Global Renewal’s Blog

We’re Buying the White House!

by grmadmin on Mar.26, 2016, under Newletter

OUR WHITE HOUSE STORY…

Before you wonder if we’re getting caught up with the political hype around us, let us tell you a story…

Two years ago, we began Selah House, Indonesia. The Lord brought us beautiful children who have found a place of safety and healing in the safehouse. However, finding a rental home for the safehouse was not without challenges in Muslim Indonesia. One landlord, upon learning that we were Christians, refused to sign the rental agreement because she was afraid her neighbors would burn down her house if Christians lived there.

Last year, while an agent was showing Liney and the team a rental house, she asked the Lord for a sign. Suddenly, Liney noticed words etched on a dusty windowpane. It said: “Jesus is my life.” Speechless, she pointed at the words. The agent sheepishly confessed that he wrote it, and that he was a minister too! When he understood the nature of our work, he agreed to let us rent the place for a year with an option to buy. He also assured us that the house was safe and surrounded by Christians.

A year passed, and it was time to purchase the house or move. We began to pray with our board and team members about buying the house. No word.

Last month, during a conference, Liney felt like giving up on the potential purchase, because of the lack of clarity. Right then, a young lady at the conference turned to Liney, and asked for her name. She told her that God had just told her Liney’s name (except she had heard “Lilly” :) . And that she saw a vision of Liney standing in front of a white house saying, “Lord, I can’t do it. It’s too much.”  The young lady then saw Jesus come to Liney and declare, “GO FOR IT! I AM WITH YOU!” This was the undeniable proof we were waiting for–God was in this!

When we shared what happened with the landlord, he reduced the price by another $13k….FAVOR!

Now, it was time to see the Lord provide. Suggestions were made to do another gala, send appeals, etc. As we prayed, however, there was a deep sense that God’s supernatural hand was upon this project. Why not trust Him?!

Recently, as we casually shared this account with a couple, the Lord moved on both their hearts to help us buy the property. They promptly wrote a check for $80,000 and handed it to us. It more than covers the purchase price as well as the renovations!! We are exploding with joy because of His miraculous provision!

We came away from this amazing,, Spirit-led adventure with the assurance that where He guides, He provides. His provision is not based on our striving, but on His favor. He can suddenly pour out the blessing; and when He does it, it’s always more than enough! To God be all the glory!

That being said, pray for the white house on Pennsylvania Ave. too–whether it’s writing on the walls or windowpanes–Jesus reigns and He alone brings Life.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more
than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.
Eph 3:20

Selah Gala, 2015
Thank you to all who participated in our Gala last November! We were blown away by the number of volunteers, attendees, and donations. Your giving raised enough funds to operate Selah Houses in Cambodia and Indonesia in 2016. That includes private school, nutritious food, clothes, activities, and most of all–an atmosphere where God heals–all courtesy of your generosity! Our girls and caregivers are elated and send their gratitude to each of you. Special shout-outs to our main sponsors:Superscapes and Bracha, and guest speaker, Lance Wallnau!
And the Lost Come Home…
During our gala in November, we shared with the participants that one of our little girls at Selah House, Cambodia was missing. This beautiful 5 year old had been taken by a family member for a brief national holiday and not returned. Phone calls were not answered and after traveling to her village, we were were told that no one knew of her whereabouts. A few weeks ago, she was located and brought back to safety! To say it was a miracle is an understatement. Finding one child with hardly any leads or cooperation in a country lacking infrastructure is like finding a needle in a haystack. But she belongs to Him who sees all and knows all. We are so thankful–Rejoice with us!
Another Chain Reaction
In Indonesia, we  also initiated an educational center in a brothel village. On our first visit, the village chief’s wife came to us with heavy heart–marriage, financial, and relational problem. She opened her heart and home for prayer. A few weeks ago, she came running to meet us with a smile and glow that was not there before. Maria began to describe the miracles Christ has been doing in her life–she started a business, joy was back in her heart, and the curse she was under was broken! Not only did her face indicate a transformation, but her testimony of the power of prayer was communicated to the other ladies in the village. So they came, one after another, streaming into Maria’s home to experience heaven. We sat on Maria’s floor and shared Jesus’ love as we prayed for the precious, broken women who did not know all these years that they can have access to God! This is “Thy Kingdom come” in action…thank you for sending us!
Equipping for Impact
David is in Asia now with a team from Cornerstone Church, Singapore, and two of his brothers…Prayers requested for these mighty servants poised to do exploits. 

