Once in a lifetime?

I lost count of how many people commented in the past few months on what a “once in a lifetime experience” my trip to Cambodia would be. I suppose it’s a reasonable assumption that this type of journey would be a singular event. But I hope they’re wrong. I hope that this was not a one-time visit, but rather the first of many to come.

This trip, which I once feared would be too long, seems to have gone by in the blink of an eye. Now that I’m home again, it’s hard to believe the whole thing is behind me. And all I can think is, “What’s next?”

My involvement with Asia’s Hope and orphan care over the past couple of years has been as much, if not more so, about me and my own growth as it is about the children. It’s a story of discovering purpose. Of finding joy. Of finding faith. Of forging deeper connections with my fellow citizens of the world. Of learning that, wherever we are on this planet, and as diverse and varied as our cultures and backgrounds may be, we are, at our core, not really all that different after all. We all share a basic human need for warmth and connection and love. And our lives are richer when we weave the thread of our story together with others, creating a richness and depth that is impossible to achieve on our own. We are all interconnected. And I don’t think I’ve ever fully embraced that before now.

Had someone told me a few years ago that I’d be so deeply invested in the lives and livelihood of children on the other side of the planet, I’d have called them crazy. But these children are forever in my heart, forever my family.

Over the course of my life, I have often felt like the classic “jack of all trades, master of none.” I have dabbled at so many things. But I’ve never fully focused on any one thing. It’s so easy for us to spread our efforts over so many areas that we end up with an impact that is a mile wide but merely an inch deep. 

I don’t want my visit to Cambodia to be just one of those passing things in my life – a checked box, a cool experience, a stamp in my passport. I don’t want to just fall back into my day-to-day routine and let the lessons I’ve learned over the past few weeks slip away. I think this is the place I’m supposed to stop, settle in and dig a mile deep for a change.

Though this particular trip has come to a close, this is not the end. This is only the beginning. Ask me how you can get involved, too.

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6:21