Our trip to Cambodia this past August gave an amazing glimpse into what God is doing and will do in a loving but broken country. Every moment of the trip, it was so evident that something extraordinary was happening. We would meet a person for lunch or just sit and “teach” them English, and God’s hand would be in the conversation, reaching out to someone He loves and cares for dearly- the look you find on someone’s face who has never heard the Gospel before is incredible!
A Walk at Night
One night two weeks in to our stay, I decided to go out to walk and pray through the dusty roads filling the city. As I walked, God brought three people to open my eyes to His heart for the nation. The first was a beggar, a poor man left homeless with no arms and half of a leg. His name was Penh, pronounced Pain. He wanted money, and instead I asked him to come and eat with me.
On our way to the restaurant, an 8-year-old boy, extremely poor and most likely orphaned, came trying to sell me bracelets called Cesi (kind of like Casey). I told him I would buy some if he would eat with me first.
Gratefulness, No Blame
We sat waiting for our food, and I got to share the Gospel with two hurting and broken people, the rejects of society left weak by the evil Satan has brought through Cambodia’s history. The one could have blamed God for how he was born or broken, and the other for the situation in his family, but neither expressed anything but gratefulness. Their lives and stories, their sweet spirits despite their circumstances, and their hunger for a God who gives them purpose, amazed me.
Fish Market Heart
I left them from there to get some shuteye, but I was determined to walk through an awful smelling fish market. It had become a picture of what my heart, man’s heart, is like without God.
On my way, a woman called Sry An tried to get my attention on the street. She was prostitute, and I tried to politely ignore her as I walked away. That moment, I believe, the Holy Spirit told me to turn back and speak with her. I was broken over the thought that Satan could own someone’s life, take someone made in the image of God and degrade her to giving herself to men for a living. Through the language barrier, all I could manage to say was that God loved her. I said it twice to emphasize that God means it, beyond her first reaction of shame.
I don’t know where these people are today or if the message I’ve been changed by got through to them, if they have found any hope yet. What I do know is that we’ve been called into that world.
Torn and Needy
These three people are, in a way, a picture of everyone. All of mankind, orphans begging on the streets, longing for true acceptance and needing a Father. Wounded and torn by war, needing someone to save them. Torn from their design to be loved by God and to love Him, and thrown into selling themselves in hope of finding real love and purpose.
Pray for Cambodia. Pastor Doug and Beth are planning to move there in April. I believe God will do amazing things in Cambodia. by Phil Winslow, MBCS graduate