Sunday Worship Gathering 11 AM @ North Community Lutheran Church
114 Morse Road Columbus, OH 43214 (Map)
One of the most common phrases around Asia’s Hope is “This is my family.” It’s a phrase that sets the organization apart from other orphan care models - the kids at Asia’s Hope, although still legally considered orphans, are brought into a loving family where they’re given the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual care that every child needs and deserves. During our time in Cambodia we were able to witness and even experience this family dynamic first hand. There are five Asia’s Hope homes in Prek Eng, a city just outside the capitol of Phnom Penh, each with house parents, about 20 children, a yard, a garden, and cozy places to eat, sleep, cook, learn, and play. Most of the house parents have biological children, but the dynamic of each family leaves you unable to tell which children are biological and which children are orphans. The relationships between the house parents and the children is beautiful - parents and children alike selflessly love one another, serve one another, and care for one another. The parents have very literally given their whole lives to rescue, love, and serve children. Parent’s biological kids willingly share their affections, space, and belongings with roughly 20 other children all day every day, too. Orphans who have suffered horrific circumstances such as abandonment, exploitation, and unimaginable loss are now quick to serve others in any way they can with bright and joy-filled smiles on their faces. So, when I think about the parents, children, and staff of Asia’s Hope, I think of the phrase ‘sacrificial love.’
Although I’ve heard the term “sacrificial love” used plenty in my life, spending a week immersed in an environment saturated with it has made me think more practically about what sacrificial love really looks like. At Scarlet City, one of the ways we want to show sacrificial love is by being a gospel family. I totally believe in striving for to be a gospel family, but sometimes I wonder what that really means? Through my time in Cambodia I’m beginning to understand the answer is through loving each other sacrificially. What makes these Asia’s Hope families so tightly knit together is their willingness and ability to love sacrificially. Part of what made our time with the Asia’s Hope families so sweet was the familiarity. Our time in conversation, sharing meals, playing games, cracking jokes, and sharing life with our Cambodian church family felt almost identical to an evening with our church family at City Group. Sure, there are cultural differences, but the same sacrificial love that we experience through our City Groups in Columbus, OH is what we experienced with Asia’s Hope half way across the world. It’s such a beautiful picture of our gospel transcending culture.
When participating in international missions, it’s easy make the mistake of believing you’re going to be the one doing the blessing and the teaching and the serving. If anything, this trip has been the exact opposite for me so far. From the second we stepped out of the van onto the Asia’s Hope campus, we were served, loved on, taught, and blessed by the Asia’s Hope families more than we could ever give in return. I’ve seen a model of what true gospel family looks like. That’s what’s so beautiful and exciting about having a partnership with an organization like Asia’s Hope - it’s not a one-sided relationship, but a true partnership where we can learn from each other and love on each other - it’s mutually edifying. I’m thankful for a God who demonstrated sacrificial love through the death and resurrection of his Son so that we could be reconciled back to him and experience restoration. I’m thankful that through God’s ultimate act of sacrificial love, we are saved into a global family who, even from opposite sides of the world, can model sacrificial love to one another and to our communities in hopes that others will see and glorify our Father in heaven.
(Danny & Janelle Jackson with Savorn Ou, the Director of Asia's Hope Cambodia)
Prayer: Lord, please help us to see the depth of your love for us. The lengths you were willing to go to bring is into your family. Help us to understand sacrificial love more as we look to the life of your Son, Jesus Christ. Guide us with your Spirit to show sacrifical love in order to make much of you with our lives. Amen.
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