Have you ever seen Cambodia during the rainy season? Depending on the location, it can be quite a spectacle, filled with drenching day-long rains and hikes through knee-deep mud. I knew this when I scheduled AFM Europe’s first mission trip during this time, but there was no other option. Our help was needed: painting the inside and outside of a school, refurbishing a playground and a fence, and leading children’s activities. There was not much room for rain. So we prayed!
On June 13, our group was Cambodia-bound. Twenty hours and three airplanes later, we landed in Phnom Penh; however, our bags did not. Twenty-three pieces of luggage were stranded in Bangkok while we decided to brave the hot, humid weather, the eight-hour ride to the project site and the ever-present mosquitos—without even having a change of clothes. I concluded that this is the best introduction to missions anyone can get. Things are always unpredictable.
In the meantime, we checked into the motel many considered the best option for our group. Andrea, the owner, turned out to be a very friendly Italian man, and we struck up frequent conversations with him during our stay. The most common conversation topic? Rain! Why?
The first day came and went, with rain only beginning to fall after we returned to our rooms. The second day, the same. (Thankfully, our bags arrived this day, just in time for our first Sabbath.) On the third day, not one drop before our group was safely back under Andrea’s roof. He looked at us quite puzzled when we told him we have a good connection with the One controlling the rain. But he admitted that he had never seen rains timed so perfectly. “When the rainy season begins in Cambodia, it never stops to make room for foreigners who come to visit—not even for missionary purposes.”
As each day passed, our return hours were never the same, but the rains held off until all work and travel were over. It was only after we were safe inside that the waters unleashed. Our volunteers continued praying for this pattern throughout the rest of the trip, and God answered faithfully.
At the end of our stay, the most beautiful rainbow I have ever seen appeared in the sky with only minutes remaining before sunset, marking the beginning of our last Sabbath in Cambodia. Was all this for our group? Maybe. It undoubtedly helped that we did not need to plod through deep mud or work on our projects while soaked. And we all loved the rainbow.
But I cannot help but feel that this was a special display for Andrea, the kind Italian who put up with our noisy, hungry European group—a display of God’s control of the weather as Andrea had never before witnessed. We prayed with him, and he gladly accepted a book from us the day we departed.
So that Andrea would always remember the time when the rain obeyed the voice of the Master, when we left, we prayed that God would no longer keep the rain from pouring down. And it rained!