In Vietnam, our third class of students are in session. Although it’s a Communist nation, Vietnam is experiencing explosive growth. Because of the present regime, however, they cannot meet in large groups–they gather in small, house churches. Hence the need for many trained shepherds. We are privileged to collaborate with our partners there in equipping for ministry.

We are also blessed to train leaders from all over Cambodia. The next class is set to graduate in May. Harvest is great…laborers are few. Pray to the Lord of the Harvest to send many more…

These are a few of the amazing things happening in SE Asia–we are so glad you are a part of it! We sense an urgency to up our prayer momentum by assigning an intercessor for each of our team members and safe house children. If God speaks to you to be part of that team, please email us atlineyc@globalrenewal.org
We need those who, as in Nehemiah’s days, stood by the wall–armed and ready so others can keep building. 

Blessings to all of you! We so appreciate your love and encouragement…

In love,
Global Renewal Team
and David & Liney Chacko

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2015 5k Registration

by grmadmin on Feb.14, 2015, under All, Human Trafficking

Global Renewal’s Annual Fund Raiser will be on March 14, 2015.  Register now!

http://willyoureact.org/grm2015/

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Update from the field…and our hearts

by grmadmin on Jan.25, 2015, under Newletter

 

 

 

 

Update from the field and our hearts
November, 2014

 

 

Global Renewal’s response to abuse trafficking
Save the Date!

Donate by Paypal
CONTACT:
Global Renewal

P.O. Box 112416
Carrollton, TX 75011-2416 

info@globalrenewal.org

1-469-684-0477

from our hearts…

For those of you who follow and support our ministry, you may have sensed a silence on our part for the last several months. It’s not that God isn’t moving; you’ll read below of His amazing, empowering, redeeming works. But, for us as a family, the last year has been the most painful…the most difficult (please don’t be alarmed–all is well). Suffice it to say that the enemy waged war, sent his emissaries,  and attempted to destroy us and Global Renewal. Keyword: attempted. Love wins. Justice wins. Jesus wins….always. As Joseph, we declare, “(the enemy) meant evil against me; but God meant it for good… to save many people alive.” (‭Genesis‬ ‭50‬:‭20‬) We share this because you care, you pray, and you believe. Those truths coupled with our Father, who taxes the farthest star to provide for His own, enables us to trudge forward–weary and a bit blood-smeared…but forward! As our friends, we want you to know that your prayers are effective and so needed. And, that your prayers are heard!!
Selah House–Cambodia
In the last few months, 3 more beauties have joined our family! S. is 5 and E. and C. are 12. We are so encouraged that the 5 year old was brought to our attention by her village chief moments before her grandmother intended to sell her. Thank God for men like the chief who are choosing life in Cambodia! E. is a lovely girl brought to us by Ruth Elliott of Daughters of Cambodia. Please keep that ministry and the great work they’re doing in prayer.
Selah House, Indonesia
This summer, we launched our first safehouse in Indonesia. Although it’s the largest Muslim nation in the world and mostly conservative, trafficking and exploitation of children are predominant. Comprised of thousands of islands, Indonesia is fertile ground for inconspicuous slavery. Many times, young girls are lured from their villages with promises of jobs in the big city. Their final destination is often remote islands guarded by men with rifles. The dream job replaced with satisfying unwanted customers.
We have been actively pursuing leads in the brothels and in doing so, made many friends–simple women with broken hearts and shattered hope. God is opening an amazing opportunity to begin community outreaches in the brothels–imagine: literacy, computer, sewing, salon skills being taught to these precious ladies so that they can have a fresh start! Pray the doors open, friends–you are part of the harvest!
Chu, Pas. Ricky, and David 

Vietnamfrom Death to Life
The Vietnam War ended in 1975, but it was not until 20 years later that Vietnam released its official estimate of 3.5 million casualties.

