When God speaks, He doesn’t care which stage of life you are at. He doesn’t care whether you think you are ready or not. He just speaks. If you don’t quite get the substance of it the 1st time, the 2nd time … even the 10th time, He will speak louder, and louder, then louder, until you finally have that moment of enlightenment. Then you can never go back and you would pray that your life will be that one long obedience to that one long direction. Nothing and no one will hold you back, but you would tread forward until that very day you come before Him and give Him the account.
This very province, Siem Reap, keeps coming back to my heart. I am still in the brewing process to understand what does God wants me to do. I now choose to remain faithful though I have 1,000 questions dancing in my cells. I followed the journal of the vision team a while back and today I choose to come back again and read their journey. Father God, I fear that I am losing my heart to this nation too!
“We headed north to Siem Reap over the flooded Tonle Sap – the huge life giving lake which the Cambodian infrastructure greatly relies on. On arrival we were greeted by Reaksa Himm (whose family were butchered and killed right before his eyes in the killing fields and he is the only survivor) and headed straight out to a project he is overseeing in the countryside outside of Siem Reap. A library to host over 8000 books and computers for use by over 10,000 village children who would otherwise receive little education. The dream? To provide a site where children can learn and hear the Gospel message, ultimately leading to High School graduation and perhaps university scholarships. One thing which is absent in the Cambodian church is leaders. Because of the recent genocide where all Christians were executed few feel able to take this step of faith as the memories of the past remain. Allowing children to move into further education and leadership training will pave the way for change. Who can want anything more than that?
After lunch we all headed across to Angkor Wat. Narrowly missing out on becoming one of the seven ‘modern’ wonders of the world this is a complex of ancient civilisations dating back to the 10th century. The architecture of this site is astounding.
Tonight we have been treated to an evening of Khmer dancing. I watched these young men and women move so gracefully, telling stories as they danced and thought back to the NewSong girls and the kids in Svay Pak who are in a very different place. These young women performing tonight are what the other girls long to be – accepted, admired, valued and respected.
Siem Reap is a beautiful city boasting modern developments and is worlds away from Svay Pak – or is it? Hotels boast of girls for sale – girls all purporting to be over 18 though many of them are not. At the height of the tourist season it is not uncommon to have up to 200 young women paraded in a room behind glass with a number on their top waiting for the men to walk along the row and pick them out. Coach loads of sex tourists arrive from Asia, Europe, North America and Australia to buy a girl of their choice and exploit her for an evening. Add to this the underground movement of child brothels and this place is no different, it only carries a nicer veneer.
Cambodia has a treasured heritage and underneath all the heartache is a desire to embrace all that life offers them. There are plentiful talents and abilities which need nurturing and encouraging. The enemy of our souls has robbed this nation of its population, dulled its dreams and continues to darken its doors. I am so thankful tonight for men like Reaksa Himm who have come though this pain and long to effect change and leave a legacy to those who follow. Who can seek anything more than that?
I fear that I am losing my heart to this nation.
– S. Norman”