Wednesday, July 29, 2009

When Broken is Good

The very first morning that I awoke in the land of Cambodia durning my first survey trip three years ago introduced me to something I had heard about, but did not really believe actually happened.

Bro. Benefield told me to take a walk if I so desired on that first morning. His only request was that I wait until sunlight. We were to meet together at nine o'clock that morning, but since I was suffering from jet lag, I was wide awake at about four.

As soon as there was light enough to see, I took a shower and excitedly rushed out the front door into the country that I had been longing to visit. I only knew two phrases: "Jom-ree-up-sewa"- a formal greeting that you say with your palms together in front of your face as a sign of respect- and "Sok-sabye"- a phrase that basically means, "Are you doing well?" When I hit the streets of Phnom Penh, I was greeting everyone I saw. They must have been thinking, "Bproh saw nung nayuk nah? Goaht ch'cooat nah!"- "Who is that white boy? He's crazy!"

As I strolled up and down the streets of Phnom Penh around the block near the church, a lady who was squatting in the front doorway of a small shack similar to one in the picture above called me over. Thinking that she wanted to converse with me, I gladly went to her with palms together in front of my face and said, "Jom-ree-up-sewa, Ming!" She sneered, paying my sign of respect no attention, and proceded to call someone from the back of the little shanty. She called several times, and finally a young girl, 12-15 years of age I suppose, came to the doorway.

This girl immediately began smiling very flirtatiously at me, and began physically enticing me. It took me a second to realize what was happening, and then it hit me. "No!" I shouted, throwing my hands up. I quickly walked away, feeling filthy. I went straight back to my room, sat down on my bed, and thought, "What just happened to me?" And then I thought about that girl. Who was she? What was her name? Who were her parents? Why was she in that position?

And then the Holy Spirit smote me. "Chad, she has never known what real love is. Her parents obviously haven't shown it to her. But I have called you to come to these people and to live out the love of Christ that constrains you." I was broken that day. That is when broken is good.


  1. May the Lord break our hearts daily and remind us of the need around the world!

  2. Just read an article similar to this from David Gibbs, it reinforces the urgency of our mission. In modern American suburbia where our lives are so protected it is easy to forget what is happening in this world. Praying for you as you serve the Lord in Cambodia.