Wednesday, August 6, 2014

SE Asia Love Adventure 2014

What an amazing trip!
6 countries in SE Asia [Thailand, Laos, Burma, Cambodia, Philippines, Singapore] in two weeks [July 19 - August 1]... I'm almost recovered from the jet lag  ;P  a few of my thoughts since arriving home (with link to photo album) are posted here... Enjoy!

Sunday 8/3/14 Facebook Post
It was an awesome trip, for sure - this morning, as I sit here resting my way through jet lag & last traces of sickness (which thankfully didn't affect me until after I got home), I find the question returning about why I do short term missions. Yes, because God sends me - this time that was very obvious! as it all came about so "suddenly" & supernaturally.  I realized on the plane heading over that I had blocked Asia somewhat from my consciousness & heart for "the nations" - it was too far, I don't speak the languages, didn't really see myself going or being involved in that part of the world?  Then I got launched!  For two weeks, through six nations.  And yes, I believe God uses us in those few moments we touch the lives of children, the poor, & (my heroes) the long-term missionaries who do God's work in hard places day after day.  Healings happen; Love is displayed.  Holy Spirit shifts atmospheres & refreshes weary souls, pours out prophetic prayers, encouragement & proclamations releasing divine destiny over individuals & changing nations.  I'm under no illusions about our own abilities or personal goodness apart from God, but I know He ordains & orchestrates these amazing symphonies of His Love, even though they are so intense & for such a short time... I know He digs deep in our hearts, making lots of new connections & commitments to support His work in other places - with prayers, finances, sharing new awareness with others - as I return to my job in the USA on Monday morning.  And as I ask Him again today - exhausted & spent, happy but oh so aware of how short & wild a trip that really was - I hear Him say, "I want you to see this..."  You see, I could just write checks from the comfort of home, but as He leads us into these moments of participation in what He is doing "over there," I believe He wants us to see what He sees with our own eyes... And so my heart is expanded, tears flow as freely as joy - love, laughter, hopes & dreams released - feeling as fragile as the bubbles we blew over children in the garbage dumps of Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines - yet so much more...
♥ I want you to see this.

[To enjoy the full captions & comments, which tell more of our story, click on the first image and then page through the album by clicking the arrow at the right edge of each photo, one by one.]

Travel Math!
I’m glad I didn’t figure this up quite so precisely until I got home - my “travel math” for 14 days:
6 countries [Thailand, Laos, Burma, Cambodia, Philippines, Singapore]
10 airplanes
63 hours of flight time
24 hours of layovers (time in airports between flights)
9 hours x 2 days = 18 hours of bus travel from Bangkok to Siem Reap, then on to Phnom Penh
= 105 hours of travel, plus bus rides to/from sites & waiting to check in/out of airports & hotels

In retrospect, I think only a bunch of crazy – wild – fun – loving - Jesus people would do all that in 2 weeks to visit 4 children’s homes, 3 garbage dumps, 2 red light districts & a couple of temples.  And we had the most amazing team of 32 people (35 counting our amazing leaders) who fit that description!  Now we all miss our time together, but I'll admit I’m pretty glad not to be on a plane for a little while.  ;)

Want to know / do more?
As God opens our eyes to see His treasures around the world, I want my short-term mission trips to be more than a “moment” – I want to partner with those who are literally changing nations by rescuing children, transforming orphans into sons & daughters of God, whose hopes & dreams & abilities will shape the future.  We saw this in the Upper Mekong region, where children who had been taken from their parents for military training are now in Christian children’s homes, attending school, strong in spirit & full of dreams for their future!  After speaking briefly with Marcus Young of Project AK47 (whose family has been involved in SE Asia for 125 years) about the connection between long & short term mission activities, I felt in my heart a deep & joyful conviction to invest an amount equal to the cost of this trip in what Marcus & his team are doing to rescue & care for children through Project AK47, by making a series of small monthly gifts over a period of years. I share that mainly to encourage readers that, as Marcus told me, “Little is Big” in the Kingdom of God.  Nearly a third of my expenses for this trip were donated by friends, family & coworkers who contributed $50 or less (most gifts were $25).  To increase the value of short-term missions travel expenses, let’s keep “paying it forward” by re-investing in Kingdom business!  Special note: we were asked not to post the words “child soldier” with any specific details or images that could endanger these children in any way, so if you’d like more information on Project AK47, or to join me in giving, check out their websites: and

Likewise, Global Celebration provides ongoing support for children in the nations they visit, now through their dedicated website “Rescue the One,” where one-time or monthly donations of any size add up to changing the world by assisting trusted partners & Christian caregivers to provide children at risk with love, education, & other basic needs for life, God-given identity & destiny as citizens & leaders of the next generation in Bulgaria, Cambodia, India, Mexico, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Philippines & Thailand... For more information, see

For more information on Global Celebration mission trips, check out
You can also find many more photos & stories from our team under #HopeinAsia on Facebook.

If you have any questions for me about what I’ve written here, my email is

Thanks again to all who supported me with prayers & finances on this trip – may God bless you abundantly, many times over, for every moment & every measure you give into His kingdom!

Photo by Vanessa Ong

Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the children come to me and do not stop them, because the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” 
[Luke 18:16 GNT]

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