Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Baby is Born!

The young women crowding around Vone and  her baby!
This past Thursday evening, our young women went to the maternity ward of a local hospital to visit their bible teacher Vone who just gave birth to a beautiful baby girl called Hosanna. Vone and her husband Ratha, a wonderful Khmer Christian couple come nightly to the RAP community home to lead the worship time and bible study. They have been mentored by missionaries for several years and have been involved in youth ministry for a few years. Our young women at RAP love spending time with them and so when they heard that Vone had given birth they wanted to go and visit her at the hospital and to see the latest addition to her young family.
Vone our RAP bible teacher

One of the young women looking at Hosanna!

Opportunities like this help the young women to see and experience a ''normal'' family life with a healthy married couple. They watched how Ratha ---Vone's husband was changing the diaper and confidently cleaning his little daughter as if he had been a father all his life.
Cartons of milk

What was so encouraging to see was that several of our young women brought their own gifts of ''milk'' to give to Vone and Ratha. Each week at the RAP home, the young women are given little cartons of milk so to see them sacrificially giving up a week's supply of their own milk as a gift to bless their bible teacher was so touching but a demonstration again of how generous their hearts are despite how little they have. While we at Ratanak also blessed Vone and Ratha with a couple gifts, the greater blessing was seeing our young women take their own initiative to bless others without being asked to do so.

Before we left, we crowded around Vone and Ratha, as our young women led the prayer time, asking God to bless this family, to give them wisdom as they raise their young daughter. We are thankful for opportunities such as these in which our young women can experience a taste of the joy of family life despite all the hardships they have endured. We trust that such events encourage them too that one day they will have their own families and experience the same kind of love and blessing as they freely demonstrated that night to their bible teacher!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

How Great Is Our God!

One of the joys of being in Cambodia is spending time each Sunday morning worshipping at the Khmer church we partner with. It is a vibrant Spirit filled church with many young people who seek to worship God with all their heart and soul and mind. So often when I am in this service, I find myself touched by the Holy Spirit. At times when I look across the room and I see so many young Khmer praising God, I have tears in my eyes as I reflect back to what I read in Don Cormack's book ''The Killing Fields, Living Fields'' when 90% of the church was wiped out during the Khmer Rouge Era. Yet in this land where so many have suffered, where the darkness seems so prevalent, it is churches such as this, that remind me that Jesus has the last word in this place! His kingdom will endure forever!  His light will shine and His plans and His purposes will always prevail! He has not only preserved a remnant, but He is raising up a whole new generation to worship Him in this land!

So a few weeks ago it was pure joy worshipping in our new church building. Just 5 months ago, our Khmer pastor challenged his congregation to give to this new ''house of worship'' and did the people give....many of them students, many of them young families, tithing one month's salary. This is significant for a congregation whose monthly salary is around $145.00 per month. Suffice to say as we sat in this new building, the funds donated for this came from both the congregation and outside sources. It was truly the body of Christ partnering together. Yet, I am humbled by the sacrificial giving of my young Khmer friends who have far less than those of us in the West. Yet, they have led by example, stepping out in faith, trusting that as they give their 5 loaves and 2 fish, the Lord will multiply and indeed He has!

So as we sang one of my favorite Chris Tomlin's song's in Khmer ''How Great is our God''(see video above) two Sunday's ago in church, it truly was a testimony of How Great He is for this building is reflection of the great provision of our Heavenly Father who when we ask according to His name, supplies all of our needs according to His glorious riches! How great is He indeed who gives us good gifts!