Monday, September 13, 2010

The Challenge in Cambodia

Stephen Benefield, the missionary with whom we will be working when we get to Cambodia, emailed me the top three questions that Cambodians ask him when he is soul winning. These three questions give us a glimpse of the formidable spiritual challenges that await us in Cambodia.

1. Do you give people a salary? This is referencing the fact that many Cambodians are not nearly as interested in receiving spiritual help as they are immediate financial help. This is understandable. These people do not know the Lord. They live in extreme poverty. It is natural for them to focus on the immediate, tangible need for money and other material goods. Please pray that we will be filled with the Holy Spirit so that we might know how to help them look beyond their physical destitution and see their dire spiritual condition and their need for Christ.

2. If I become a Christian, can I still go to the wat? "Wat" is the Khmer word for temple, and in this context it is specifically referring to a Buddhist temple. This question helps us understand that many Cambodians are willing to add Jesus to their godshelf, but not many are willing to turn from their idols to serve the true and living God.

3. Is it true that when a person becomes a Christian they have to abandon their parents? This is perhaps the greatest spiritual challenge that faces missionaries in Cambodia. When Jesus said that He brought not peace, but a sword, this is exactly what He was referring to. Many Cambodians who have turned to Christ have done so knowing that such a decision would bring persecution and ostracism from their families. In the Cambodian mindset, to turn from the parents' traditions is to turn from the parents themselves. Pray that Cambodians who are under the conviction of the Holy Spirit for salvation will have the courage and spiritual strength to turn to Christ regardless of the threats of family, and that they will be living testimonies of God's grace in the sight of their families.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the insight. We will be praying about these barriers with you.