Currently, over 9,000 people receive Jesus annually through our partner organization. As a result, there is a critical shortage of pastors. Global Renewal is actively training 120 students in the South and plan to train another 60 in the North. It only costs $60/ to equip a pastor (food, board, and transportation).


Hai ministering in the Drug Rehab Center

Changed People Change People
Chu, the son of a high ranking official, used to be a drug addict and a thief. He received Jesus and became a witness to the local police and officials. Chu graduated the training program and has since started 7 house churches!

Hai attended our training and shared how it caused him to be an effective leader. He now runs a drug rehab center for  recovering drug addicts.  The residents leave the center changed; many go into ministry and make positive impacts in their society.

Reaching Cambodia


Sunday Evangelistic Outreach–over 400 people came out to hear the Word


Youth led in worship as Sunday School girls danced

Your continued intercession and generosity enables the continued work of the Spirit in Cambodia, Vietnam and Indonesia. We believe the atmosphere is changing and the best days are yet to come! 

In love,
the Global Renewal Team
and
David & Liney Chacko

 

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Because He Lives…News from Asia

by grmadmin on Apr.11, 2013, under Newletter

 

 

 

Here’s what’s been happening  in SE Asia…
HAVE A BLESSED EASTER, EVERYONE!

 

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Pas. Mike with Anna, Anthany, Liney                     Graduates of Vietnam Training Center
and David 


Pastoral team from Dallas together with                             Our Phnom Penh team
CRC graduates and team from Singapore

Visit from Pastor Hayes
We were so blessed by the visit of Pastor Mike Hayes and his team of pastors – Stephen Hayes, James DeMelo, and David Binion to Phnom Penh during our recent graduation. They went on to Singapore where Pastor Mike ministered powerfully on The Blessing of Abraham at Cornerstone Community Church. Their visit to Vietnam was also very special. Pastor Hayes’ timely word of encouragement lifted the spirits of the persecuted leaders and brought about a new level of friendship and partnership with the persecuted church.

Impacting Communities!
This was what the MegaCare team from Potter’s House, Dallas did when they visited us in Cambodia. They fed an entire village of 600 people (in Takeo province) while our students sang and shared the gospel.

They also blessed each family with rice and other provisions. MegaCare visited two other communities in Phnom Penh where thirty people received the Lord and many were healed. Thank you, Pastor Guynes and MegaCare!
Seminar for Local Pastors
The day after the graduation, we held a seminar for the local pastors. We could tell that they were really blessed by the ministry of the Covenant pastors, and we pray that the anointing will go with them back to the provinces of Cambodia!
Meet Daphne
Daphne Lee, from Cornerstone Church, Singapore, felt the call of God to come to Cambodia. In her own words, “I have been tremendously blessed by my time here, under the ministry of Pastors David and Liney Chacko, and I know that this won’t be the last of my trips to Cambodia. Whilst here, I helped with the youth outreach, which includes a weekly youth service, as well as English classes for university students. I also enjoyed interacting with the students at the training center, as well as the children at the safe house, and will miss them immensely when I return home.”

Alumni Wedding

Kim Cheng and Seang Heak graduated from our center and served on staff for a season. It was a joy to see them united in marriage in their province, Kampong Cham. Both of them are currently serving the Lord together in the province. Congratulations, Kim Cheng and Seang Heak!

May 17th–Freedom is Here! Benefit Concert

In years past, we experienced great generosity from all of you during our benefits. This year, David and Nicole Binion and Johnnyswim will be in concert to aid Chain Reaction, our anti-trafficking initiative.  All proceeds will benefit Selah House and prevention strategies we have implemented in SE Asia. Please plan on joining us as we sing and declare freedom over the nations. Admission is free and the concert will be held at Covenant Church, Carrollton TX at 7pm.

