On my way back from Cambodia. …Such a worthwhile and fruitful trip.
It was a joy on two fronts. Firstly the opportunity to teach and encourage the new generation of disciplers. I taught on effective discipleship skills, strategic discipleship for the long term, and core spiritual identity.
Secondly, encouraging the old friends who have been working for a long time there. They are taking significant ground, but you don’t always see the victories across the landscape when you are fighting day to day in the trenches. Even the long-termers – the leaders of the others – need encouragement too (who lifts their arms up?). It was such a privilege to be able to meet with people, acknowledge their work and lives, and say so many times to so many people, “We are so proud of you.”
The ministry here in Battambang is almost 10 years old. It is hard to comprehend all of the victories achieved, souls saved, difficulties faced, and even the seemingly endless vision that the people here keep producing. Among many others, we are very privileged and proud “spiritual parents”.
I believe we are beginning to see long-awaited (and hard-fought) fruit emerge: the shift from being a people who see themselves as poor Christians, survivors and recipients only, to people who are now becoming a training and sending nation, walking in their individual and cultural calling. I saw a body of Christians who are talking steps in their God-given calling as trainers, contributors and senders. Not just surviving day to day; the sense of a nation crippled under a poverty mentality and the brutality of the past feels like it is slipping. The believers here are standing up, and going out.
Part of that is the formation of the upcoming ASEAN DTS, combining DTS’s from 8 nations in the region, for the region. What I witnessed up close was a group of young leaders, dedicated to applying the Word to themselves, because they see their role in changing an entire nation within their generation, as well as influencing the nations around them. It was absolutely amazing to stand there with them, to help draw out the leadership, vision and discipleship within them.
Coming up in the next blog:
In January I will share possibly the greatest highlight of the trip. Stay tuned, you DO NOT WANT TO MISS IT. This event impacted me deeply, but the story actually started 20 years ago! I only saw the results last week.
People often ask us, “what do we do?” Over the next few months we want to highlight a few people we have helped train and got to know over the years who are making a tangible and eternal difference. I think that these people have been among the most important “work” we have been involved with. As Paul says, “You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” (2 Cor 3:3)
Justin and Garth. Dear friends – and their families – who have been part of our lives since the early Kona days.
Yuka and Deem: met them in Cambodia, now heading toward Laos.
Elizabeth, or “Izzy”. She was a student in our 2008 DTS in Montana.
What a way to end the year – so blessed. That is a glimpse of Cambodia December 2015, and some of the upcoming stories on our blog for 2016.
Love and blessings this Christmas season. He is the reason we all do this!