A Light in the Darkness

JT Champion - Meridian CC
June 29, 2017

 JT Champion
 School Group

Our supervisor family and Jack and I are doing well (Praise the Lord!).  God is impacting our lives so heavily, and we pray He is impacting the Khmer people through us.

 Classroom
 Soccer Team

We have revisited many of the schools from our first ten days on the field, and we have started relationships with many new ones. They are all similar in some ways. They are very poor; there is only one teacher for every 60-80 students, and they are all so thankful! However, every school has a different personality - just like in America. Some are wild and some are extremely shy. Some have about 50 students, and some are pushing 300. It is always a blast teaching and playing with those kids. Our goal and priority in doing this is to build relationships in these communities and eventually introduce them to the gospel.

 Playing a game

We are still coaching soccer and teaching Creation to Christ every Saturday. That is by far my favorite thing we do here. We are getting so close to those guys. Now, it is like going to play soccer with close friends. We have shared creation, the fall of man, the commandments, Old Testament sacrificing, the foretelling of the Messiah, the birth of Jesus, and Jesus' life. We, along with the locals who are helping us, also invite the group to church every time we speak. For weeks, nobody came. We have been praying for that since we met them, and God has been faithful! This past week, the church was filled with soccer players. But our biggest week is ahead of us. This Saturday, we are sharing the death and resurrection of Jesus, and our translator/coworker/pastor of the local Khmer church is going to ask if any of them want to respond and follow Jesus. (If we have one prayer request, this is it)! It is our hearts' desire for our brothers to know and follow Jesus!

 Game with Children

We have also been joining a small group of Khmer, college-age guys and girls a few times a week for church, worship, and Bible study. Most of them are believers, but several are not. They all live in a dorm-type building run by Julia, one of Ryan's friends who is from London. We have led the study a few times, and even led worship one night, which I'm sure wasn't too pleasant. Like soccer, singing is not one of our gifts. It is a lot of fun hanging out and worshiping with this group. It is really neat comparing and contrasting our lives with Christians our age from a completely different culture. Most of the believers are very young in their faith, but they are all so hungry and eager to grow.

This past Friday night, Jack and I went with Julia to work with one of her other ministries. Late that night, we met with a few other Western Christians and went to the Red Light District (the part of town where most of the illegal sex trafficking occurs). This area is so full of evil and sin. Western men come here to “buy” women usually for the night, but some, of course, abduct them into lifelong sex slavery. Those men may be the hardest people on Earth to love, so that is exactly why they were our targets. The ministry we were working with goes to witness to these Western men every other Friday night. John, the man that started this ministry, said they minister to these men for two reasons: 1) to help stop prostitution and trafficking, and 2) because these men simply need Jesus.

These men do not deserve the grace of Jesus, but neither do we. Any righteousness that we think we have is about as good as filthy rags. If it were not for someone in each one of our lives introducing us to Jesus, we would be filled with evil just as these men. Our only hope came from Jesus dying in our place, and HIS righteousness covering us. We have no love of our own to give these men, but oh, the love of Christ we can show them and lead them to!

We shared with a few men for several hours that night. We stuck out like a light in darkness, and people were either drawn to us or hated us automatically. No one was transformed on the spot that night, but maybe a seed was planted. We pray that God will work in their hearts and reveal to them that He is forgiveness, satisfaction, joy, peace, and love.