David’s Parents in Phnom Penh
Joseph Chacko (age 83) and Annamma Chacko (age 80) travelled across the world to visit Cambodia. They loved giving food to the hungry and praying for the sick. It was such an inspiration to see their zeal–proving that you’re never too old to be on fire for God!

Graduation Time in Cambodia
Eighty pastors and leaders joined us in celebrating the graduation of our students who complete their 9 month intensive training course. Here is a testimony from one of the graduates:
“Hi everyone, my name is Rann. I come from Ratanakiri Province. When I first came to the training center to study the Bible, I didn’t know how to speak or write in Khmer (the national language). However, the Lord taught me to how to read and write in 7 months…Now, I am even trying to learn English! I love to pray and to worship, and I want God to use me mightily to evangelize my nation!”
Meet Jay
Jay Samar is serving the Filipino Congregation of Cornerstone Community Church, Singapore. God gave him a burden for Cambodia during his university days. His mission trips to CRC have strengthened his desire to serve this nation. Jay senses that God has a great plan for Cambodia and its youth have a vital role to play. We have been so blessed by the Filipino congregation and their frequent visits to help out in Cambodia–special thanks to Pastors Jay, Hazeil, and Brenda!

A Little Note from a Big Heart

The dear children at Selah House are growing quickly and bring joy to all who know them! The note above was given to us by one of the girls at Christmas and is from their hearts to each of you who pray for them and give to their cause…We are grateful to you!

 

 

We just landed in the U.S. and look forward to seeing many of you while we’re here. It’s been a challenging yet fruitful season in Asia–
your love and encouragement has always propelled us onward.
We love you all and thank God for the privilege of serving Him together with you!

David, Liney, and the Global Renewal Team

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You’re receiving this email because you’re a friend of Global Renewal.

Our mailing address is:
Global Renewal
P.O. Box 112416
Carrollton, TX 75011

Global Renewal is a regisered 501(c)(3) and all contributions are tax deductible.

 

 

 

 

 

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Hello from Cambodia! (David and Liney)

by grmadmin on Apr.10, 2013, under Newletter

 

 

 

 

Global Renewal News Update: September, 2012 Email not displaying correctly?
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It is Well
Although these past few months have brought their share of challenges and battles, we know that He who sits on the throne does all things well. With great gratitude we acknowledge all of you who have prayed, encouraged, given, and believed with us. You are bringing RENEWAL to the nations!
We are especially grateful for the amazing guests, teams, and volunteers that have blessed us with their lives. Special thanks to the sending churches: Cornerstone Community Church–Singapore, Overcomer Covenant Church–Seattle, and our own Covenant Church–Carrollton who sent us an amazing long-term volunteer, Anthany Arosanera. In typical Asian fashion, we clasp our hands, incline our heads and say to all of you, “Akun!”

Fishing Lessons

Hungry people often come to us for rice and milk for their babies. We do what we can to provide for them, but the goal is to make them self-sustaining. Here’s one of our favorite stories: 

Om Saroum’s comfortable lifestyle came to an abrupt halt when her husband died. Poverty hit her hard. She also had contracted AIDS through her husband. When she sought help, her wealthy cousin chased her away. Found crying outside a gate, our team brought her in, comforted her, and introduced her to Christ. Today, Saroum loves the Lord and rarely comes to church without at least one new visitor! Recently we were able to purchase a sewing machine for her so that she could support herself.

We are so happy to provide opportunities for the poor to be self-employed and sustained. Often, startup money for a simple micro-business (raising pigs, chickens) can be life-altering for an entire family or community. Our prayer is that every person in His House be provided for…Our God is more than enough!

Fire in Vietnam

After learning about church planting, one student decided to implement it in a remote, mountain village. It was not long before the Communist police arrived with some “hired help”. They beat him with an iron pole, and X-rays verified that his cheekbone was broken in 4 places. Unable to talk or eat, he braced himself for surgery. When the student’s young wife entered the hospital room, she asked, “Isn’t our God the God of miracles??” Something began to happen. Overnight, the Lord healed him. He was discharged in the morning–talking and ready to eat!

