'Small Things' by David Burn

'Small Things' by David Burn

12 October, 2023

Meet some of the children who live near the LifeWayCambodia centre. (Except the pale one on the left!) Not all children get to go to school. Some families need them to help work the land. Others can’t afford even the basic costs for books and uniforms. For many even with class sizes of 60 and running morning and afternoon shifts, there’s just not enough room at the local school. After Pol Pot there remains a chronic shortage of teachers. The shortage is so great that many of the schools allow teachers to bring their underage children with them because there is no way to have their children cared for when they are at school for 10 hours a day.

So the obvious question is what can we do to help?

Well we’re still working it out, but we have made a start with helping to build the ministry centre and we are ready to do more.

In Zechariah 4: 7-10 it says,” What are you, O mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground. Then he will bring out the capstone to shouts of ‘God bless it! God bless it!’” Who despises the day of small things?

Then the word of the Lord came to me:

“The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; his hands will also complete it. Then you will know that the Lord almighty has sent me to you.“Who despises the day of small things? Men will rejoice when they see the plumbline in the hand of Zerubbabel.”

Cambodia is a country with a mountain of challenge and very little room to make a difference without official hinderance. So, it seems we must start with “Small things” things.

Here are some basic statistics to introduce you to the challenge.

37th poorest country in the world. (as of September 2023)

Population of Cambodia:

Landmines 30 - 40 million

People 17 million

Average age of Cambodian 26.4 years

Average age in Australia 38.5 years

After the Pol Pot regime in which it is estimated up to 3 000 000 people died,

It is estimated less than 200 Christians survived.

Today Cambodia is a single party “democratic nation” - a court ruling in 2017 ordered the dissolution of the country’s main opposition party which has disenfranchised many Cambodians who want to see new leadership.

Against this background the only other way to get things done seems to be to do little things, that fly unnoticed by officials. The good news is there are things that can be done and as in the passage from Zechariah even now a foundation has been laid.

It begins with Small Things.

In light of this we have started to hatch some plans:

Already the LifeWay Cambodia Centre is nearly complete and people will gain training in literacy and computers as well as hear the good news of Jesus. They also hope to offer training in English as having even some spoken English can open up job opportunities.

Also we discovered that better education is available through private schools and that including costs of transport, books and uniforms can be covered for about $750/child in primary school for a year. Or $1000 student for High School. This can be a huge opportunity to work unnoticed by officials and help build the nation by engaging through child sponsorship at a grassroots level.

Another plan that is being prayed towards and dreamed for is a hostel; suitable land has been identified. The idea being for this hostel to house a team member and a number of teenaged girls. The girls would attend school and also work on the land producing cash crops and fish, the profits from this would go back to the families to compensate for the short term loss of income from the daughters not helping the family at home.

Cambodia didn’t get into this mess overnight but as we engage in small things, God can do big things that many more may come to experience the blessing of God.

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Will you take up the LIFE Challenge?

Will you take up the LIFE Challenge?

23 February, 2023

The Good News of Jesus Christ changes everything – it gives us purpose, direction, significance and a vision for our life that is simply amazing. Jesus sends us out to ‘share his hope with all’ that they too may experience the life-transforming grace of Jesus Christ who calls us into a personal relationship with him as we journey along life’s way. That’s where you come in!

This Lent, you're invited to re-commit to the

LIFE Challenge

The LIFE challenge is a personal evangelism strategy which recognises that people come to Jesus, one life at a time. Every day you mix and interact with people who don’t yet know the life that Jesus gives. Let God lead you down the road, as he led Philip to the Ethiopian Eunuch (Acts 8:26-40), to get alongside someone who is looking for ‘Good News’ in their life. It may be a work colleague, someone you see every day; it could be a family that you socialise with. So pray for your workplaces, your friends, the people you see day by day to see where God is leading you.

Listen prayerfully

Listen prayerfully in the conversations that you have with that person. What are their hurts, their fears, their struggles? Where do they need help to keep their life balanced? As you hear those needs, pray for those needs/concerns/joys that come up promptings’ that we sense in our hearts and minds. Pray for your work places, your social gatherings that God would lead you to the person or family.

Invest personally

Jesus says, ‘I send you.’ God in his wisdom invites each one of us to partner in his work and invest our time, our effort into the lives of the person or family that need to know the love of Jesus Christ. So set aside time, invite them around for a meal, share life together and see what God does as you get to know the person on a deeper level.

Form relationship

This is a journey, So be in it for the long haul. People don’t care what you know until they know you care. Be a part of their lives, invite them to share your family moments. Support them in difficult times, Laugh with them in the happy times. Watch the friendship grow! Invite other friends from Church around for a meal so your new friends get to meet other Church people. Research shows that 90-95% of people come to know Jesus Christ through family or friends.

Extend invitation

When the time is right, extend an invitation to them to join your LifeGroup or invite the family to Kids Church or the Family Fun Day we hold. Then as you sense the Spirit’s prompting, extend an invitation to join you for worship. God’s grace is overwhelming and his promises is that whenever is Word goes out, it won’t return empty (Isaiah 55:11).

Who is God calling you to LIVE, SHARE and GROW his love with this year?

Grab your card from one of the LifeWay worship centres. Keep it in your wallet, on your fridge, in your car and think about how God may be using you to bring a L.I.F.E. that never ends.

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