Thursday, August 20, 2009

This Ain't a Scene

8:06 AM
I'm slowly getting acclimated to the (Christian) culture of Siem Reap. I haven't done anything with YWAM before this, but I knew they are very reputable as far as short term missions goes and on the charismatic side of things. But that's all. One thing I've observed is that the ministry programming doesn't overpower the culture. This is a very laid back city, country and culture. Therefor the ministry here is very laid back. An hour of small group and prayer in the morning, and prayer before meals is really the only organized ministry time. But that's definitely not to say ministry isn't happening. For hours the girls knit these crazy detailed bags, that they will sell for money for the ministry. And Dary keeps music playing throughout the house, some Khmer, some English, but all “Jesus music”. So today I've found myself rocking out to MaryMary, God's Property, Carmen, and Avalon. Clearly not my style of choice. But I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. The girls are learning a dance to “Lord I Lift Your Name on High” for the slum kids tomorrow, and I got to sing it for them (until the CD is found), and it was fun! A little one, Net, comes up to me to dance with her to a hiphop version of “Awesome God”. And for worship this morning we sang “Shout to the Lord” and “I Could Sing of Your Love Forever”! Coming out of my hipster generation, and too cool Christianity with its emergent vs. emerging debates, this couldn't be farther from that. I know I've mocked the outdated Christian culture that still thrives in America with the best of them. My worship playlists consist of Derek Webb, Jason Upton, Jon Foreman and of course Preson ;) I even stopped listening to a lot of Hillsong because it was so “overdone”. But absolutely none of that matters here. All that matters is God. Not whose guitar chords are the best, or the lyrics the most profound or poetic. And it's refreshing. And it's not just the Christian culture, nothing about these people are fashionable or trendy. It's so freeing. The girls told me I looked pretty when I was wearing my black skirt and this silly purple Woodstock tee after sweating through my khaki capris from earlier that day. Pretty was not what I felt. But I felt that I looked like one of them. Just comfortable in my own skin, sweat, and dirt.

About the author

Joy Muldoon is a full-time missionary and part-time blogger. Read about her travels, adventures, and missions here!