Today when I arrived in Svay Pak, I met a single mother called Paulley who was meeting with Pastor Chantha. She had her 9 month old son Daniel with her and was asking whether or not the church could help by giving her money to pay for a baby sitter for she works in a garment factory from early morning till 9pm at night. Her husband left her and her son and worst yet, left her in debt and the creditors have come knocking. What do we do with this Lord? We began to lay hands on her and pray for her asking the Lord who is a husband to the husbandless and father to the fatherless to meet her need. He is after all the God of the outcast, the God of the marginalized and the God of the brokenhearted. As we prayed she began to cry and so did I. I am always so amazed at how the Spirit of God moves and touches peoples heart despite the fact that we are praying in a language that is foreign to the person. The Spirit was clearly ministering to her as we brought her to the Throne of Grace. Her story reminds me of the crippled beggar in Acts 3 who came asking Peter for money. But Peter's reply was ' silver or gold I do not have but what I have I will give you in the name of Jesus Christ, get up and walk'---and walk he did. In Cambodia and in Svay Pak even more so, the needs are plentiful and the easy solution is to give handouts but we want to give them more than money, we want to give them Christ so that He indeed can enable them to walk, no longer crippled by the bondage of poverty but empowered by the hope that Christ can offer them a new life with new hope. So we prayed to the God who owns a cattle on a thousand hills, that He will not only provide her needs but that He will will raise up a few grannies from the Svay Pak church who will catch a vision to help young mothers like Paulley by caring for their children while the mothers go to work.
Every week Pastor Chantha encounters people with needs like Paulley. They are coming to The Sanctuary asking for help, looking for answers, seeking hope for the hopeless situations they find themselves in. It would be easy to look the other way, to turn a blind eye to the conditions they are in, yet this little church in Svay Pak is being asked to be like the church in Acts 2---for the believers to be devoted to one another, to share their possessions, to be a blessing to each other and to help those in need in their midst. This is a tall order for a community that has so little , yet it is in these kind of environments, that I am reminded of a comment that 'if we want to see God do a miracle we need to place ourselves in a position for a miracle to happen.' May this be so through the power of prayer as we join with the One who can do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine in Paulley's life and the many for whom she represents in Svay Pak.