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Smiles & Hugs

“Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier” Mother Teresa

This should be my goal everyday. Not just because I’m on the “mission field” (I use that term lightly since every place is a mission field), but because I then believe I’m being a better reflection of Christ. I try to remember to pray and ask God to show me His divine appointment for the day – but sometimes I get too caught up in ‘me’ to care, and instead head out to have a “woe is me” day.

Let me tell you how thankful I am to you who pray regularly for me/us and those who send encouraging words in response to my “Need Prayer Now” request. Prayer is a catch 22 isn’t it? God knows our need before we even ask. His son sits next to Him praying 24/7 on our behalf. The plans of the Lord will not be thwarted….and yet He still desires us to lay our needs before Him. In the end…God is faithful even when I’m not. He knows exactly what He needs to do to send me my “Hug” for the day and encourage me back to obedience. Today was one of those days.

This morning started out as one of those mornings that anything I said was going to be wrong. Argh – I hate days like that. Why even try?! So when Bekah just wanted to go to the mall with a friend and hang out, it sounded like a good escape and time alone. While she roamed the mall with her friend I decided to take advantage of the inexpensive manicures and go relax. This was the begining of God’s hug.

Cambodians are sooo very friendly, especially to foreigners. They were so excited that they got to work on a beautiful young woman (their words not mine – but the begining of my smile). Where in the states would I be treated like royalty for $4.00? Anyway, we enjoyed our time together. A couple of them spoke a little English while I tried to speak as much Khmer as I could and they were happy to teach me words/phrases that I wanted to know. They LOVE IT when we try to speak their language! Then, one of the young gals shared her snack with me. Not really sure what it was I ate. She said it was a fruit and it did have a core, but it tasted more like a mild cheese. We dipped it in sugar and it actually wasn’t too bad. Although I wouldn’t want to eat a lot of it, her hospitality of wanting/insisting that I share some touched me. They all seemed to appreciated that I partook and shared a new experience (for me)with them. The time together brought a smile to all of us:) A hug from God.

A few minutes later while I still had some time to kill before meeting back up with Bekah I decide to relax with an ice cream. As I sat there, an older gentleman with an infant came and sat down on the bench right next to me at my table – literally right next to me. This is when it’s a good time that my personal space is smaller than most and the fact that I, in an odd way, enjoy strange encounters. He obviously was making a point of wanting to sit next to me with his infant because first of all he didn’t buy his ‘waffles’ from the area I was sitting in and second he kept saying “hello madam” and wanting the baby to “see” me. Funny how even with infants, they do notice that we white people look different because they are just as mesmerized (this isn’t the first time). Anyway, he was most friendly and just wanted to talk to me. Again a stumbling of our languages:) When I asked how to say “waffle” in Khmer he was going to share his waffle. No, I didn’t take a bite; but again the quickness to freely share with me brought another smile to my face. As soon as he was done eating he was gone. Just another brief hug from God.

Heb 13:2 reads “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.” Today, rather than me entertaining the angels, I believe God sent them to minister to me and remind me of His faithfulness. I know that we are here for a purpose and I sometimes wonder whether we aren’t here to learn as much as we are to help educate. But either way, I thank God for the “hugs of encouragement” that He sends to recharge me! What a great day!!

Virginia