Our day started early. Craig and Holly, from Australia on sabbatical from Stairway Church, are helping us with the new church plant. Their day started the earliest. Their cute baby girl started vomiting in the night. It was a long night for them. Added to that, it rained all night. When we got up in the early morning the roads were all flooded. I had to use 4×4 just to get to the center. Many houses were under water as was much of the road. The whole area has no proper drainage. Mud was everywhere.
Satan was working overtime to stop this church plant in Cambodia.
Any kid who showed up today would have to work to get there wading through mud. Yet, when I arrived, I found about fifty kids already playing in spite of the fact that the “welcome music” was old English Christmas music. Several kids were staying by the entrance welcoming children and asking mothers to come in and stay for a while.
We had put up two large tents to keep off the rain and the heat of the sun. Both tents did little to keep the nightly downpour away. Water weighted down the tent roofs and huge mud puddles had formed under the tents. It would be unusable. One of the adult leaders came to me and recommended we quit and call off the church launch. I told him it was completely out of the question; satan would not be allowed to have any victory.
The kids and I all worked together to try and move the giant tents to a dryer location and scoop water out of the mud holes which had formed to try and dry them out. As we worked more and more children came in out of the mud under the tends. The kids led them in worship, using all Khmer instruments. Most of the kids did not know the music, but they tried to teach them some songs. We will continue to develop the Khmer music to glorify God in coming weeks. The worship leader was 14 years old and the musicians range from 9 to 14 years old! It was beautiful.
Then, they split into two groups. One group played games while the other group watched a drama. The games group enjoyed some unique games which were taught to them by our friends at CLGC in Malaysia and Kingsland Baptist Church last week. The kids loved it!
At the same time, another group presented hygiene and the gospel though drama. The kids developed, planned and executed the drama all on their own. The physical meaning was about taking care of litter (rubbish), but the spiritual meaning was about cleaning our heats with the trash that sin has put in their hearts. The drama was well done, concise, and captured the attention of the children.
After the groups rotated, we gathered in a large group. The crowd of kids and adults swelled to around 200. I then held a “story time” giving every child a “Story of Jesus” brochure which we had produced with David. C. Cook Publications. I then took the kids page by page through the gospel tract. I highlighted that Jesus was not a man, but was God. This was clear because of the miracles he did, rising from the dead, and his love for others (especially children). I explained that Jesus, being God, lived in the hearts of those who followed him.
I then asked if any children wanted to see the power of Jesus. Of course they all did. I asked if anyone was sick. Three boys bravely raised their hands and I asked them to stand as other children came around them to pray. I explained to them what prayer was and how powerful Jesus was. Two boys immediately testified to healing. One said he had a headache but after the kids prayed for him it went away, and, he added “I didn’t even take any medicine”. Another boy, said his whole body itched from a rash. Yet, after the children prayed for him, his skin did not itch anymore. Praise God for his power.
I then asked if any kids wanted Jesus to come into their hearts and commit to following him. Hands shot up all around and I led them in a prayer of commitment.
But don’t think this is a church just for kids; oh no! Our adult leaders were prepared with trays of fruit and invited the mothers and grandmothers of the children to sit and chat. Poipet has few men, mainly women and children, as men are working in Thailand. After some sitting and chatting in our gazebo, many of the ladies wanted to give their hearts to Jesus. There were about thirty adults who came. We also enjoyed a fellowship meal together.
In the battle between God vs. satan in Poipet the victor was clear. Sunday morning more than 100 children and adults determined in their hearts that following Jesus was their choice and they prayed to accept Jesus as there one true God. A new church is born! God wins!
Brothers and Sisters there is no way we could accomplish this on our own, nor can we sustain it on our own. Most of all, Jesus is our rock and provider, but so many people from around the world had a direct role in seeing this church launched by ministering to our children over the years. These children, still adolescents, are now church planters! Thank you for investing in their lives!