be a part of Passion in Atlanta. For them, it was where they first met and they are now married today. My friends Brian Wurzell and Promise and Steve Adame and Liz met on that trip and they too are married and doing amazing stuff for the Lord. For people like myself, Shauna and Amaris, it was the trip that God called us into cross-cultural missions. They both ended up serving on the field for some time. It was a pivotal trip for many of us from that amazing community that were led by Pastor Ron Merrell. I heard God speak through Francis Chan for the first time that year. Chris Tomlin’s version of “Fire Fall Down” reminded me of my broken life and how God was putting me back to together to do years of ministry following that trip. Ben Stuart’s message on singleness was the best message I have ever heard on how God can use us as single people. I used that message to start a group for newly divorced people and how God can use them at this time to do amazing things for Him. But the impactful part of that trip was Louie Giglio’s message on how heaven will be a party for the nations. That message blew me away and opened the door for me to engage with God’s heartbeat for the world.

Passion '07

Passion ’07

I had an amazing conversation today with my friend Amber at 8th Day Coffee and Culture. We were talking about our creative gifts and how God uses them for His purposes. She has been getting a lot of pressure to sign with a major record label. Her heart is just to share her music with the world and how God healed her from a difficult time. For me, I hope never to have to make money off of anything creative I do. I am blessed to have a job that provides more than enough for me to do life. I personally want to use my creative talents for the Kingdom and to share with others. We were talking about how easy it is to make our gifts about ourselves and not about the Lord.

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It’s New Years Eve and I am so thankful for where I am at in life. It’s been an incredible year for me and I feel focused for the first time in a few years. My friend and mentor described my year like this: He said I’m like a plant and God put me into a pot to grow and heal me for a little while because there were some things He needed to work on. The soil represents the healing power of God working in my life. But now he sees God taking me out of that pot and putting me back into world to allow me to continue to serve Him. I do feel that. I feel God is ready for me to begin to go back to work and be a light for Him. And honestly, I don’t know what that is and I love that. This is where my faith and trust in God comes in and allows me to stay on His path.

IMG_1462I do know that God is about to reveal some of His plan for me. Through teaching from amazing influential people and reading His word, God is syncing my heart to His heart for injustice and mercy. I’ve gone about this all wrong for some time. I saw trafficking firsthand in Cambodia for the first time in 2008 and God opened the door for me to learn more about it. Failed opportunities to go to Fiji and other chances to engage were due to me following my own wants and desires and making life about me. I’m done needing approval from other people for my sense of self-worth and being a one-man show trying to save the world so I can feel better about myself. Now God has put me back into a position to be a part of His plan for justice and I want to be attentive to just following His will. It’s about the gospel and the message of God redeeming a fallen world. God is aligning me to Him and I look forward to learning more about topics like slavery so I can be an effective tool for Him.

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Cambodia ’08 – my first exposure to human trafficking

I also was convicted by a passage in Luke 5 this week in which Simon Peter falls to knees in worship when Christ invites him to drop what he is doing and follow Him. When was the last time I dropped to my knees in worship to the Lord? I honestly don’t have an answer to that. I want to be in worship everyday with my Lord and Savior. I want Him to be my first priority in all I do. God has done so much for and hasn’t given up on me. I want my life to reflect on His grace and for others to see Jesus when they meet me.

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Palm Sunday. It’s the day we celebrate Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. At Cornerstone, Pastor Linn wrapped up a series on what it means to be a fully devoted follower of Christ. He preached out of a passage in Luke 9:57-62 that says nothing should hold us back in following Christ. So he challenged us to give up that thing that is holding us back and stop being a ‘casual Christian’. Ribbons representing our sins were laid upon the cross stating we are done with living life for ourselves. I love that they did this a week before Easter. This year’s lent campaign has been a tremendous time of healing for me. I have spent since November allowing God to strip me down and refine me to be the man He wants me to be. It has been incredibility difficult facing my garbage and baggage. But at the same time, God is using all of this to mold me into a better man and an effective Christ follower. I’m done with my continued issues with anger and lust and everything else I find myself carrying. I’m done being a slave to these sins and I am ready to lay them down at the foot of the cross and be all that Christ wants me to be.

