The day I walked out of Rexdale Alliance 5 months ago in a bleak winter Saturday with a heart brimming in tears of sorrow, I committed myself to God to use me in any ways as unimaginable as possible, to stretch me in any extent as wide as possible, to raise the volume of my voice here in Canada for the millions of muted voices in Cambodia. My task was started by simply stopping people for a minute to listen to those voices which are now crying and screaming, to pay attention to those feet which are now kicking and stomping, to survey those faces which are now squirming and frowning in pain. I say, “Take a minute to stop and listen and look please!”
I laid these at the feet of Jesus as an empty vessel and was praying that He will multiply in His timing with His blessings. 5 months later, God comes to me with His answers tagging along with a much bigger miracle that awe-struck myself, my family and my church.
As my church, Mississauga Chinese Alliance Church, was celebrating the 20th anniversary in which one of the celebration activities was to give back to the community for which we have had served the past 20 years. The congregation was invited to nominate our favorite local charitable organizations to receive the donation out of compassion giving. The minute I read on the church bulletin that the criteria would have to be “local” charities, I already hesitated to put Ratanak up for the nomination. My husband, Paul, and I put this in our prayers and waited patiently with a faith that “We should never ever limit God!” Two weeks before June 14, the anniversary sunday, a few brothers and sisters were asking me which organization I would nominate. Hesitated as I was, I mouthed “Ratanak, of course!” on my lips. So were theirs! We decided to go and “bend the rules” by putting Ratanak down with the thought that even if Ratanak would not be chosen as the recipient of the donation, we, at the very least, have caught the attention of the Elder Board with 6 forms nominating the same organization. Considering what God has first placed in my heart, this was already a goal being reached – to raise awareness in my church of 700+ congregates with the additional of two guest speakers who were invited to celebrate with us. I was already thanking God for this was already a big leap seeing that 5 months ago, no one even know (or would want to know) or is aware of what the Cambodian children are facing right now.
God didn’t allow leaving it just like that. A week later, the Elder Board announced that Ratanak was picked as one of the three charities which will be receiving the donations. (I was already jumping in joy!) Another week later on the Anniversary Sunday, while everyone were all dressed up to celebrate God’s faithfulness as a church, 700+ congregates were looking at the face of Sung on the big screen, along with a brief description of what Ratanak is now doing and helping in Cambodia. The song “God of this City” was playing in the background. My whole body was shaking; lips were mouthing the prayers to ask God to stir more hearts for these suffering children. 15 minutes later, I witnessed people pulling out their check books and pens, putting their written checks, $50, $20, $10 bill in the offering envelopes. I witnessed all these in my eyes with thundering emotions yet my heart was overflowed with God’s promises. I could not stop crying when I listened to the usher praying and thanking our gracious God to bless the money collected to reach to the poor and the needy. In my ears, they are not collectively labeled as “the poor and the needy”. Images were reeling in my mind with individual name of Sung, Mien, Sang, Toby, and all the other boys and girls I had come to know of and learn of. A small voice came to my ear saying, “I have not forgotten about them, my child. Trust in me. Always trust in me!”
Another week later, our pastor announced to us that the total sum of donations we collected was only a few dollars shy from $8,800, one third of which will be going to Ratanak. After all, it’s not how much we so far collected as this is only the beginning of His greater plan in me as I timidly committed myself, but also the beginning of His greater plan to stir more hearts to be broken for the atrocities the Cambodian children are facing. I am forever humble to experience that when we are leaping by faith in the dark, we are in fact leaping into His glorious light. The path may be narrow and dangerous, yet the path will definitely lead us into His presence.
My mind takes me back to the day I walked out of Rexdale Alliance 5 months ago in a bleak winter Saturday. 5 months later on this very day, I have a heart brimming in tears of joy and thankfulness.
All the glory and honor to our Father God, as in 1 Timothy 6:15-16, “God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.”