There is a calypso song called ‘feeling hot, hot, hot’---now I really like the heat and I usually don’t sweat here… but it is HOT, really HOT here. Have I said how HOT it is! J In my 10 years of coming to Cambodia, it has never felt so hot ---maybe I’m getting old or maybe its the love handles around my waist that are making me feel hot (ha,ha). I feel like I am in a permanent sauna as soon as I step outside. With the humidity, I think it has to be close to 95 today or higher. Nonetheless, one still has to carry on and so I went with some new friends from Forward Baptist along with a few Khmer friends up to Svay Pak for the 7:30am church service. We got there a bit late but just in time to receive communion. The service was once again packed with every space used. People standing or sitting. In the rooms opposite the sanctuary there are mothers with young children who sit in spaces with little air but all eager to hear the message and see what's going on. The staircase and hallway on the 3rd floor where the actual church sanctuary is located is lined with people. In North America, this would be considered a fire hazard but over here one can only say 'this is Cambodia!
Today I was so blessed by the teenage youth who did two worship dances. The first dance was like a rap to the hymn ‘Nothing But The Blood of Jesus’ and the second one was to the song ‘You are My All in All—Jesus Lamb of God’. I wish I could show you some pictures seeing these young people lip syncing the words and doing the worship motions to both these songs. It was so moving and I couldn’t help but shed a few tears thinking this is what it’s all about---God is raising up worshippers in this community…a new generation in Svay Pak who are learning to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth! They were singing their little hearts out declaring the truths that 'Nothing But the blood of Jesus can make them whole again. This is such a profound truth for a community that has known such deep brokenness.
Following that several of us 'foreigners' were invited to share. This is typical of a Sunday service in Svay Pak and so each week I will have an opportunity to give a mini-sermonette. Thank you for your prayers. My comments this morning were based on the fact that Jesus is the Light of The World. Here's a brief excerpt of some of what I said:
Pastor Chantha, Bunthan and Ratanak are here in Svay Pak because Jesus sent them to share His love with you. That love is seen in their service to each of you. This is how they are reflecting or letting their light shine. But God also wants you to let His light in you shine. As a Christian, a follower of Jesus, He has given you His light and you can share it as you serve one another in love. What does that look like? You can pray for one another. Maybe there are some of you here who need a job or others here who are sick. When you pray for one another and ask God to provide for the needs of others or ask Him to heal your friends, you are serving one another in love and reflecting His light. Or maybe some days you may have extra food and you know of others who don't have any. But when you share what you have, you are serving one another in love and reflecting His light.
One of the other pleasant surprises this morning is that I bumped into a young 14 girl who I had met last year at Daughters (another Ratanak project). She is still working there but lives in Svay Pak and comes to this church. She came over and gave me a hug and asked if I had remembered her. Interestingly I remembered her name but for some reason I had initially thought she was one of the girls from the Newsong centre until she told me that she was at Daughters. I continue to be amazed at how God is orchestrating events and people in Svay Pak of all places! It was neat to just reconnect with her and I am hoping I will have the opportunity to see her on a regular basis as I go to the Sunday services.
Thank you for all your prayers and words of encouragement. I am overwhelmed by God's goodness and His love through each of you and just wish you could all be here to taste and see all the Lord is doing. It truly is a privilege to be here to watch Him work in the lives of both young and old. The Gospel indeed is good news bringing hope to the hopeless and God indeed is up to some thing new in this 'old place' of Svay Pak. He is making streams in the wasteland and bringing life to dead places.