Thursday, January 15, 2015

Cambodia Devotions With the Girls

1 Corinthians 3:5-7  After all, who is Apollos?  Who is Paul?  We are only God's servants through whom you believed the Good News.  Each of us did the work the Lord gave us.  I planted the seed in your hearts and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow.  It's not important who does the planting or who does the watering.  What's important is that God makes the seed grow.

On Tuesday I shared devotions with the WL staff and 6 girls. After I read the scripture in English, Ry, the office manager, read in Khmer and one of the seamstresses read in Vietnamese.  It was so cool to hear scripture in three languages.  So great that Vietnamese and Cambodian women can join together for Bible study (there is often friction between the two).

With Ry translating, we talked about making a difference in the world by scattering seeds of kindness and that this is the work of God's Kingdom.  We plant seeds.  Sometimes we water as well or trust that someone else down the line will water the seed.  We may never know how our actions have affected another, but God will cause the seed to grow at the right time.

Many of the girls come from families that grow rice and vegetables, so I shared that I, too, come from a farming family.  I shared another of my favorite scriptures in multiple languages so everyone could understand.

John 15:4-5  Remain in me and I will remain in you.  For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.  Yes, I am the vine; and you are the branches.  Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit, for without me you can do nothing.

Using words and many hand motions, I demonstrated how plants have a similar flow of nutrients from the roots to the trunk and then out to the branches, much like blood.  When Jesus is the center of our lives and we remain firmly connected to Him by taking care of our spiritual lives, we stay healthy.  We're able to produce fruit and scatter many seeds of kindness.  His love flows through us, nourishing our souls and producing strong branches to shelter and support others.

However, if we neglect our spiritual life or intentionally shut ourselves off from God, we can become tired and grumpy doing those same acts of kindness.  Under our own strength and good intentions, we will eventually become weary (and sometimes bitter and resentful).  But with God's spirit flowing through us, we gain energy.

It's a choice:  stay firmly connected to Jesus or slowly dry up spiritually.

After discussing some examples, we prayed the Khmer way: everyone prays aloud simultaneously.  It sounds chaotic, and takes some getting used to, but it's really quite powerful.  A cacophony of petitions lifted to God.  Another inspiring experience.

#seedsofscripture #cambodia #sextrafficking #spiritualhealth #plantingseeds

Read related trip posts:
Blastoff to Cambodia - The Never Ending New Year 
God is in Control - How I Almost Missed My Flight
Don't Do It Alone - How a Guide Can Help
Sister Visit - Visting The Woman I Sponsor
They're Not Just Stories - A Prison Visit
The Goal - A Toilet in Every Hut, You Can Help
A Day With Survivors of Trafficking and Rape
Renewing the Spirit - The Missionaries Worship
Encouraging the Missionaries and Each Other
A Success Story - One Girl at a Time
Sowing Seeds of Kindness - Devotions with Survivors
Living Intentionally - Defining Yourself
Who Are They? - A Report About the Men Who Buy Sex
Who Are They? - The Missionaries
Part of the Problem - A Corrupt and Unjust System
Rebuilding After Loss - Recovering from Flood Damage

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