It’s more than a month now after becoming the Toronto Rep for Ratanak, the role in this ministry is really picking up speed, light of speed, to be exact. A typical weekday of mine would look like that:
- while juggling daily demands at work in a law firm, the work of Ratanak mostly are being done over my blackberry while riding on the GO train to and from work. Sitting on the GO train for 1.5 hour a day can get a lot of things done. (yes a lot of you already received all types of emails from me all at the mercy of technology!! Praise God for technology and my techie husband);
- while making use of 1 hour lunch to meet up with people who would travel as far as St. Catherine’s all the way to downtown Toronto or as close as someone who just work right around the corner from me, all of whom simply are moved by the Lord about things that are breaking His heart, thus breaking their hearts, particularly for Cambodia and its people. Those are always the most uplifted moments as I am constantly reminded that why God puts me where I am right now. There are times that He demands me to speak up boldly at my work place about the work of Ratanak and the issues of child sex trafficking in Cambodia. There are times that He demands me to simply fold up my knees, sit on patches of moist grass in Osgoode Garden, soak up the noon day sun, enjoy the most heart-to-heart of sharing about our time in Cambodia, share about our dreams for this country and our love for its people. How this monthly get together would always end with a time of prayer despite my dress started to get a little soggy, despite my feet started to feel numb, despite my forehead started to feel a bit feverish, I would not want our prayers to stop but to continue to ask the Lord to fuel our hearts, to teach us how to be good stewards of the stories that we were entrusted to hold dear in our hearts, and when the time comes, WE OUGHT TO SPEAK UP.
- while arranging various options of picking up our 2 young daugthers’ from school and in-laws’ place, so that I could squeeze in a 5 o’clock coffee meeting after work, sitting across from someone I have never met, but with enough emails back and forth to a point where we know we ought to meet in person, totally skipped dinner, because after sitting at a Tim Horton’s for 3 hours with my medium coffee long gone in my stomach, and sharing about what the Lord had done to us for the past 3 years, seeing Him at work constantly in children’s lives in Svay Pak and in our rehabilitation program, moving people from all over the place, from all denominations, and culture backgrounds and ethnic groups to join in the fight, counting God’s stories and events in a sequencial and chronological order would have been a 10 course banquet for me for the day. The excitement of counting how many times that the Lord has answered our prayers, how many times that He has shown His favour and His faithfulness when we plead for His intervention for a young girl’s imminent rescue ….
All the above would only mean something out of a merely busy life of juggling a day job with a “almost-full-time ministry”, and being a mom to 2 young children, and also being a wife, but in the end it would only boil them for one very thing and for one very child at a time and place such as now and here especially we are in the middle of the boiling heat of this ministry, day in and day out receiving news intertwining with joy and sadness and uncertainty :::::
SN whom we have been praying for since August 2009 is now facing such an uncertain future. Receiving Lisa’s news this afternoon, and as soon as I read her name, a knot in my stomach was getting tighter. I skimmed through the lines, and yearned to see the words from Lisa saying, “that she is safe” but NOT. She wrote:
Some of you know ‘SN’ and have prayed for her over the past 2 years when her father was planning to take her to Siem Reap to sell her. For 2 years, God has protected her from further abuse but today I learned that she and her younger sister ‘C’ were taken by their dad to Vietnam for one week. We are not sure what exactly that means but given the father’s history, I can’t help but think of the worst for these two young girls. Please pray for these two sisters, that God would intervene once again in their lives and frustrate any plans of their father to sell them. They come to the kids club daily and have been speared further abuse until now. We will await their return to Svay Pak next week.
It is hope in Him that enables us to press on in the midst of ambiguity, uncertainty and unpredictable environments where young girls we know are disappearing for short time frames. It is during these times, that we hold on to the promises from Romans 4:18-21 –Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed, he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.
Why SN means a lot to me?? After praying for her since August 2009, how her face was constantly at the back of my mind, she was mentioned constantly whenever I go for speaking engagements, she was mentioned over my 3 hours meeting over coffee, she was the one whom the Lord has placed in my arms when I were there last January, she was the one who stood right at the corner of the Sanctuary in Svay Pak, my eyes caught her familiar body frame whom I have hers in my photographical memory bank for years, my arms were around her arms for a good long 3 minutes, my limited Khmer was trying to ask her a few questions about her school, my again very limited Khmer was trying to tell her that I love her and I have been praying for her, my every efforts made to compose myself not to cry, my every effort made to walk out of the Sanctuary to get some fresh air and to swallow back my tears, my meticulated effort to take a picture with her yet won’t surprise and or offend her. Now you know why she is that “one child” to me. There are P, L, another L, S, and another S whom I prayed for constantly, too. Yet SN is that one child that the Lord placed in my arms. He chose her, He flopped her in my arms and my neck. I held her tightly that my body shaked. Thinking of her and typing about her right now shakes me up, too. As I always said, when you are holding in your arms the answers to your prayers for years, that’s an EPIC moment to praise Him for for the rest of my life.
I re-read what I wrote 2 years ago, the prayers that we started solely and only for her on that hot summer month, right now, 2 years later, I choose to only place my hope, only hope in the Lord, but no one else!!
August 28, 2009 — Last night we prayed on our knees with words barely uttered through veils of cries and questions also mingling with curtains of overwhelming certainty that “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them”. My mind was filled with an epical hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around. Father God, you take me back to your Words in 2 Kings 6:8-23. Early in the morning, Elisha’s servant arose and went out of the house. With the early morning sun struck the surrounding hills, he saw shields and swords of the Syrian soldiers, all positioned. Frantic, frightened, fleed back to Elisha and reported what he had seen. What could he do? Elisha went, “Don’t be afraid.” There was no reason to panic. Elisha knew that his servant did not “see” the whole picture. He saw only flesh and blood of a vast army. He had no grasp of the spiritual forces that were at work. He assured that those who were on their side outnumbered the great host of the Syrian army. Elisha prayed that the servant’s eyes might be opened to see the angelic army that was not normally visible. His were opened, he saw now. He saw the angelic warriors were surrounding Elisha.
The calmness and the tranquility that are not visible to our eyes, our hearts shall always sees the spiritual forces which God has at His disposal to protect His own children. Elisha responded with the calm of a man who knows that he is secure, under the watchful care of God. It was not even the angelic army that brought deliverance to Elisha or to Israel – it was the answered prayers. Elisha prayed and the eyes of his servant were opened (v.17). His fears were relieved. Elisha prayed again, and the eyes of his enemies were closed (v.18). It was not even the angelic intervention, but divine intervention through prayer which brought about the deliverance we see in this text. It also brought about the cessation of hostilities between Syrian and Israel at least for a time over a meal together.
That’s what we did last night. We prayed. For we trust that the divine intervention is far greater than the looming shadow of evil’s steps. The divine intervention will outnumber all the spiritual attack that is now surrounding Svay Pak. For we trust that when we ask God to open our eyes and let us see, He will let us see. He just did as I close this post with a lesson I will forever hold in tight embrace.
How powerful is His Words, for the Lord declared, “so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” Isaiah 55:11-12