Thursday, March 1, 2012

Historic Day!

This has been a very busy day on all fronts but nonetheless a historic day for Ratanak Cambodia! Today was the first day of our two newly hired employees. Our accountant Sathya and our driver Samnang. When I think of the last 22 years and how the Lord called my colleague Brian McConaghy to serve the Cambodian people by setting up a Christian charity to invest in the lives of the broken, the vulnerable, the forgotten, the marginalized and the hopeless in this nation, today was a historic day in some ways because of the opportunity to serve along side these young Khmer brothers in Christ. It was such a privileged to welcome our two new employees as Beth, Stephen and I gathered together with them in our office. Unfortunately Faith, our accountant from Canada has picked up a nasty stomach bug which seems to be making its rounds and so she spent the entire day sidelined in her room just resting trying to shake the illness.

Nonetheless, the 5 of us gathered together in a time of prayer. Today in the Ratanak office prayers were heard in both Khmer and English, can I tell you what a wonderful sound that is. I found myself in tears as I started to pray touched by the Holy Spirit as I thought of the history of this organization and the love for the Khmer people that God has put on our hearts. Many people have supported Ratanak over the years and so in a sense today just felt like a gift that God has given to all of us. It seemed like such a special time of prayer as we asked God to bless them and to bless us as we serve together. It is hard to describe this feeling but for those of us who have had the privilege of spending time with our Khmer friends in this land for several years, it is both an honor and yet humbling experience as I thought of this opportunity to journey together as one body of believers building God's kingdom in Cambodia. In many ways, it felt like the birth of a new chapter in this organization. As my pastor back in Toronto has often said, ministry is not our gift to God but God's gift to us. I constantly feel like we are unwrapping God's gifts to us in this land. Our desire and hope one day is to have the Ratanak Cambodia office be fully staffed with Khmer personnel and today in some ways was a spiritual marker, paving the way for the future.   Following our prayer time, I had the opportunity to share about Ratanak's ethos and about our values and who we are as an organization. Then off we went to get some office supplies.

Faith suggested a welcoming lunch for our two new staff but while she fasted in her room, Samnang, Sathya and I went off to Daughters Cafe. How fitting it was to have lunch here at one of our partner organizations.
Samnang, Sathya and myself

In the next few weeks we will be commencing interviews as we seek to hire staff for our Ratanak Achievement Program (RAP)---a Christian community home dedicated to equipping and empowering young women, 17-24 years old, who are former victims of sexual exploitation to achieve their God given potential by supporting their transformation and their full reintegration into society. So we would ask of you to join us in prayer as we go through the interview process that the Lord will bring the people of  His choosing who have His heart and His love to invest in these young lives. No doubt that will be another historic day as we hire these additional Khmer staff to support the ministry. Indeed this is a day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!

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