Devon is going to Cambodia. We live in West Virginia and our son is going to Cambodia. Literally, half a world away. I am so excited for the experience that lies before him. But let me share some back story.
Devon is 17. He is actually my step-son, but I have never seen him that way. We have a quirky relationship, part parent and the other part is kind of like me and my favorite Aunt. He has a mom who loves him and until he was almost 16, was his primary care giver. He simply reached a point where he needed his Dad. The transition was not as I would have planned it. He moved out from his Mom and Step-Dad under tense, unpleasant circumstances. I am not placing blame on anyone. I have been through this with both of my biological sons and the fact remains, there is always some measure of fault on both sides when things get that sour. It seems that the relationship had mended and healed. That is the most important thing.
Devon has plans to join the military. His current intention is to join the reserves, get through college and then go active. He wants to be in the medical field. He wants to serve. He originally wanted to enlist and attend basic the summer between his Junior and Senior years of school, summer 2017. As circumstances unfolded, he was unable to obtain all the consents he needed in time for the deferred enlistment program.
He was devastated. We saw an immediate slump in his grades. An immediate slump in his attitude and detachment from his areas of interest. He was depressed over the fact the plans for his future were stalled. I stressed to him that there was a reason for everything. I reminded him that now he could go to youth camp, something that greatly impacted him in summer 2016. I tried to get him to realize that meant one more summer as a kid. He did not buy it…not one bit.
The announcement came for the Cambodia mission trip. Devon did not immediately show interest because he was still hoping, planning to be in basic training. Once it was evident basic training was not an option, we discussed options. He had before him a music camp or a mission trip to Cambodia.
We have actively encouraged Devon in his music. His room looks like a small music store, instead of a teenage boy’s bedroom. He is a bit of a musical prodigy. It is amazing to me what he can do on his guitar or the keyboard. It is his passion…his first love, if you will. I do believe music camp could have been a good experience for him; however, Devon does not read music. He plays by ear. As a 17-year-old going into his senior year he would have likely been placed with middle school kids based on his music theory knowledge. Frankly, that would have sucked for him.
He Is Going to Cambodia
We placed options and facts before him. After all he is 17 and I am not telling him which option he has to choose. He started looking up information on Cambodia. (Thanks Google). Of course, he shares with me a list of snakes indigenous to Cambodia. (Because every parent wants to think about that!) The next conversation I had with anyone about the mission trip was me asking questions about bathrooms. I want to eventually go on a mission trip and that is my big scary question. I want to know where we can get to a bathroom. (The answer has me personally considering a domestic missions trip cause I don’t like public restrooms, let alone going in the woods.)
Between scary snakes and digging holes to go potty, why would I still be okay with him going to Cambodia? Devon has had an easy life. Certainly, he has had to deal with divorced parent drama and the blending of families. Real hard stuff, he has escaped. There has always been food on his table. He has been blessed with a degree of indulgence at Christmas and his birthday from some family members. Growing up, his Mom was able to stay at home or work part-time. She was able to cart him to activities and volunteer in his school. He has had everything he needs and much of what he wants. (Yes, he can be a bit of a brat sometimes as a result, but he has a good heart and he wears it on his sleeve.) I cannot wait to see how the Cambodia experience impacts him. He is going to see real need. He has a half a dozen pairs of shoes and he is going to give shoes to people who have none. He is going to see, first hand, the move and impact of God. He will witness how God and the message of love penetrates through language barriers. He is going to see the hand of God in raising the money for the trip. He will see how God provides for the expense of his trip. He will see God bless those who support him. Even as parents we are experiencing a sense of awe in those who are responding to our Adopt-a-Box campaign.
It has been almost a week since we first posted a photo on Facebook of Devon’s Adopt-a-Box. We have raised $591 so far. The trip cost approximately $2800 per person. They have to finalize airfare closer to time. In addition to the trip cost, we have to get his passport, additional immunizations and of course he needs some money on him during the trip for snacks, souvenirs and such. Half of the total is due by April 1st. We are expecting God to provide the full cost of the trip by April 1st. I want my son to see how God can move. He is young in his faith. I do not believe it was luck or coincidence that his plans fell through for the summer. I believe his going to Cambodia is ordered by God. My son is going to receive something in the course of preparing and going on this trip that he cannot receive hanging out in Clarksburg, WV. I speak this in faith and it is my prayer for the duration. Cambodia will be a breakthrough in the faith of a young man. His life will be changed.
That’s Nice, What Do You Want?
I want your support. Obviously, financial support is needed and we will welcome any and all support of any size. We need your prayers. Pray for the entire team to be blessed financially and for those blessings to multiply. Pray for strongholds to fall and hearts to soften. Pray for strength, endurance and protection for each team member.
Our heartfelt thanks to those who are supporting, Devon. Thank you for supporting anyone on the team. We pray for God to bless you greatly. If you are led to donate, please contact me directly. (There is also a PayPal link ,under business links, but you can contact me for other donation options.)
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38