Why was my heart weeping at the SFO airport when I passed customs?
Could it have been that I…
– missed my flight from Hong Kong to San Francisco and was delayed for 14 hours until the next available flight.
– did not have a seat for the connecting flight from San Francisco to DFW and a possibility of more delays on the horizon.
– was exhausted from two weeks of spiritual battles.
– just felt happy to be back in the good ol’ US of A to celebrate July 4th.
Actually it was none of these. My heart was filled with joy and my song was full of gladness because of the incredible mercies that God showered on me on a daily basis to give me the strength and ability to serve Him. My eyes swelled with tears because I understood more vividly Paul’s words in Ephesians 2:10 that I was His masterpiece created for good works prepared by Him. Even with being frustrated, exhausted and sometimes sinful in my anger, God still chooses to use me. From this fact, I had not other choice but to weep at His mercy and grace.
Below are some of the highlights of the trip.
June 24th- I spent five hours with Cedar Fund as we started placing “feet” under their strategy. We worked on their SWOT analysis for their strategy and developed action plans for the next steps. A few things encouraged me.
1. A visitor joined the training – the director of an organization in Thailand called Mekong Minority Foundation. The fact that the director joined us for the meeting made me realize how God can expand our impact to many organizations as Cedar Fund works with organizations around Asia.
2. Cedar Fund showed me their new brochures and other material just published. They wanted me to see it because it had their new organizational vision and mission printed. This was the first part of the project to establish an updated vision and mission. They connected with this new vision and mission in such a way that they wanted it to immediately be printed on all their marketing and media.
June 26th- Preaching at Tung Chung Church was different this time. The first reason was saying goodbye to Richard and Yvonne Dauncey. They are moving back to Australia. Richard and Yvonne were used by God in a mighty way to carry on the vision of Tung Chung Church when we had to return to the U.S. Through their service to the church, it is now larger than when we left and in a much better financial state. God used them to build a strong foundation for the church to serve the community for many years.
June 27th-28th- I conducted a team building workshop and did 1-on-1 coaching with the newly formed leadership team at World Relief Cambodia. From very difficult situations, this team was formed of Cambodians to lead while the country director is out of the country for an extended amount of time. These four leaders were in our first group of participants in the Nextgen Leadership Development program so we have a great relationship with each other. As any new team, they need help in building a relationship of trust and communication. We were working on these details along with planning on how I can serve them over the next 6 months. Not only am I excited about serving them, but I am exciting about helping the organization as it uses a shared leadership team model. This model was described in Robert Greenleaf’s famous book and now leadership theory, “Servant Leadership”. It says that servant leaders work more effectively in organizations that have shared leadership with one another among equals. It is counter to what we see in most organizations and is very hard to implement in the West were we are fond of our individualistic accomplishments, but I believe it will work great in Asia especially in Cambodia where they understand being servants in a biblical sense much better than we do.
June 29th-Over the past few years, we’ve worked with CREDIT, the micro finance organization created by World Relief in Cambodia, but mainly a few of their leaders would come over to the office of World Relief for the training. For the first time, I did a one day workshop with CREDIT’s management team. Jason Noble and I trained on Leadership and Communication to the top 30 leaders in the organization. We had a great time serving CREDIT. I believe we will expand and do more training for them in the future. This is a great opportunity for us to make a larger impact in Cambodia. CREDIT has over 650 employees and is growing rapidly. They are now the fifth largest microfinance company in Cambodia.
As you read all of these exciting events, you can understand more of why my heart was weeping in San Francisco. Again, thank you for your prayers and financial support. We cannot serve these organizations without you, so I pray you are able to know just how important you are to us.