Vietnam Renewal Center’s mandate is to prepare the Body for the coming revival in Vietnam. Fifteen house churches have been initiated by our students in the course of one year. We are excited about their graduation on October 26th! Pray revival in!

4th Annual
Bike-a-thon / 5K

For all our friends in the Dallas area, you can walk, run, or bike in support of Global Renewal. This year’s event will include games, raffles, bounce houses, and loads of fun! Mark your calendars for October 27, 2012 and check here for more information and registration. 

Prayer Needs

Please pray for us, our children, staff, and students as we fight a tenacious enemy. We are convinced that God will soon crush Satan under our feet.

  • For those who are called to come and assist us in all 3 nations (Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia)
  • Rescue of children. In the last 3 months, over 40 children have been found dead in Phnom Penh–victims of organ trafficking.
  • Upcoming training camp and graduation in Vietnam with Pas. Gordon Banks.  

    We thank God for the privilege of serving Him together with you!
    David, Liney, and the Global Renewal Team

 

 

Copyright © , All rights reserved.
You’re receiving this email because you’re a friend of Global Renewal. 

Our mailing address is:
Global Renewal
P.O. Box 112416
Carrollton, TX 75011

Global Renewal is a regisered 501(c)(3) and all contributions are tax deductible.

 

 

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Where the Surreal is Reality

by davidnliney on Mar.20, 2012, under All

As Told by Volunteer, Nikki Kirk

Standing outside of Selah house stood four women: a young American student, a Cambodian social worker, an Indonesian training center coordinator and a Korean American mom.  All of different backgrounds & cultures, but with the same heart and one goal … to find children for the safe house who are at risk of being trafficked or who have had a traumatic experience and need healing.

As we gathered together to start our excursion to the villages, we invited our elderly tuk tuk driver to join us in a prayer.  He had been diligently duct taping the roof of the seated wagon to the poles that were holding it up, but obliged us as we began.  The roads to the many villages are not paved & the conditions put a tremendous beating on the vehicle which is why he was preoccupied.  We pray for guidance, discernment & His grace, as we journey out with hope.

Entering the villages, everything seems surreal.  I feel like I’m on a movie set depicting a historical war, just waiting for the director to yell cut and the backdrop & props would be rolled away.  But the reality of actual families living in these one room shacks sink in and it’s hard to believe that in this century, people still live in these conditions.  I also wonder if the guests at the luxury resort hotel that we just passed by, know who their real neighbors are.  They look out into their backyard forest, ordering room service in their deluxe suite, but do they truly see?

As we further our journey, the children greet us with curious looks & timid smiles.  Some of them in their limited English say hello back to us.  We hand out lollipops from our bags and each child replies with a happy thank you.  The highlight of their day was probably receiving this treat and some of the children call out to their friends & siblings to hurry and get a sweet, that’s what they called it.

We proceed to talk to families and village leaders.  We tell them why we are here and listen to stories of personal incidents.  More importantly, we ask them about any children whose situation might put them at risk of being a potential victim.

The toughest part of my day was visiting a family who lived next to a prison.  The father was a guard there and their three-year-old daughter was abducted & violated.  While listening to her story, I didn’t even realize that there were tears on my cheek, until one of my friends pointed it out.  I quickly composed myself to gather her information, write it down, and to take a picture of her for my report.  I don’t know if it hit close to home because I have a baby girl the same age or if it was because I was staring at such an innocent little face or seeing how small she was, but it broke my heart into pieces.  The shattered sound played into my soul knowing what she has endured and realizing that she didn’t even know what was happening to her.  But I was there to give support & to try to help, so I needed to remain strong.

In the end, it was these daily trips to the many villages that we visited over the course of a few days that I can say were one of the most productive & meaningful times in my life.  I felt closest that I had ever felt to Him, seeking Him, asking daily for strength, understanding the bigger picture, and pleading for guidance and hope.  I am thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this group of strong, spirit filled women who all have a tender heart for the children.  I am both humbled and proud to call them my sisters.

