So in the near future, all the filth, garbage and sewage that has been collecting in what was once an old fish pond for years, will be dredged out and replaced with sand. This place that was once a cesspool and breathing ground for all sorts of raw sewage will literally be cleansed. We look forward to seeing it be transformed into a place where the kids in the village can just run around and play without fear of being in danger from predators or traffic.
Last year when I was serving in Svay Pak, I remember going up to the top floor of The Sanctuary and praying over this land with Pastor Chantha as we claimed it as part of the promised land that God wanted to give us. I am sure many others have been praying the same prayer as well! God continues to amaze me in how He answers prayers.
And then a few weeks ago when we were all praying about whether to buy the land or not, the Lord laid on my heart these verses from Ezekiel 37 and I couldn't help but wonder if this is what the future of Svay Pak would look like. ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land. 22 I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. There will be one king over all of them and they will never again be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms. 23They will no longer defile themselves with their idols and vile images or with any of their offenses, for I will save them from all their sinful backsliding, and I will cleanse them. They will be my people, and I will be their God.... . 25 They will live in the land I gave to my servant Jacob, the land where your ancestors lived. They and their children and their children’s children will live there forever, and David my servant will be their prince forever. 26 I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers, and I will put my sanctuary among them forever. 27 My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people. 28 Then the nations will know that I the LORD make Israel holy, when my sanctuary is among them forever.’”
We have often said that Jesus is not just visiting Svay Pak. He has moved in and taken residence in Svay Pak and just as He wants to redeem the people who live there, so too He wants to redeem the land that has been barren, desolate and filthy. And as He redeems the land, He will gather all those who have been scattered, these include not only the ones who have been sold and trafficked but the ones who are the sellers of these children. It is He who will make them One nation, it is He who will be their king. It is He who will redeem them so that they no longer defile themselves or defile others. It is He who will cleanse them and repair the ancient ruins within them and among them. It is He who will make a covenant of peace with each of them.Perhaps one day this land indeed will be flowing with milk and honey both literally and figuratively as He breathes life into these dry and barren places. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
I am struck by the words in Ezekiel 37:27-28 I will establish them and increase their numbers, and I will put my SANCTUARY among them forever. 27 My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people. 28 Then the nations will know that I the LORD make Israel holy, when my SANCTUARY is among them forever. God's sanctuary indeed is among His people. It is a picture of our God who chooses to go and dwell in the most forsaken places among a forgotten people so that He can reveal to them that He has not forsaken them but passionately pursues them so that they may know that they are not the forgotten but the chosen. For just as He redeems one child at a time, so He redeems one building at a time and redeems one piece of land at a time. Jesus indeed has the last word on everything and on everyone, including the buildings and the land!