Friday, 18 November 2016

Seeing them through MY eyes

As I contemplate the last month, I can't help but think of the picture God gave me on my last day of outreach in Cambodia.

God is hovering above Wat Phnom, a spot near a large Buddhist temple where prostitutes sit, waiting to be picked up, their pimps and children sitting nearby. Some are on drugs, many women with painted white faces and revealing clothes, backward from their culture.  The place looks covered in darkness to most of the people, but to God it is bright. Nothing is hidden from His sight. The people have blackened eyes, blinded by the enemy so they can't see God's light. The angel's of the Lord, His angel armies surround Wat Phnom, fighting for the people. But the people don't see; they can't see. The Christians have a light around them, a glow. The music played, testimonies shared, and prayers spoken make a light flow out of them that the people can begin to see. But they still don't see the giant light, the angel armies fighting for them, or God hovering. This place, Wat Phnom, Cambodia, the Earth, is the Lord's Kingdom. His honour, His glory, and His power reign.
"The Lord of Heaven's Armies is His name." Jeremiah 10:16

some of the people we invited to dinner at Wat Phnom
Spirit house outside of Wat Phnom temple

Wat Phnom

Inside Wat Phnom Buddhist temple
boy outside of Wat Phnom

outside Wat Phnom
tuk-tuks waiting at Wat Phnom

This was the setting of my first, middle and last ministry of our outreach to Cambodia. I can now say that my first time playing guitar for worship in front of a group of people was leading 3 songs in the middle of Phnom Penh, Cambodia to prostitutes and drug addicts. As I played guitar to the women and men who live on the street, begging, some on drugs, and most in prostitution, I felt God there smiling and saying, "Well done.  These are My kids and I love them as I love you. I stop for the one as you did today and that's what matters.  Not your skills or what you have to offer necessarily, but relying on My strength, taking My courage, and stopping for the one.  Seeing them through My eyes, the way I see them. Not lady boy, drug addict or prostitute, but a child of God, a daughter and a son, precious and beautiful, with a value and a purpose."

Our time in Cambodia was brief, but we helped out in many different ministries associated with either people at risk, in the sex trade, or ones who have been rescued out of the sex trade. We led the children's and youth programs at Hope for Life, gave art & music classes to the ladies who left their life of prostitution and now work in the Daughters production centre, and led worship and shared devotions at Open Arms. We also led a women's bible study, led worship at the Phnom Penh House of Prayer, led a children's program, church service, and prayer in two villages, and prayed over the teenage and young adult girls that were rescued out of the sex trade and are now living at House of Refuge.

street kids close to Daughters

at Open Arms
at Water Festival our last night

at Teul Slang where
victims were tortured
during Khmer Rouge
One of my favourite parts of the trip was going to the second village. There was a man with cerebral palsy who asked for a wheelchair on their last visit to the village. The group I went with was able to provide him with a wheelchair the day we visited his village. We arrived to this village, and I was a bit tired from a morning of leading games, songs, and stories with the kids from the first village we went to but excited to see what God had in store for the people there. When we got to his house, he was lying down on a makeshift bed with a blank look on his face. When he saw the wheelchair, his face began to change. By the time we got some men in the village to help him into the wheelchair, his whole demeanour was changed for the better. We asked him if he wanted prayer for anything, and he said he wanted to walk. He hadn't been able to walk for years, but he still remembered what it felt like, and he wanted to do it again. We prayed for him and even though he wasn't healed right there on the spot, his faith didn't waiver. His faith in God was so strong and it convicted me. "I want a faith as strong as His," I thought.

After that we shared some worship songs and Sandra told a short testimony on the power of prayer. Then a man from the village who helped the first man into the wheelchair spoke up and said he wanted prayer, too. He had been stabbed in the eye in a knife fight and was now blind in that eye. We prayed him and he gave his life to Jesus. Then after we prayed, the man in the wheelchair told the guy that he could come to his house any time and he would pray for him. I was so touched by this man's faith and courage to step out in praying for his neighbours, even when the Buddhist culture in Cambodia doesn't accept Christianity and only about 2% of the population are Christians.

I have so many other stories and testimonies I could share, I could go on for days. If you'd like to hear more about my trip, how you'd like to support me in prayer or financially, or anything else, feel free to shoot me an email or Facebook message.  Thanks so much to everyone who has been praying for me and the people who supported me financially for the Cambodia outreach and my time staffing at YWAM Toowoomba.

I have some news for you all. In order to continue on staff until June 2017, I need to go out of the country to apply for a Working Holiday visa. The whole trip will be around $1,300 CDN which includes the visa cost of $440 AUD.  If you feel called to donate to this cause, you can email or Facebook message me and I'll send you my bank details. I'll also be setting up a PayPal account in the near future.

A final thought for you all. It's something God spoke to me when I was having a hard time and I hope it encourages you as it has encouraged me.

God: You are never the odd one out. I am with you until the end of the age. I have clothed you in white, you are righteous and holy and precious and Mine.  I am renewing your mind, changing the way you think. I am preparing you for war. I put on your armour sometimes, when you feel weak or unworthy. When you are weak, I am strong and I give you My strength. When you feel unworthy, I tell you of your worth and your beauty. You will never be alone. I am by your side. Just look up, into My eyes of fire and see Me, see My glory on display for everyone who looks to Me. Then your strength will be renewed. With your mind, you will trust in Me and lean not on your own understanding but in Mine, which is perfect and true. My love is for all for I am love. A love that is patient, kind, selfless and strong. More powerful than the grave.

Me: I just asked You to show me the bigger picture, the way You see the world. I saw a picture of You holding the world in Your hands and thought of that song, "He's got the Whole World in His Hands."  But instead of holding it in both hands or even one, You were spinning it around on Your pinkie and the Earth was as small as Your fingernail. And yet, You see everyone of us, up close and in colour.

God: I see your and I know your worth. Your worth doesn't come from what you do or what others think of you, but in how I see you. I see you, I know you and I love you. All of you. You have never been and never will be unworthy to Me. You have worth and value and a purpose. You are Mine!