The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
Those who know your name trust in you,
for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.
Psalm 9: 9 - 10
I was in high school in the late 70s when we first started hearing about the horrors of the Khmer Rouge Killing Fields in Cambodia which involved the brutal murder of over a million of the country’s top citizens. We’ve learned since then that the insanity of Pol Pot’s regime also included abolishing money, schools/education and all well-educated people, 20th century technology, families, towns, hospitals and the list goes on!
There is no doubt that this was a most severe oppression of an entire county! The result of this devastation is that over 40 years later, the Cambodian people are still working to recover in every way imaginable. The high rate of poverty seems to affect Cambodia’s children the most, causing many to live in unsafe conditions with very little food.
The large majority of people in Cambodia are also struggling spiritually because they put their trust in the religion of Buddhism. The evidences of this can be seen on every block in the cities where personal shrines, massive temples and/or monks are in view in every direction. In the country, Buddhist temples rise up out of the landscape along with many personal shrines in front of even the poorest of homes.
The physical environment of Cambodia is actually quite beautiful with lush vegetation of all types, amazing and delicious fruits, fertile rice fields during the rainy season and the use of gorgeous wood in many settings. The Cambodian people are also beautiful with skin that appears as the best “Coppertone tan” imaginable, shiny black hair and dark eyes.
This physical beauty juxtaposed with the earlier mentioned fact that many Cambodian children are unsafe, hungry and desperate is hard to swallow. But there is amazing news that many of you are actually a part of! I was recently able to see Asia’s Hope first-hand. Asia’s Hope is a Christian organization that has stepped in to rescue children and young adults, keeping them off of the streets and away from the horrors of starvation, sex trafficking and other real dangers. Asia’s Hope takes in children who are orphaned or who are in the care of one family member who is completely unable to care for the children for one reason or another. The children are given a home with parents, siblings, food, education and medical care. Most importantly, they are told about Jesus who is their refuge, stronghold and salvation!
In a post later this week I’ll give specific examples of how the Asia’s Hope Cambodian children and young adults have had their lives changed since arriving! It is a real demonstration of the psalm noted above. This psalm can be read from the perspective of the oppressed people who are being saved, as well as people like you and me who are seeking and trusting the Lord on their behalf.
If you were a part of WOW’s Very Special Purse Party (VSPP) IV, you too helped these very same oppressed Cambodian children to receive this abundant life! Stay tuned for more information about the upcoming Very Special Purse Party V where you can again have the amazing opportunity to change the lives of oppressed people in a global way!
In the meantime, please enjoy the short video below that shows the children and young adults of Asia’s Hope Cambodia worshipping our Savior. It takes no effort to see how grateful they are to Jesus for the way that He has rescued them from many physical horrors and saved them for eternity!
-- Shelly Mountjoy © July 2018