As I pray the children in, I await the day when I will return back to Selah House.  I look forward to see it filled with the smiling faces of children who know that they are loved, have a true purpose in their life and a bright future.  Until then, my heart is filled with joy as I hear about the progress of two of the little girls that I have photos of from my trip.  I know that they have been received into Selah House and that they are a blessing to us all.

 

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An Encounter with Hope

by davidnliney on Feb.04, 2012, under All

As Told by Volunteer: Ashley K. Keating

The first thing that comes to mind now when I think of Global Renewal is a picture of a lighthouse with light shining out throughout the whole countryside. This took on a literal term as I met two beautiful girls who where given situations in life that resembled ashes, ashes in the form of abuse, poverty, and neglect.  Although both of their backgrounds were different they dealt with the ever looming chance of been trafficked.  The beauty in their story comes in when I saw them standing in Selah House playing and radiating a smile that resembled God’s glory.  There they were playing and dancing free from the ashes that they where found in.  This was just the beginning of my understanding of the hope and the future that Global Renewal is bringing through the word of Jesus Christ.

Throughout my time in Cambodia I was able to visit the villages and get to know the people throughout the community.  They opened their homes and hearts desperate to hear of hope and opportunity that could rescue their families from the grip of poverty.  Although the task at hand that Global Renewal has undertaken is not a task for the weak there is a hunger for Gods word and for hope of a better tomorrow which drives the students I met at the training center and at the Selah house to keep going.  Everyday they put on their armor before going out and by watching each one of them you can see the discipline, the desire and the dedication they each have to bring the hope of Jesus Christ to their homeland, Cambodia.  The hope they bring through being a living witness in the actions and their words.

One very telling story to me was an encounter I had in the villages at a karaoke bar where girls were trafficked nightly.  I sat down and begin to interact with a beautiful woman around my age, 28.  She sat their telling me of the story of how she did not finish school and had only a fourth grade education.  This really spoke to me because I am a fourth grade educator.  She began telling me of how her son lived with her mother hours away and how her husband had abandoned her and she now had to work at the bar for money to send to her mother.  Tears began to gush from her soul and despair clinched her face.  I was amazed at what I was witnessing because I had just two years prior been abandoned by my husband during my pregnancy and I was raising my two sons single.  Our lives were very different but yet very similar we understood the despair that follows brokenness.  As we spoke that night for what seemed like hours I began seeing a hunger rise up in her for a new opportunity.  She wanted to leave the bar scene but having the bar owner looming over us trying to listen to our conversation, in fear that one of her “girls” and potential money could be lost,  was an ever present reminder to her

of the current circumstance.  As we said our goodbyes, tears streamed down both our faces for it seemed as through we had known each other for years. Knowledge of her hope to leave the bar and seek a better opportunity spread and she was able to get resources to help her into a new vocation.

Ashley and a GR student

These stories are just a few of the examples of the light that Global Renewal is spreading throughout the communities in Cambodia and where there is light the darkness has to flee.

 

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God’s Provision=Luxury

by davidnliney on Jan.28, 2012, under All

As Told by Volunteer, Rachel Guzy

Nothing could have prepared me for this trip to Cambodia until I walked it out, and it was the more phenomenal than I ever imagined.

I felt prepared since first hearing about the epidemic of human trafficking in Cambodia.  I wanted to know more and wondered how we as Americans could allow slavery to exist on any level, anywhere in the world!!

Being the first time to travel to Asia, I learned about Cambodia before arriving in June 2011, as well as human trafficking as it existed there.  I felt ready, but soon learned that readiness and preparation failed to prepare my heart and eyes for what I experienced.

Although there are many differences between myself and Asians, that didn’t seem to matter.  I felt love.  The natives I interacted with were quiet and reserved yet made their presence known through their hospitality.  They are overly generous with the little they posses.  Much can be learned from this people.

