First posted on Inspire a Fire Mar 29, 2012. Update follows…
The thought of going to Cambodia had never crossed Millie Carson’s mind. While seeking God’s will for her life in January 2011, a friend suggested that she go to this third world kingdom in Southeast Asia for a few months. Millie had recently finished several semesters of Calvary Chapel Bible College in her homeland of York, United Kingdom, and also in California in the USA. Being more inclined toward traveling, mountains, cowboys, rodeos, snowboarding, a great cup of coffee, and forests, the thought of going to the jungles of Cambodia made her laugh. Yet Millie remained open to God’s purpose on her life. She promised her friend that she would pray about it.
That night God sparked an interest in Millie’s nineteen-year-old mind for Cambodia and its people. She told God that the idea sounded ridiculous, but if He provided the funds for this mission, she would go. The following day she learned that her recently deceased grandmother had left her some money. Millie had four months of financial provisions, and had determined to obey God’s call. By May, Millie had joined Calvary Chapel’s ministry called Water of Life in Phom Penh. This ministry supports a boys discipleship home (ages 12-25yrs), girls house (ages 12-25yrs), an orphanage (2-18yrs), and numerous other outreach opportunities.
Millie spent the first few months at the girls house. She did anything that came up—village medical outreach, bible studies, or taking out the trash. While thankful to serve the Lord in this capacity, she felt she could leave Cambodia or stay. Millie felt no real tug on her heart in either direction. But the tug started inside of her during her final planned month. She began to spend time with the children at the orphanage, the Children of Hope. This orphanage is home to no more than thirty children at a time. They were abandoned, rescued, or lost their parent. Most are nontraditional orphans who simply need someone to love them, care for them, and teach them about the love of Jesus Christ, as opposed to selling them in the thriving sex-trade industry.
At the end of her four month commitment, Millie had planned to return home to York, yet she now yearned to stay. God had captured her heart through the children of Cambodia. She sought the Lord, and heard Him say, “Go home, get rid of everything you don’t need, and come back December 6th.”
Knowing that God had so much more for her with the children, Millie obeyed. She made a two-year commitment to Cambodia and Water of Life, yet now she can’t imagine doing anything else.
In Millie’s own words, “The biggest thing I have learned by being in the mission field is this: When you have given up all that you possibly can of mind, body and spirit, when your heart is worn out and broken, and you have nothing left to give…give some more, because the only thing you will have left to give is Jesus and Him alone. That sounds backwards, but we are called to turn the world upside-down, and that requires giving all that we have, and then giving more. With God all things are possible.”
A place that had rarely crossed Millie’s mind a year earlier, now crosses her heart with the passion of Jesus Christ.
Update Oct 11, 2013
Since this article was first posted, Millie returned to Cambodia for the long haul. She has taken in three children whose parents planned to take them to Thailand for them to work in a factory to help pay off an enormous gambling debt. The girls are 16 and 13, and their brother is 3. They now live under Millie’s love and care in the city, Phnom Penh. God is leading the way for Millie to move her ministry into a rural area. She has purchased land with another lady from Cambodia who shares the same heart and mission: to create a self-sustaining ministry by growing their own food to eat and sell, and then open a small educational center for children in the area, directing them toward the call of Jesus on their lives. If you feel compelled to help Millie through prayer or financial support, please contact her through her blog, Seven Thousand Miles.