Cambodia - An Open Door for the Gospel

house-by-old-city-dump.jpg

I have absolutely fallen in love with Cambodia! Since our last newsletter I have been to Cambodia twice. Jesus sent people out in twos and so my partner on my first trip was my pastor, Jeff Johnson, who had been to Cambodia three times before. In our meetings prior to traveling, we both felt strong confirmations that God was calling us to Cambodia. Part of that confirmation was evident in that we both, independent of each other, had connections to a ministry called Water of Life (WOL) located in Phnom Penh. Little did we know that right before our arrival, WOL’s leadership had all been praying that God would raise up help for Water—and then Harmony shows up offering to help in the very areas they had been praying about! Water of Life is led by Randy Fleming, a crazy man who absolutely overflows with love toward the Cambodian people. Randy is also the pastor of Calvary Chapel Cambodia. He is one of an extremely rare breed of believers who welcomes anyone who wants to serve Jesus—without worrying about controlling them. The result is that a handful of disparate ministries have taken root under WOL—each flourishing in their work for the Kingdom.

Randy operates a Christian boy’s home. Another missionary, Holly, has a home for vulnerable young women—some of whom have been rescued out of sex trafficking. There is also a medical outreach and several orphanages.

We discovered that Water’s board and US headquarters are located within minutes of Harmony’s US offices. So after returning to the US we promptly set up meetings between Harmony’s board and leadership and Water’s board. We really hit it off—both sides praising God for the other—and putting into place ways that both organizations could work together. Craig Ohlson, one of Water’s board members, asked me to accompany him back to Cambodia so that we could immediately begin implementing our plans and moving things forward.

And so, less than three weeks after my return, I found myself once again on an airplane headed back to Phnom Penh. Craig and I hit the ground running—training Water’s team on how to host visiting teams, build a mailing list, create a monthly newsletter and start a child sponsorship program. Water returned the favor by helping get Harmony registered with the government as a Non-Government Organization. We hope that process will be completed by the middle of 2012. Craig and I also took a trip to the Prey Veng province where we did a medical and evangelistic outreach with local villagers. Craig and I tag-teamed sharing Christ (through an interpreter) which resulted in a dozen villagers receiving Christ. Many of them knew nothing about Jesus before talking to us.

As a result of those two trips, for 2012 Harmony is looking at starting a Bible school and pastor-training center to equip local pastors and help them plant churches in Cambodia’s villages and—eventually—extending to Vietnam and Laos. Plans are also under way to help orphans and assist with sex-trafficked and vulnerable girls.

My time with Jeff, Randy and Craig in Cambodia left all of us energized in a fresh way. Harmony’s board is super-excited about this new direction in ministry for us. Perhaps best of all was the presence of the Holy Spirit which was so heavy in all of Water’s worship services—and gave me something I needed—which reminds me of the Scripture, “…your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need.” (2 Cor. 8:14)