Reflections from Cambodia

"Please pray for Cambodia and its beautiful people," Ravi writes. "Only the gospel can bring hope in a dark land."

Margie and I left Cambodia and arrived in Vietnam last week. For her it was a first. I was in Vietnam in 1971 and in Cambodia in 1974, before both of them fell to a cruel future. The story of Cambodia in this and the previous century is written in blood. The killing fields of the Khmer Rouge buried more than a million Cambodians. The story of the church there is amazing. Between 1925 and 1968, I believe there were 80 baptized believers in the country. Then Stan Mooneyham of World Vision felt compelled to go and preach the gospel there. At least a couple thousand came to the Lord in his first visit, and more in his second visit. He was used by God to turn the nation's heart to God. The Christian and Missionary Alliance followed in church planting. I was invited by the Alliance in 1974. I was still a student at that time. We saw hundreds come to Christ, including the man who had written the National Anthem. The public meeting in Battambang was the biggest response they had ever seen there. The iron fist of Pol Pot and his ideologues has taken its toll on the country. As I watched the young people perform their graceful cultural dance, I couldn't help but think of the pain in their hearts. Their future has been squandered by political demagogues. Both of my interpreters were killed after the Khmer Rouge took over. It was heartbreaking to hear that.

There are still the so called “sleeping dogs” in the land. It's a sad story. I can say much more but I shall resist. Wellspring International, our social arm, has reached out here because of the scourge of prostitution and the resulting HIV AIDS crisis. Many fine ministries rescuing the victims are doing an incredible job there. I hope to return there, as well.

Please pray for Cambodia and its beautiful people. Only the gospel can bring hope in a dark land. In a couple of days I'll send a brief report from Vietnam and what's happening there. Communism has taken its toll there. More in a few days. But I saw a few churches and the gospel is still shining a light here under the glare of communist rulers. They need our prayers.

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