It's tough work advocating on the issues we are trying to tackle.
In Cambodia there are a number of people and organizations working to address child exploitation and trafficking.
But people often confide in me how lonely they feel.
Love146 believes strongly that organizations must care for their workers if they want them to care about the issues and for the individual survivors. So we try to help organizations in supporting their own people, not just those they are seeking to serve.
In the last month, I have facilitated a marriage-enrichment course and women's retreat by a British couple which involved people from 21 organizations, worked with several NGO leaders talking through the very real challenges they face every day and provided pastoral support to a young guy who arrived a few months ago and is settling in to an alien culture. I've discussed with one group how they can protect themselves from being inappropriately approached by "clients" of sex workers, talked with another about developing a Child Protection Policy and enabled one person to get counseling to prevent burn-out.
This is not an unusual month.
At the same time I am grateful for those who take time to listen to me complain about the challenges I face and how tired I am just before I commit to something else!
I remind myself to be gracious to those who are impatient with me — a trait I know only too well myself!
I was challenged by a colleague that most people here are simply trying to do too much because there is SO MUCH to do but that doing less may actually be more productive in the long run.
Money is not the only commodity that is in short supply here. Working out how to balance time spent with family, friends and work is a perpetual challenge.
I like the 13th Century Prayer of St. Francis:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand; to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.