For the past few weeks I have been visiting a Khmer church about 15 minutes from my home. Our desire is to connect the girls in our ministry with a community that can come along side them and nurture them on a variety of levels. For young women who have experienced betrayal by their own family members, one of the dimensions of their restoration is to find a community where they can experience a sense of belonging and where they can feel part of a family. A community who will welcome them and not judge their past but love them and nurture their spiritual journey. A community who has young people their age who they can relate to and who they can have meaningful fellowship with.
This church I have been visiting has been recommended by many. It is one of the largest Khmer churches in Cambodia that was established by American missionaries many years ago. It is a place I visited in 2006 and so it has been neat to attend again and see so many young Cambodians who lead the worship service and prayer time. It is always so encouraging to see how the Lord is raising up many in the next generation in this land not only to be followers of Him but take on leadership roles. They sing all the popular Hillsong music in Khmer but there is English subtitles for those who are foreigners. They also provide simultaneous translation of the sermon for those of us who have limited or no Khmer. It is definitely a place where the Spirit of God is flowing freely. It is a place where emotions are expressed openly, some thing that Marie Ens noted was so needed given the fact that Cambodians are so used to suppressing their emotions due to the Khmer Rouge era. It is a place where one can encounter passionate prayers being lifted up to the Lord on behalf of those in the congregation who openly express a need for prayer. But it is also a place where young and old are welcomed to come to the altar to receive prayer ministry at the end of the service.
As you think of us, pray for the Lord to direct our paths to work along side a church community who will be a spiritual umbrella for the young lives that God is entrusting into our care. We long to see them be grounded in the word of God, to know the One in whose image that have been made, the One who is not only the healer of their hearts, but the One who loves them with an everlasting love and who wants to given them an abundant life in Him!