JT Champion - Meridian CC
June 17, 2017
Susaday! ("Hello" in Khmer) J
Jack and I have now been in Cambodia for ten days, and we have already learned and experienced so much.
Along with several national partners, Jack, Ryan (our field supervisor), and I are coaching and playing soccer every weekend with about 20 young guys. We have never played competitive soccer and we sure aren't good at it, but the nationals insisted we coach anyways. They said the players respect us and assume we are incredible soccer players because we are young Americans (I'm sure we've proved them wrong by now). Because they look up to us, they also want Jack and me to do the Bible lessons before we play each week. Last week, I shared my testimony through a translator, and we started our practice after that.
This week, most of the guys from last week came back, plus several new ones. This time I shared the story of God casting Satan and his demons into Hell and then talked on how God has power over demons and spirits (Khmer people are terrified of being controlled by evil spirits). Jack then shared the story of creation. We had another great time playing and are getting to know these guys better and better. Some of them are battling malnourishment, some already battling alcoholism, and some just don't have anything to hope for. We hope and pray that we can continue to pour into this group. We pray they would not follow us, but Jesus, who can give them hope for eternity.
We spent Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday in three different mission fields with our team and a medical team from Kansas City. We went to a rural Vietnamese village on Monday. The medical team ran a clinic inside a believer's home, and we told Bible stories and played games with the local kids outside. These kids are not used to being played with, and they are so happy just to get an ounce of attention.
Soccer was hard for us adults because the volleyball net ran across the middle of the field and would clothesline anyone over four feet tall. During the volleyball game, the ball was hit over the wall and it rolled into the sewer. One of the kids ran and brought it back covered in poo. He could see no one really wanted to touch the ball now, and in broken English he said, "Uh, soccer time?"
On Tuesday, we went to a poor, inner city community and helped the medical team with whatever they needed. I shared with, and prayed for, about thirty of the patients that our medical team saw, and two of them said they wanted to follow Jesus. That is definitely the result of an entire team sharing with, loving on, and caring for these people and God piercing their hearts. We pray for growth in the new believers and for revival to consume the rest of the community.
Wednesday was a little different. We went to a public school in a rural farm village far away from the city. All of the people there are poor, and the school shows it. Because we were in a public school, we couldn't directly share the gospel. Instead, we spent all day doing health checkups and teaching hygiene and cleanliness. The national team has songs teaching them how to brush their teeth, wash their hands, and even cut their nails. All of these things are new to these kids. We actually did all of these things afterwards too. When we finished, we played games with and loved on the fifty or so students until they got out of school. Working with this school is our way into the village and gives us a reason to be there.
We have been so blessed in our short time here already. If you want to pray for us, we'll sure take it with gladness. Pray that we'll stay healthy and energetic, for opportunities to share Jesus, for open hearts, and that we would have servant attitudes.