Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Core Group: Ratanak Volunteers

Some of our Ratanak volunteers in Toronto

Normally I am writing posts about experiences in Cambodia but today, I'm back in Toronto for a brief time to participate in one of our supporting churches missions conference. So today I had the opportunity to spend time with some of my favorite people---the Core group which is a name we gave to our Ratanak volunteers here in the Toronto area. Not everyone could attend today's meeting but nonetheless, these guys are our unsung heroes. This group started about 6 years ago and has evolved with different people from different churches and different denominations who desire to be a voice for the voiceless.

Over the years, the Lord has brought us so many talented and gifted volunteers who once a month give up 3 hours of their time to come and pray for Ratanak and our partners at AIM, Chab Dai, Daughters and Hagar in Cambodia. In addition, they brainstorm about fundraising ideas and support one another and our work in Ontario by speaking, by doing fundraising, by hosting Ratanak booths at events among a variety of things. It was a joy to see some old familiar friends and faces. People who have spent time reading and learning about Cambodia and praying for this nation on an ongoing basis. People who give of their time and talents---engineers, teachers, therapists, adminstrators, homemakers, students, ---I could go on as they are a small cross section of those who participate. Seeing so many  different nationalities and ethnic backgrounds, I am reminded this is what its going to be like in heaven. It was a special joy to meet two Khmer volunteers who attend my home church and to have the opportunity to just practice my Khmer with them.

 As I think of our volunteers, I am thankful to God for each of them. They demonstrate to us ''committed obedience'' to God's purposes and the Lord has so honored that by enlarging their heart for His work in Cambodia. Some of them have had the opportunity to visit Cambodia on previous short term teams and vision trips and others are waiting to go.  We remain grateful for their support for they are the ones who pray faithfully and act as a spiritual covering for all of us who serve in Cambodia. We could not do it without them. They are part of the army that God has raised up on the home side to enable us to keep persevering and pressing forward. By their efforts they too are building God's kingdom, they are taking a stand for the broken and marginalized as they regularly offer their 5 loaves and 2 fish and ask Jesus to multiply their efforts!
Joy bringing a hand delivered home made grilled steak to the Core Group Meeting

This morning one of the volunteers Joy who was on one of our previous teams knowing how much I have been craving meat since a good steak is hard to find in Cambodia, made a freshly grilled steak for me. And in case you are wondering, yes I ate some of it and shared it with others who were salvating nearby! Another volunteer brought my favorite Korean BBQ ribs otherwise known as Kalbi. Nothing like some good protein in the morning to get your juices going! Who needs protein shakes when you have the real protein in front of you! It is these small gestures of generosity that not only reflect the Lord's love but they are a tangible expression of the care and support and thoughtfulness we receive from these who are God's hands, voice and feet to us who work in Cambodia! We praise God for these unsung heroes who work so diligently behind the scenes and we pray that as they have walked with us, carried and shared our burdens and refreshed us that they too will experience the refreshing hand of God, recalibrating their spirits and blessing them in ways they never anticipated or imagine!

For those of you would like to know more about getting involved in the Ontario Region, please contact our Toronto Reps Jessika Mak (  and Paul Wan ( or Peter ( & Sherri ( in Cambridge:

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