(But first, a note from your scribe. Each person has the opportunity to write for this blog at least once. Because of the hectic pace of clinic days (up at 6 am and long and busy clinic days) many people had to postpone writing their reflections. The team has had a brief respite from the busyness and many have taken the opportunity to record their thoughts and impressions. Thus, the flurry of entries in the last half day. And lest one think that all is hardship and suffering and labor, we have just spent a relaxing night at a sumptuous resort hotel, complete with swimming pool, in which your scribe indulged. The best part? Eighteen dollars per night. On to Barry’s reflections.)
Yes, Barry is the one in the Stanford shirt.
Thank you for partnering with us in prayer; God continues to move among us and do great things! Some of my favorites:
– I have spent the first two days of clinic in at the prayer/evangelism station. This is the final station and one to which only interested patients are directed. In other words, no one has to receive prayer or hear about God to get treated. But a large number of those who are treated are interested in at least hearing the story of God’s love for them and for the world, and an amazing 262 have made commitments to Jesus as of the end of the second day in Si-sophon. These will be followed up by local pastors to ensure that people understand what/whom they’re committing to, and to offer support and encouragement for a growing walk with Jesus to those who desire it.
– In one of my favorite interactions from the second day of clinic, my Khmer interpreter Kuntha and I shared the Gospel story with a woman, who when asked if she would like to receive Jesus as king and savior, firmly declined. She did, however, want us to pray for three ongoing physical ailments which were troubling her, two of them for years. I said we would, but whenever we talked about Jesus, she pushed back to ask that we would just pray that she’d live a long life. I finally decided she had had enough of a chance to respond, and that it was time to pray, and so I prayed against her headaches, stomachaches, and arthritic leg pain, asking the Lord to heal her body as a demonstration of his love for her. Afterward, she reported that all three conditions had been healed! She was smiling broadly, when I asked about a bracelet she was wearing. I recognized it as one that a number of the people here wear to ward off evil spirits. After confirming with her that that was its intended purpose, I warned her that it was not protection, but bondage. However, Jesus would protect her from the evil spirits if she wanted him to, and we could cut off the bracelet. She said she’d like that. As we moved to prayer, I thought to clarify: is she saying she wants to give her life to Jesus (vs. just get protection from the evil spirits)? She gave a firm ‘yes’ — so we cut off the bracelet, prayed, and she received Jesus. It was a joyful reminder to me that God meets people in powerful, immediate ways.
– A favorite event from earlier in the week was our visit to the World Vision ADP at Preah Netr Preah — a project that Lighthouse is helping to support as a church, and an area where a number of us are sponsoring children. I had a chance to meet Siyean, the five-year-old girl our family sponsors and to spend some time with her and her family. I brought gifts for her and her family (in this case, an uncle and aunt and their four children, who look after her because her parents are in Thailand working (a common thing here in Cambodia, but one that exposes them to all kinds of risks, including human trafficking/slavery). She is shy and playful, and we had a lot of fun coloring and playing together. She is not as verbal or as big as one might expect a five-year-old to be, which has me wondering how well-fed she’s been up to the point. She’ll start school in less than a week, which hopefully will be helpful. But I found her charming and delightful, and praised God for her life and her family; I even had the chance to pray for them, after which we enjoyed a nice lunch together. I never imagined that such a meeting would ever be possible; it was a precious gift to spend some time with her and them, and it galvanized my resolve to pray for and write to her on a regular basis. Later that day, we saw a variety of World Vision projects that Lighthouse is helping to support: providing clean water at a school, offering nutrition and hygiene education in a village, along with special food and tracking of baby weight gain, and a community preschool — all very impressive.
I am grateful to be a part of a short-term team that is giving witness to the Good News that Jesus the King is making all things new — and also to see up close a people and a part of the world that he loves so dearly. Please join me in praying that the good work that he has begun here, he will bring to completion — claiming a people for himself and giving a taste of his Kingdom coming!
Joyfully in him,