Hello everyone, I just wanted to give a quick update about what God is doing in the village ministry in Kompong Speu Province. (For those who may not know, this is a ministry that Stephen Benefield, the missionary we are working with, started several years ago. I am currently filling in for him while he is on furlough. He should be back in about two months.)
Because of the drowning of a faithful little girl named Srey Bpoe in a pond right next to the church, many of our faithful kids were forced by their parents to stop coming. For several months we were having about half the normal attendance. We prayed and prayed that God would work in the hearts of parents who had stopped allowing their children to participate. Many Saturdays I drove the van into the village to pick up the kids, only to have the kids who used to come faithfully stare blankly at me and in many cases run from me. It was already tough losing Srey Bpoe; but then to have so many kids seemingly just walk away from us was becoming a little bit discouraging! But my wife encouraged me to just keep driving the van into the village, even if no children came, in order to show our love and our commitment to them.
Well, three weeks ago I was contemplating in my own heart about whether or not I should keep going into the village. Driving into that village week after week without even one child get in the van had become what I perceived to be a vain activity. But I went ahead and drove into the village, and to my surprise and amazement 12 kids were waiting on the side of the dirt road, waving their hands for me to pick them up. These kids represent a good percentage of the faithful children who had not come in months. And they've been coming for the past three weeks. Praise the Lord that He answered our prayers in this situation.
*To clarify, the kids who continued coming after Srey Bpoe's death are kids who live closer to the church, so they walk or ride their bikes to the service. The village into which I drive the van is a little further off the beaten path.