As I visited members of the church, although, I had an interpreter, if that were necessary, it didn’t matter I couldn’t communicate in their language or them in mine.  I later learned we were both well versed in the language of love.  We were warmly welcomed into a member’s home.  Even though it was my first time to meet this family, I felt as though I was catching up with an old friend.  We sat on the floor as the grandmother began to share the many ways in which God has provided for her.  I wanted that, too!!  I thought how easily accessible it is for us to just go to the doctor when we are sick because we can afford the payment of that in some way or another.  Here, they don’t have that luxury.  God’s provision is their luxury.

I was asked to teach English to the Bible school students in their facility every night.  I was reluctant to teach.  I remember thinking to myself, ‘This is not what I came here to do, I had not prepared for it, nor do I have the slightest clue as to how to begin teaching, let alone building rapport with people I couldn’t communicate with.  I do not want to do this.’  I quickly learned that structured lessons were of no benefit because they would just write/repeat what I would write/say without knowing the meaning.  The change had to first start with me and so I adapted.  We were active in learning; I taught them the hokey pokey, and we enjoyed each other.  Teaching was on the forefront of my mind when I woke up, went to sleep, anytime I was not teaching, I was thinking about teaching and what I would teach the students next.  They were so hungry for it.  They pulled everything out of me; I left them not knowing what else to teach.

By this time, I had forgotten all about the reason I went there, until plans were made for me to take a trip to the safe house.  Now I didn’t want to go.  The day after our arrival at the safe house, Trully and I, headed out to local remote villages.  I experienced things in these villages; my story does no justice for.  I learned that these people have nothing because they don’t know better and if you don’t know better, how can you do better?  It is impossible without an education or freedom from oppression.  And if you think it is so simple to get an education there, think again.  While school is free, if the students do not pay the teachers, the teachers will fail the students.  So what is a child to do when faced with poverty in a nation where $60 per month is excellent pay?  “Get a job,” they say.  Well if it was only that easy.  Whatever your hands find to do that day is what you do.

Walking the “bar area” (which really means prostitution area), I wanted to know what I could observe.  Acting as though we had no idea as to where we were, we met a young woman, 14 years old.  My mind was racing with how I could save this child from slavery.  I mentioned that if she would leave me her contact information I would teach her English by writing simple letters and she was delighted.

I brought this issue to the attention of the Chackos upon our return to the training center.  As we debriefed, I realized that my idea  to rescue this girl and the others involved would not be beneficial at that time.  I wanted this child out of situation badly, but I didn’t want to have to prosecute the bar owner we also spoke to.  She was working in this condition out of means to meet a need. I was confused until I reminded Liney she told me to pray for my own victim of trafficking and this was the answered prayer and that she had to do something.

We decided that on the next trip to visit this girl, we would share with her the plans we made to have her stay at our safe house and I would sponsor her education (of $15 per month), with the condition that she not return to that work. (NOTE: We are still following up on this case–please pray for her freedom.–GR Team)

I left Cambodia, sad!!  I regretted not extending my trip.  I was not prepared for this night.  I cried with the students that shared how I impacted their lives.  This trip is forever engraved in my memory, never to be forgotten.

Since being home, God has not stopped His work in me.  He is showing me more and more His love and provision that is unique to me.  I pray that I will return to Cambodia some day

 

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The Slums–A Place of Extravagant Joy (11.04.11)

by davidnliney on Jan.04, 2012, under All

As told by a GR Volunteer–SUSAN A. THOMAS

One day, I had the opportunity to visit the slums with Kim Cheng and another student.  The first area we went to was flooded with thick brown water; until then, I had never witnessed a flood.  There were slum homes (with open windows and doorways) lining up the alley with logged water trespassing through the inside of the homes   Where did all the residents go, I wondered.  The students will forge through despite the floods (if they are on a motorbike) but since we were in a tuk tuk (google it :-) ), we could not go.  I was both upset and relieved.  Upset because of all the things I had the opportunity to do in Cambodia, this could have been the most fulfilling; and relieved because of the fear I had of entering into murky waters that would cover me up to my waist.  To my comfort, Kim Cheng did not give up; instead he turned around and went to another neighborhood.  There was trash everywhere.  People lived in 200 sq. ft rooms – that was the whole house.  It had wooden planks as floors – underneath which there was no foundation.  The wooden planks had spaces between them, underneath was the earth filled with trash.  They would slide little pieces of trash through the space in the planks and so they lived above and around trash.  The stench was awful.

