Numerous testimonies resulted from a Poipet church group’s truck and motorbike trip last month. Their mission: to encourage Khmer Evangelical churches and youth in Preah Viheah Province. (The Khmer Evangelical Church, or KEC, is the Cambodian C&MA national church.)
“The devil also was working overtime,” says Syna Lao. She, along with her husband, Soeuth, journeyed with the team of Alliance international workers and KEC colleagues.
Days before the trip, nearly all the team members experienced spiritual or physical attacks.
The night before departure, several participants reported unusual, unexplained illnesses. “We urged them to keep praying and trusting God for healing,” says Syna. “And He did [heal them]!”
Some of the youth encountered strong opposition from their families. Others battled nightmares and saw visions of demonic figures the night before leaving, warning the young people of potential dangers if they embarked on the trip.
Despite these attacks, 43 people showed up the morning of departure.
Problems continued to plague the group throughout the journey. About a third of the way to their destination, two team leaders received back-to-back phone calls from their home churches. