Every Sunday afternoon the pastor of TransformAsia Church in Battambang will load up the church staff and some volunteers into a truck and drive about 20 miles outside of town to another town called Thmor Gol. It is here that the church has a small church plant. It isn’t much more than 5 or 6 adults, 4 youths, and 30 children and it meets in a small pavilion structure in the back of a field. When we arrive Sokly the children’s minister will take the kids and lead them in Sunday school activities and Thy the youth minister will take the youth out into the field and lead them in games and discussion. Pastor Nak often will take me or the volunteers to walk around the local village to greet people, ask for prayer requests, and share small gospel tracts with them.
Often times when I am out with them I wonder to myself what use am I? Even though I speak the language, I struggle with the words to have deeper conversations about faith. It often seems like there is little for me to do other than take photos, lay hands on others for prayer, and hand out the occasional gospel tract. I feel like perhaps there are other things I should be doing that would be more fruitful.
Well, in spite of my assumptions that I could be more useful elsewhere, God has a way of reminding me that He has purpose for me in everything. On the last Sunday before my trip to come to the US we went walking around the village again. We visited a few houses we’d been to before and people recognized and greeted me, but as usual I wondered what use it was to have me along. As we made the rounds we were about to go back to the truck but we passed by a house that I remembered. The last time we came around one of the volunteers and I had gone in and said hello to the elderly couple that lived there. I wanted to drop in briefly and say hello just to make sure all was well.
I entered the property and I said hello to the elderly woman there. She looked up at me and suddenly it seemed like she was overwhelmed by excitement. A giant grin came over her face and she invited me to sit down and kept offering me cookies, water, and coffee. She then sat and started to explain that no one had ever come to just pray for her and her husband. She was so excited to see me again and began telling me all about her house, her husband’s son and how he built a new bathroom for them, and how her grand-daughter was doing. Eventually one of the church staff came and joined me when rain began to fall, she just kept on smiling and telling us all about how things were going, we must have sat in her home for at least 30 minutes until the rain began to let up.
Needing to get going she once again asked us to pray for her and her family. We laid hands on her and prayed for her health and family and asked God to make Himself known to her.
Sometimes I forget that God has a plan and that He is going to work in some of the simplest things like saying hello and offering a free prayer. We need to follow His calling and when we are where He wants us to be, He is going to work. Sometimes it really doesn’t take much.