Scott- Cambodia Team
This is a story about one of the villages we visited during our outreach. Our team met a local Khmer tuk-tuk driver during our work in the capital city of Phnom Penh. (Khmer = Cambodian local, & tuk-tuk = Cambodian taxi-type thing)His name was Don. After we finished the ministry within the city, he asked us to come spread the gospel to his home village. We prayed into it and two days later we were cramming 18 people and their luggage into a 15 person van. After a hot, bumpy, and uncomfortable three hour drive, we arrived in our first Cambodian village.
We brought two translators as well as Don so we could go house to house and evangelize. Personally I had never done anything like this before and didn’t quite know what to expect. We split into groups and went each with a translator; I was really excited to share about Christ with these people. At the first house our group visited we met a very friendly, older man and his family who seemed happy to see us. They were hospitable and insisted we sit down, even though we had arrived unannounced. Not sure exactly where to start we asked if they knew anything about Jesus. He replied that they had heard the name but didn’t know much else. So they asked us to share. We were slightly caught off guard by their complete openness. After a quick team meeting one of us stepped up and just brought the simplicity of the gospel to these people for the first time. This then turned into the pattern for the majority of our house visits throughout our time in the villages. I had various opportunities to present His word as did most of our team, and I got more and more excited about it each time!
It was an amazing thing to share the word of God to people who had never heard it before. Explaining it in such basic terms helped me to understand the power and gravity of the gospel. I see now what a privilege it is to be the first to bring the message to a community or family. Both a privilege and a responsibility. Who am I to ever keep this incredible message of freedom and love to myself! I have been reconciled to God; completely by his grace and despite my own falling short. I have found that there is nothing more or less for me bring this message to anyone I can. I love because He first loved me. All this was firm knowledge in my mind before outreach, but living it out brought everything to such reality and clarity. The message we bring can’t be anything except life changing!
Along with this I understood what the gospel really is. It is the good news of God, not the religion of man. We cannot convince people to accept it, we can’t make a convincing statement or use our knowledge to sway people’s mindsets. The gospel is the power of God to reconcile all things into himself through Christ. He is the gospel! And He is the power in the message that sets people free and touches their hearts with love. We are simply the heralds, those who proclaim the truth of the ‘good news’. We partner with Him in presenting and God changes the hearts and opens the doors. All the glory is His.
Later, on the last day before we were to return to Australia, we had a great opportunity to go back to this same village and hand out discipleship materials and bibles. The first house we stopped by was the same one we had originally shared the gospel with weeks earlier. He was so happy to see us and wanted to talk more! It was great to see how he remembered us so well and had thought more about God’s message to him. We shared more encouragement and explained more things, another great opportunity created by God for us to do His work! The Khmer man was again so open and interested. Seeing the fruit and joy brought by God’s ministry through us was so uplifting. Afterwards we prayed for him as a team and gave him a bible and some other literature in Khmer. He told us before we left that he believed in Jesus Christ and had opened up his heart to invite God in.
Awesome! Praise God!