Community Outreach team member Phyllis Spahn reflects on a day of ministry in a rural village near the Cambodia and Thailand border:

It’s a most beautiful morning – the coolest one so far this week – a gentle breeze sways the lush jungle foliage.
Here we are under a shelter that provides shade from the intense September sun in this spectacular country of Cambodia. Spectacular because of God’s display of creation beauty and because of the captivating faces and hearts of the Cambodian men, women and especially the children.

Cambodia, a third world country with ever apparent reminders of that, has a painful history of genocide that displays its memories in the faces of the older adults and in the stories of the young and middle aged.The FP medical clinic today is in a jungle village within steps of the Thailand border. This is the second time that FP has brought the clinic to this remote jungle location where it’s people have no access to medical care.  Tiffany shares with us the changes that have occurred at Blessed Hope (the name of this community program) since FP began partnering with a Filipino missionary here. In 2015, there was one Christian family, and now there is a home church where villagers can accept and learn about Jesus! Today, the FP construction team is building a beautiful playground and there is a plan in place to build a school with the funds raised at this November’s Striking The Root in Nashville.

We gather under the shade, quickly setting up makeshift tables and plastic chairs to serve as work stations for our medical team. The team has gotten proficient at this process as the week progresses. Then we worship as Maddie leads with her amazing creative musical gifts and we listen….. to voices with hands held high praising Jesus! We listen to the sounds of children. birds, chickens, dogs, vehicles…. but most of all we listen to His Holy Spirit as He cools us with His wind, gently nudging and guiding us into our day. We also hear Precious Cambodian team members bravely share their stories of healing and transformation for themselves and family members as they asked Jesus into their hearts and lives – lives that had been previously committed to Buddhism.

Many adults and children are gathering to interact with our team. Children are flocking around our VBS leaders with curious anticipation of what fun will be pulled out of the large suitcases. Adults, some with sick children and babies, are beginning to get in line for the healing they hope to receive from the clinic. Some of their needs are apparent, others are not. It’s the emotional needs behind the faces that I am looking to address. Their emotional needs are like ours – anxiety, depression, stress, loss, insomnia, coupled with job loss, physical illness, alcohol, all amplified by poverty. Interaction time to counsel is understandably limited, but my interpreter and I teach whatever coping skills we can.  We offer them what we believe they can use the most – – kindness… through eye contact, touch, affirmation, prayer and smiles. We speak of God’s love for them through his son Jesus. We pray for healing. Men, women, and teens boldly confess their emotional struggles, while listening attentively, hoping to obtain relief.

An 84 year old man, with sadness in his eyes, shares that his son and daughter were killed by the Khmer Rouge, while not mentioning the horror that he had to experience in order to survive the regime. Another man weeps with sorrow while also expressing gratitude that he is able to share his grief over not being with his five children. A woman tells about her worry over how to support her grandchildren. Having the basics to feed their children and to just survive is paramount in their minds. The list goes on….The day progresses and every so often a shout of praise arises from the team as someone experiences miraculous physical healing after being intensely prayed over by the team.

We return home somewhat weary from the day, but always filled with gratitude to The Lord and hope for these beautiful people. The day ends in the same manner that it began, with evening worship and praise to the One who made the lame walk, the deaf hear and the blind see! The One to whom we owe our everything; the One whose love for us is beyond our greatest comprehension; the One who paid it all! Hallelujah!

Luke 7;22 Then he told John’s disciples, “Go back to John and tell him what you have seen and heard—the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor.” 


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