Karen and I are at an airport lounge in Seoul and headed to Cambodia today to debrief our World Race team
. Feeling scuzzy after 24 hours en route so far. Catch this itinerary to get there:
Atlanta – JFK
JFK – Seoul, SK
Seoul – Bangkok
Bangkok – Phnom Pennh
Phnom Pennh – Sihanoukville !!
me, international travel is not glamorous. When you miss planes, lose
baggage, and lose sleep, it can test (to put it theologically) your
sense of sanctification. The reason we do this is because we believe in and love the team we’re going to see. They are being challenged in a hundred different ways through their experiences. In particular, their sense of entitlement, of identity, their worldview, their understanding of the kingdom, their individualism, and their materialism are all up for grabs.
Cambodia is as good a place as any to do this. A more scarred nation would be hard to find. In 1980, not quite graduated from Wheaton College
, I traveled to a
Cambodian refugee camp. It was a coming of age experience (one I recount here
). For three
months, I wrestled to show love in a tangible way to the survivors of that
horror. I watched them escape Pol Pot’s executioners and stagger across the border into our camp. It was a searing experience.
But our story goes back even further, to 1968 when my father served as a doctor in
Nam and my mom, sister, and I gave our lives to Christ. My dad was in charge of all the
blood flowing into our wounded troops during that terrible year. And blood is an apt metaphor, because he
never quite got the country of Viet Nam out of his
My dad saw a
country caught up in a civil war and turned inside out. Blood dripped through IV’s into troops by the
thousands of gallons. Like many, when he
returned to the States, it was hard for him to talk about it, much less even
dream about redeeming the experience.
But for a number of years now, my dad and mom have been making an annual
trek to Viet
Nam to work with our former enemies to build a
system that promotes healing through a better blood supply.
All of which
brings us to today and the completion of this cycle of redemption. It’s a good day in Cambodia and a good day in the Barnes family. More from Cambodia tomorrow…