Sometimes the pace of God is surprising. Not even a year ago, our team at LightBridge realized God was calling us to expand ministry in Cambodia. He had been opening doors and inviting us to new areas of ministry beyond the Minefield Village, where we had been solely focused for the past eight years. We knew He was calling us in three distinct areas of expansion:
Ministry in the slums
Landmine Design new locations
We began exploring what growth would entail as we also began raising the funds needed for expansion. Side note here: It's amazing how much funding is needed to do ministry; but even more amazing are the crazy and creative ways God provides...! Unbelievable and surprising! Many of you are ways God chooses to provide! Anyway, by the end of the year, we felt like God had provided enough funds to begin expansion and so we held on to see what God would do.
For the next few blog posts, I'm so grateful to share about how God is writing this story of expansion, even if the pace feels fast to us! I hope you'll join along. I hope you're encouraged to read, to pray, to give, and to be in awe (with us) at all God is doing!
Not long after God provided funds to begin expansion in Cambodia, He also opened doors for us to partner with a local church in Poipet, New Life Fellowship. They approached us about utilizing our team center for a church plant. The little village where our team center is located has no church whatsoever, so this would be the very first church. We were so excited and welcomed them with open arms.
They began with just a few people from their church (located in the border town of Poipet). Using their own gas money, they drove 20 minutes to our team center every day to walk around the village, talk to neighbors, and pray. It was the precursor to the establishment of this new church. They knew they needed to pray. They knew they needed to cover this area with power-filled petitions, asking the Lord of the harvest to churn the soil of hearts who needed to know Him. So they prayed and prayed some more. For weeks before a song was song, a sermon was preached, or a kid's lesson taught, these dear followers of Jesus prayed.
Finally, one Sunday many weeks later, the first church service happened with over 50 people in attendance. Neighbors came to see what this new thing was about; church members from Poipet came to be present and pray; women from our Landmine Design program came because it was the closest church to their village. The worship songs carried along the melody to nearby homes hearing praises to Jesus for the first time. The Word of God was preached. The first church in this village had begun! Praise Jesus.
Not only is there church happening every single Sunday at the team center; there is also evangelistic English classes happening every single afternoon as well. Using English as a tool for evangelism, Khmer teachers drive out each day to teach over 65 children from the neighborhood about the love of Jesus through learning English. It is a beautiful site to see...and such an honor to be part of!
To see the Gospel advance in this little village is simply amazing!