This is Ka and she lives in Cambodia. She comes from a very poor family and has even scavenged through trash in order to find food at times. At 16, she left to the Thai border to find work because of the poverty. She ended up in a karaoke bar that was a front for a brothel. She was lured in with nice clothing and things and eventually found herself being forced to performed sex acts. After trying to escape, she owed money and ended up in forced prostitution to pay her debt. She would work 5 to 10 men a night and still was unable to pay her debt no matter how much she ‘worked’ . She felt she had no chance and continued to live this life of sin in order to get by.
Many times I have found myself in desperate situations and took sidesteps in order to get what. I’ve lied and cheated to get by. I eventually had to ask myself the question “Do I trust God that He is big enough to be Lord of my life? Am I willing to let go of my life of sin in order to grow and to be set free?” (John 8:31-34). Sin separates me from God. It causes me to hide and be ashamed. God is big enough to handle my stuff and I want to surrender it to Him so I can walk with Him and be in tune with what He wants to do with my life. (Isaiah 59:1-3). I’m done with being a slave to sin.
This is holy week and it is a week we Christians celebrate Christ dying on the cross for our sins. He paid the ultimate price for my sins and I no longer need to experience the pain and guilt of being enslaved to them. I praise God everyday for His grace and for loving me enough to forgive me. I am praying for continued strength and hope in the areas I struggle with. (Galatians 5:1)

A photo from Cambodia of how hard it is to get water

Another video from the field in Uganda… please continue to support my campaign to help support these causes.

A story from the Blood:Water Mission’s blog page:
Childhood is not quite the same in Africa as it is in America. In America, children go to school because it’s required. School is simply part of the deal of being a kid – regardless of whether you go public school, private school, or home school. In Uganda, not all children go to school, and it is not always for the reasons I would imagine.
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As I walked through the village of Alobo Rom in Northern Uganda to check out an unprotected spring of water, I met Janet. She had a small pile of laundry in front of her and was washing her clothes by hand. When we started talking, she said that she did not go to school that day because her clothes were dirty. At age 13, Janet was washing her clothes rather than sitting in the classroom.
A lot of things ran through my mind at that point. Why would she be kept out of school for dirty clothes? Why were her clothes not washed the night before? Was there no one to help her? When did she stop being a child? Yet – I know this is part of life here. I know that the rest of her day is likely full of other chores, including carrying water for the family needs. I hope that some day this is not her reality, and that nothing will keep her from school – not laundry, not carrying water, and not illness. On the day that I met Janet, all I could do was share a smile and wish her the best when she returned to the classroom.
~ Pamela Crane, PhD., Africa Field Manager

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Village School House in Cambodia

Village School House in Cambodia

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Hey guys… here are some more pictures of the Village school house we built in Cambodia. God is good!!

Chovy teaches her class

Chovy teaches her class

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Wow… I haven’t been on myspace in forever. Even though myspace looks cooler, I’ve been on Facebook. Just easier to communicate. But I thought I’d give an update on what’s going on.

Doing the Rhythm and Momentum thing lately. Rhythm is a post college singles group that is meeting on Thursdays. Totally loving it! James Patterson has an amazing vision for that group. Momentum (5th/6th grade) is going well too. God is really stretching me with the 11 kids I get to teach every Wednesday night. I care about those kids a ton and just love seeing what God is doing in their lives.

So the mission thing is what is going on lately. Leaving for Cambodia in about 6 hours here. Then heading to Belize in a few weeks. Then a trip down to Tijuana not too long after that. I love being a part of these teams and serving the people that are need of Christ. I will for sure write about my experiences when I get back.

God is good. He has blessed my so much. The boys are doing so well in school. He has also blessed me with an amazing friend in my life that I’m really enjoying getting to know. She has brought a lot of joy to my life!

Please keep me in prayer as we leave and that we complete the task God has laid out for us. God Bless.

Travis

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2am… I’m sitting on my balcony pondering God’s will in my life….

Lately I have been studying a lot into unreached groups within the 10/40 window. I don’t know why I never had an interest before until recently. I’m guessing it was fear. Fear of the unknown. Especially with the muslim culture. My guess is that 9/11 casted a lot of judgement on that culture. But lately I have finding myself learning more about Islam. I got to experience some of their practices during muslim night at my missions class last week. I actually felt less distracted in my worship in some of their ways. I am going to a seminar on the Pakistan culture in a couple of weeks. I am looking forward to it.

I have always had a heart for the hispanic community. But I feel a great responsiblity in learning more about those cultures where the gospel isn’t being spread. 90% of missionaries go to regions where the gospel is prevalent and churches are already rooted. The muslim culture is being ignored. I’m hoping being exposed to the Buddhist culture in Cambodia will really be a step in my faith to push myself into learning more about the muslim culture. I feel I need to not let Satan not take over my confidence in spreading the good news to not only those within my own society. I need to step out of my comfort level.

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