There, we visited this lady who was on fire for God and her Buddhist mother.  The mother is 78 years old.  We had a chance to talk to them for some time – of course I could not talk much because of the language barrier.  Before we left, one of the students who were with me, Kim Cheng, asked the grandmother if there was anything she wanted to bring up in prayer – she said her legs were giving incredible pain.  So, he prayed for her.  Under normal circumstances, we would have left after the prayer but for some divine purpose, I was suddenly led to ask if she would like for me to massage her legs.  There was no forethought of this request; rather, the question just flowed from my breath as if I were being guided physically to speak out loud.  When Kim Cheng translated the message to the grandmother, she nodded in response.   So, I showed Kim Cheng and the other student how to massage and all three of us began massaging her.  The experience I had during this time is difficult to explain but was incredibly fulfilling.  Because there was a language barrier, I did not talk much; instead, I spent those quiet moments in prayer.  I suppose it must have been the prayer and the Holy Spirit’s impression upon me that enabled me to take the bare feet of this stranger and rub it with so much compassion and love.  I began to feel so much love flowing through me; it was overwhelming.  We spent a good 30 minutes or so massaging her legs and back in 90-degree weather in an enclosed room with no air condition.  My shirt was drenched in sweat and sweat stains even soaked through my pants; the grandmother kept saying that it felt so good.  I could see in her eyes that she had such gratitude for our labor of love.  I could not have been more fulfilled.  She said that the pain is so severe at night that she cannot sleep.   I told her that Jesus loves her and for her to ask Jesus to heal her in the middle of the night when she feels the pain.  She just nodded and smiled.  I don’t really know what we did for her – the language barrier made it difficult to communicate – but I could tell by her arms around me and the gratitude in her eyes that she felt loved.  What better thing can you do for a person?

Then the King will say,
Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored,
that was Me—you did it to Me.
Matthew 25

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What is it?

by davidnliney on Mar.09, 2011, under All

And I see. At least a bit more. When we find ourselves groping along, famished for more, we can choose. When we are despairing, we can choose to live as Israelites gathering manna. For forty long years, God’s people daily eat manna—a substance whose name literally means “What is it?” Hungry, they choose to gather up that which is baffling. They fill on that which has no meaning. More than 14,600 days they take their daily nourishment from that which they don’t comprehend. They find soul-filling in the inexplicable.

They eat the mystery.

They eat the mystery.

And the mystery, that which made no sense, is “like wafers of honey” on the lips.

I think of buried babies and broken, weeping fathers over graves, and a world pocked with pain, and all the mysteries I have refused, refused, to let nourish me. If it were my daughter, my son? Would I really choose the manna? I only tremble, wonder. With memories of gravestones, of combing fingers through tangled hair, I wonder too … if the rent in the canvas of our life backdrop, the losses that puncture our world, our own emptiness, might actually become places to see.

To see through to God.

That that which tears open our souls, those holes that splatter our sight, may actually become the thin, open places to see through the mess of this place to the heart-aching beauty beyond. To Him. To the God whom we endlessly crave.

Maybe so.

But how? How do we choose to allow the holes to become seeing-through-to-God places? To more-God places?

How do I give up resentment for gratitude, gnawing anger for spilling joy? Self-focus for God-communion…an emptier, fuller life?

To fully live—to live full of grace and joy and all that is beauty eternal. It is possible, wildly.

I now see and testify. So this story—my story. A dare to an emptier, fuller life.

Excerpt from One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voscamp

 

Photo by Thomas Fideler

 

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