Watching the Jesus Film During The Break Time
Each morning as I am going to Svay Pak, I pray and ask the Lord to show me what He would have me do and who He would have me connect with. He doesn't take long to answer this prayer for with each passing day this week as I enter into The Sanctuary I am greeted with an increasing number of hugs. Who would not want to come to work in such a place! Its as if the Lord is showering me with His love through these little ones. As soon as the tuk-tuk arrives and I step into the building, I hear little voices calling my name and running up to greet me. Each one wanting me to give them their own individual hug. Group hugs are not allowed! :-) Every child here wants to know that they are noticed, that they are not overlooked nor forgotten. It is in these encounters that I am reminded of why I am drawn to Svay Pak---it is because I see Jesus in the least of these. Many of these kids have parents who mistreat them whether verbally or physically, others have parents who are so busy working that they don't have time for them, and yet others have parents that have sold them. Despite their emotional losses, it never ceases to amaze me how easily they are willing to give and receive affection. There is a mural on one of the walls of Christ holding a little lamb. I believe in many ways that is symbolic of what He is calling us to do with each of these precious ones each day. In some ways, our role here is simply to hold them just as Christ would, to let them know that they are loved and valued, to affirm them and speak His words of tenderness, of life and love to them.
Yet these truths don't just apply to the little ones for this morning as I was standing in the kitchen practicing my Khmer with one of the students named Theary, her mother asked if I could pray for them. Both mother and daughter had recently become believers some 3 months ago and the mother was longing for her daughter to do well in school so that she could get a good job. Theirs was not a sad story but simply a desire for the Lord to give them a better life, a life filled with new hope and new opportunities. As I prayed, the Holy Spirit began to do what only He could do and by the time I had finished and anointed them both with oil, Theary's mum began sobbing in my arms so grateful for the prayers. As I reflect on this, I am moved by how much the people in this community are leaning on Jesus as their only Hope. They long to know that He hears their prayers, they long to know that He will provide for their needs, they long to know that He has not forgotten them. They long to know that He will fulfill His purposes for them and they are so grateful for the prayers offered up to Him on their behalf. Their's is a faith that is teaching me about the 'desperation' for Christ and 'dependence' on Him at a whole new level. For He truly is all they have. No wonder Jesus said 'blessed are those who realize their need for Him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is given to them' (NLT: Matt 5:3)---in their physical poverty, they are more keenly aware of their need for Him. Mother Teresa was right when she said that the poor help us to love Christ better!
Kids Club: colouring their pictures of Jesus
This afternoon at the Kids club, Ratanak the youth pastor was teaching the kids about loving and sharing as Jesus would. It was interesting to watch them color with one crayon and then go to a friend and ask them to lend them their crayon. From my past experience, these kids usually don't share and they would often grab things from each other but, here too, God is at work, transforming hearts and attitudes in the young ones as they are learning a new set of values, the values of the Kingdom of God so that one day they too will be able to hold the lambs that Christ entrust into their care!