July 4, 2016
We had a great July 4th lunch aboard a boat we were able to rent for a couple of hours. We rarely get to be together as a team, so we were blessed to spend a few hours with our co-laborers who are presently in the country right now!
We had an awesome weekend here in Cambodia! Thank God for a teenager who was saved in our Ta Skov Village outreach. Likewise, a new young adult lady, ALin, raised her hand yesterday during the invitation indicating she wanted to know more about how to be saved. Mrs. Has met with her and began explaining her need of salvation. Apparently she has attended another church for awhile and was surprised because her “church” had never taught her any of the things she heard at our church. She had never heard that she was lost and in need of a personal Saviour. Mrs. Has and others will continue to work with her until, Lord willing, she is saved. PRAY FOR ALIN’S SALVATION.
We had the opportunity to meet Pov and her daughter, SreyOeun, this past week. She lives in a village not far from Elephant Den. We were able to explain the gospel to her for about an hour and have a follow-up appointment with her this Tuesday. She told us that she had attended a church for quite some time but had never heard of her need to be saved. PLEASE PRAY THAT OUR MEETING ON TUESDAY WILL GO WELL AND THAT SHE WILL BEGIN TO UNDERSTAND HER NEED OF SALVATION. It is likely that her neighbors in the village are already giving her a hard time because she spent so much time speaking with us this past week.
THE HABITATIONS OF CRUELTY
I remember many years ago a man saying, “Be kind to everyone because everyone is having a tough time.” Never have those words seemed more apropos than over the past week. As we deal with the folks here in Cambodia we are often aware of some of their background and are better able to understand where they are coming from. Sometimes we have no idea 0f the trials they face and we are tempted, wrongly so, to be less than patient with them. I was saddened and a bit angered over the past few days to learn what some of our folks have been through.
Psalm 74:20 says, “…for the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty.” Tourists often visit places like where we live and only see what they choose to see or, in some cases, what they are allowed to see. Those of us who live in this part of the world are confronted daily by cruelty that is demonically driven and difficult to understand. Yet, we are told that in the end times men and women will be lovers of themselves. 2 Timothy 3:3 tells us that many will be without natural affection. Often the cruelest of actions take place against young children and are in many cases perpetrated by those who ought to care for them most.
These two young children have been attending our church for the past two months. Their adopted mother recently accepted Jesus Christ as her Saviour and is a growing young Christian. This past week during our weekly discipleship time I inquired as to the history of her two adopted children. The story she told Debbie and I was simply unbelievable. These children are in reality her niece and nephew. They were sold by their biological mother into child slavery in a neighboring country and were forced to work on a pig farm. If their work didn’t meet the standard of their slave master they were beaten and not given food for the entire day. They were sold for $400. She told us that the eventual goal was for these children to grow a bit larger and, at the right time, be sold again for the purposes of selling off their internal organs (cornea, liver, kidney, heart) to wealthy people in this part of the world who were in need of organ transplants. When the lady we are discipling learned of the plight of her niece and nephew she and her husband borrowed money and paid $1,000 to redeem them. They then went through the legal process of adopting them as their own. This was not an easy task seeing that their monthly income is likely less than $100. Our hearts break even now as we think about what these two innocent children have been put through over the course of their young lives. The eldest child recently asked his adopted mother this question – “Mom, why did my real mother sell me? Why didn’t she want me?” Only the grace of God and the love of Christ as demonstrated through his adopted mother and through the church can ever hope to heal all the emotional and spiritual wounds that this young boy has suffered.
The young lady standing next to me is 14 years old. She was saved here and faithfully attends church. We all love her and several of our ladies have over the past year provided her with clothing and some of the basic needs of life. I won’t go into much detail in this post but in recent days her mother arranged for her to begin working in a local establishment of ill repute with the goal of confiscating her salary, meager though it may be. It is my understanding that the arrangements have already been made for a man to purchase her virginity and the money will go directly to her mother. Her mother arranged for the transaction to take place in exchange for $100. This Christian young lady is refusing to have any part in this deal. I have no idea what measures her family is willing to go to in order to get her to comply with their wishes. Sadly, her story is not unique. PLEASE PRAY FOR THIS YOUNG LADY TO BE SAFE AND FOR OUR WORKERS TO KNOW BEST HOW TO HELP HER.
Because of God’s grace,
Dave, Debbie, Joshua, Jeremy, and Jason