STSM Testimony – Cambodia | David Chong

STSM Testimony – Cambodia | David Chong

David Chong

Senior // UCLA 

With the many uncertainties that come with graduating college and entering the real world, I had no idea where God was leading me to and what he had planned for me. The thought of missions had always been in the backburner of my mind, but I chose to disregard it. However, knowing our God, he answers both the prayers and thoughts that we consciously and unconsciously pray about. It was during a discipleship course my church offered, called Experiencing God, that God chose to speak to me and answer this prayer about missions. It was during one of the weeks labeled, “Crisis of Belief” where the lesson revolved around who we ultimately put our trust in during these crisis’s; the world or God? After feeling this tug from God, I asked that if he wanted me to go on missions that he would answer three specific prayers and surely enough, God answered them in a span of one week.

During the month in Cambodia, God quickly showed me how self-sufficient and self-reliant I am. Throughout the trip I realized that I had a trend of physically doing well, but emotionally and spiritually suffering. During ministry times I would thrive and just work like a machine, just going through the motions without feeling anything. However, during team/sharing time, I would just go into my shell and not want to interact with anyone. I questioned why I felt so drained even though I would rest physically. It wasn’t until we worked with a ministry called, A.I.M (Agape International Missions), where God showed me that physical rest is not enough. The goal of this ministry was to help and rescue women and children who are affected by human/sex trafficking, reintegrate them back into society, and give them the tools so that they don’t go back into these brothels and prostitution rings. It was towards the end of the ministry where I felt the full weight of my emotions that I have not been attending to. During team time, while everyone was sharing, I remember feeling so empty and so tired to the point where I wanted to shut off and leave. I cursed at God, asking him why he’s making me feel this way even though I have been serving him non-stop. However, God quickly rebuked me when one of the leaders shared a verse about how worship without faith is just a noisy gong to God. It was then I realized that all that I was doing was from my own strength and my own agenda, and none of it was rooted in Christ. I felt so emotionally and spiritually dry because I was not relying on God and not spending time with him. 

It was through this experience that God showed me a new characteristic of who he is. He showed me even through the darkest and most tiring moments, that he is in control of everything. Even when working with ministries that address the dark sides of Cambodia, God blessed me by showing me hope amidst the brokenness. I came into this trip subconsciously having this “savior” mentality, telling myself that I need to minister to these people or who will? I would say all these things as if, in the chance that God didn’t call me this summer to go, his will would stop. I, myself, can do nothing if it is not through the strength of God and it is not me who is in control, but God. Thank you for reading ☺ <3. 

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