This year I spent a week in Cambodia working with Transform Cambodia. It was a challenging week for me. I played with the children, and taught them. I chatted with the staff and the curriculum developers. I tried to learn everything I could while I was there.
But nothing prepared me for the challenge when I returned home. I was confronted everywhere I looked by the wealth of our country. I was confronted by the things we see as rights (such as health and education), which other people have to fight for. I was confronted by excess and waste. I was confronted by privilege and indifference.
And most of it has been my own!
I have been slowly processing that week in Cambodia. It is settling into the depths of my spirit and etching scars on my soul. I am not the same.
But the task is huge, and I am just one person and I have other commitments. In some ways it would be easy to say “this is all too hard, it’s too big a problem, Cambodia is too big a country.”
Goodness, even the organisation I visited has taken on a huge task. I was amazed at the scale of what they had done, and conversely what is still to be achieved .
So, I could choose to continue as if this didn’t matter. I could choose to go on with life as before. I could choose to say “that was an interesting trip, we are so lucky, we are so privileged”. And then do nothing with that.
But I haven’t.
I am still working through things and much more will become clearer as I go on. But for now I have chosen in little ways to make a stand.
I have chosen to go through the stuff in our house and donate once more to the Salvation Army. I have chosen to have the hard conversation with my children. Letting them know that their bathroom is the size of someone’s house in Cambodia. I have chosen to talk to people about how I can help further. And I am investigating options that will help in more tangible ways.
These things may seem small, and in fact they are in the face of the task ahead. Yet, I am making little choices, because I believe that little choices have the potential to make a big difference.