The heart of our trips in Cambodia is to share the words of Christ with local pastors. It is about going to places where local pastors have minimal Christian resources in our national language and empowering them with encouraging prayer, and supplying them with DPM teaching materials, which have already been translated into Khmer by our team.
On this particular trip, two team members were sick and unable to go. However, the four of us still kept going. We were determined to deliver the words of the Lord with passion.
However, the road to the initially planned location in Kampot province (southwest Cambodia, edging onto the Gulf of Thailand) was cut off due to flooding. Our team had to drive another way, which added an hour to our journey. It was also raining heavily on the way. Despite the obstacles, we arrived safely at the new location, which was a local church. We knew there would be obstacles along the way, but we were unafraid as we knew God was with us and would help us overcome any challenges.
Thirty-seven local pastors attended our seminar, and we taught from Derek’s messages, including You Matter to God, Spiritual Warfare, Faith and Works, and By Grace Alone. After sharing, we gifted each pastor a set of DPM teaching materials so they can use them in the ministry.
While studying the book You Matter to God, Pastor Mea Tay shared his testimony. This pastor lived through the Killing Fields of Cambodia, and yet he emerged with a heart for sharing the gospel with others.
Pastor Mea Tay grew up in Cambodia during a time of great turmoil. The country was in a civil war, and the Khmer Rouge was gaining power. In 1975, the Khmer Rouge, a Communist group, took control of Cambodia. They began to systematically kill anyone who was seen as a threat to their regime. This included intellectuals, religious leaders, and anyone who was not ethnically Khmer. Millions of people died under their regime.
In 1979, after the Khmer Rouge was defeated, some areas were still under their control. Pastor Mea Tay was living in one of those areas. Due to a lack of nutrition and poor hygiene, he fell very sick and was almost given up on by the doctor. During that time, a Christian prayed for him and he was healed - a miracle! With this experience, pastor Mea Tay believes that God saved his life. He is grateful for God's grace and mercy and determined to share the gospel with others. He therefore became a pastor and has spent his life sharing the gospel with others. He has also helped plant some churches in Cambodia.
Many times, people told him not to share the gospel about Jesus with other people in order to avoid being killed by the Khmer Rouge, but he was never afraid because he wanted people to know that Jesus is the savior. He praises God for keeping him safe all this time.
Pastor Mea Tay's testimony reminds us that God is always with us, even in the darkest times. He is a God of grace and mercy, always willing to forgive and help us. Each of us matters to God, as stated in the DPM teaching material.
Pastor Mea Tay also reminds us to never give up on our faith, no matter our challenges. He is a living testimony to the power of God to save and transform lives.
We should go on mission trips with a heart of love and compassion. We should go with a desire to serve others and to share the teaching resources with local churches. I encourage you to do it if you have ever considered going on a mission trip. It will be a life-changing experience for you. You will see God do amazing things in the lives of others, and you will be filled with joy.