God at work in Cambodia!

The meeting between the Government officials and Church leaders:

On last Thursday afternoon, I received an emergency call from Mr. Nob Sophal who is the present Deputy Commissioner of Prey Nob district in Cambodia. He told me, Brother, tomorrow we have a meeting at Veil Rein at 8:00 am. Please come and join the meeting.”  We have been knowing each other for the last 5 years in personal and ministerial levels. About 5 years ago, we prayed for his physical healing as he was suffering from paralytic sickness. He could not even stand up or sit down himself those days. He was in much pain and didn’t want to die in such an early age. He didn’t know Jesus as his personal Savior, then. When I told him that Jesus can do a miracle in his life and He can heal him, he asked me to pray for him. We prayed for him after giving him some counselling. I also invited him to Sihanouk Ville to get some massage from trained masseurs and he did. And do you know what? Now, he can walk around himself even without anybody help! Of course, he is not 100% but he’s much, much better than what he was about 5 years ago. Praise the LORD! Now he calls me older brother. He also wants to climb up some mountains in Cambodia with me when he’s completely healed. Let’s continue to pray for him and His salvation!

Now, this was a meeting between the government officials (Mr. Nub Sophal (Deputy Commissioner of Prey Nob district) and Director of the Ministry of religion, along with the local church leaders of the same district. Also please note that this was the first of its meeting between the two. The meeting constituted the two leaders of the district, 14 Khmer pastors of the district from 14 local churches, and Mr. Kevi (missionary from Nagaland) and I. Three of the pastors from three local churches could not participate the meeting. The Director of the Ministry of religion presided the meeting by welcoming the church leaders and announcing the purpose of the meeting. The meeting was conducted to get information about the local churches in the Prey Nob district (names of the local churches, year of establishment of the churches, sponsor of the churches, denomination of the churches, activities of each local church, and the members of the church according to sex). Each pastor took his turn and gave report about their local churches. And according to the reports, most of the local churches in Prey Nob district involve in the ministries like teaching English, running Sunday school, medical service, and some social works for the poor people in the villages.

Mr. Polly, the teacher-in-charge at the LawrenceRosa Memorial School at the Buffalo village gave an extensive report of the activities of the Samaritan Love Mission (SLM) in the Buffalo village. He reported that LawrenceRosa Memorial School (LRMS) is part of the ministry of Samaritan Love Mission which is also sponsor by Mr. Gilbert Hoelzer and the West Layton AG Church in the USA. Polly talked about the SLM’s ministry in the Buffalo village; running a school, digging wells, sports activities, gardening, medical service, humanitarian works, and the Sunday activities which was warmly welcome by the house.

It was also an opportunity for the local church pastors to share some of the problems/discrepancies they have been going through in the past, especially, in terms of their relationship with the non-believing public in the villages. Two of the pastors had some problems with the villagers in the matter of land (construction of road and graveyard). But later, it was found out that those issues were not presented to the local administration. Therefore, the local church leaders were asked to present such issues to the local administration as early as possible. They were also assured of security and help from the the administration.

At the end of the meeting, Mr. Nub Sophal, the Deputy Commissioner of Prey Nob district gave an extensive speech to the house. He begun his speech by appreciating all the pastors for their good works for the poor people in Cambodia and encouraged them to continue with their good works. He also told the house that all good works of the Christians and the church leaders should be recognized by the people and also by the government of Cambodia. Such as, for good works like construction of schools and building roads in the villages should be recognized by even presenting Prime minister’s award! I felt my soul lifted up, praising God for such an opened doors in Cambodia for the Kingdom of God! Mr. Nub Sophal also surprised the house when he talked so many good things about the ministry of Samaritan Love Mission in the Buffalo village. He also mentioned about how the Director of Samaritan Love Mission prayed for him. He said , “I can walk now because he prayed for me.” He also talked about his good relationship with the Director of SLM in a personal and ministerial levels. I was especially so happy when he appreciated how the children in the Buffalo village could speak some English, pray in English, sing in English, say the Bible memory in English, and also know some dances. And jokingly he added, “Next time you should also include some Khmer songs”, hahahahah! Finally, he encouraged the local church pastors to keep a good relationship with the government officials to avoid unnecessary problems by saying that as long as everyone abides by the laws of the country, all are free to practice one,s belief, no matter what religion you belonged to.

Finally, I was also given a chance to address the house. I started my brief speech by saying that, “In my 9 years of attending different meetings in Cambodia, this was the best meeting, and the speech from Mr. Nub Sophal, the chief of our meeting today was the best speech I’ve ever heard in Cambodia.”My sense of homour brought smiles to everyone but that was true. The main emphases of my brief speech was on the relationship between the State and the church.The church/Christians should respect the laws of the country, help the country to develop, and pray for the leaders of the world/country. Meanwhile, the State should provide freedom to the church to exercise it’s faith, for evangelism and also protect the church/Christians from oppressors. Finally, I encouraged the local church leaders to keep doing all the good works they’ve been doing for the sake of the poor and needy people and for the glory of God.

The meeting closed with a prayer by one of the local church pastors.

Rev. Jonah Amer (Director, SLM)

September 21, 2008

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