This afternoon I spent part of the time with Bunthan cutting out paper flowers to give to the kids at the Kid's club as she was teaching them about a story from a 'wordless' book called The Flower Man. It is a story about a small, meek man who transforms a small town through simple moral principles. It is a story of how one person can change a community and highlights the principles of compassion, honesty, integrity and generosity. In the lesson shared with the kids, it began with the flower man going to a village that was so dark as he had a desire to share his light with them. The people in the village were initially suspicious of him and would watch to see what he was doing. Over time, the people became receptive to what he was doing as he share his light and flowers with other people and some homes began to be transformed as he would help his neighbors. With each passing day, more people in the community began to connect with the Flower man and suddenly the entire village began to reflect the beauty that it was destined to have. Eventually the Flower man left that town to go to another place that was dark and dismal so that he could share his flowers and his light with a new community.
Ratanak playing the part of the Flower man!
Ratanak acted the part of the Flower man (now how many guys would do that :-)) while some of Chantha's students were the neighbors in the community who had received the flowers. The children learned that the real flower man was really Jesus who has chosen to come into Svay Pak to not only bring His light but to share His light with each family. They were taught that the reason Pastor Chantha, Bunthan and the team is here is because each of them have also received the light of Christ and God has sent them here to share His light and love. Each kid was then given a flower symbolic that God also wants to use them to reflect His light in and through them as they love one another, share with each other and care for one another through acts of kindness.
One of the girls I have had the opportunity of knowing since 2008 is Kim Lai---she's a petite 10 years old like all the kids here, but she is extremely fiesty and is a tough little cookie. The other day she tried to pick me up---can you imagine a little 30 lb kid trying to lift someone who is about 4 times her size. I call her a 'manu klang' ---which means a 'strong woman' as she is not intimidated by any one despite her size! She is certainly fearless and can hold her own if any of the boys pick on her. She also happens to be one of the top students here with a keen mind to memorize scripture as she faithfully comes every day to all the activities in The Sanctuary. Today as I was taking photos of some of the kids flower drawings, she came to show me what she had written on her flower. It said 'I love Jesus', I very very love Him.'
Kim Lai's Flower
This was not something she was told to do, rather it was something that she chose to write. With each passing day, we hope that the Lord will overwhelm each of the kids with His love just as He is clearly doing with Kim Lai, that they will each discover they are His beloved, precious treasures in His sight. Little flowers that bloom and display His beauty and splendor, spreading the aroma of Christ and impacting their community as they become young men and women after God's own heart . We pray that despite the conditions they live in and the constant darkness that hovers in this community that God will continue to water the seeds that He is planting each day in their hearts so that they will become like trees planted along a stream that will bear much fruit for Him whether in season or out of season.
Thank you Jesus that you love the little children of Svay Pak. May you raise up many like Kim Lai who will love you with all their heart and soul and mind as you engrave your truth upon their hearts when they encounter you daily. Fill them with your Spirit that they will walk in step with the Spirit and that the mind of Christ will be upon them. Bless them with hands that will be open to you and hands that will serve others in your name. Bless them with eyes that will see themselves they way you see them. Bless them with minds that will be filled with your wisdom and discernment in order to demolish any argument that sets itself up against the knowledge of Christ. Bless them with feet that will be fitted with the gospel of peace as they bring your good news to others in their community and beyond. Bless them with mouths that will not only be committed to the truth but will speak your truth. Bless them with hearts that are not only undivided for you but will be so pure that they will not only see you more clearly but will be totally devoted to You and Your purposes!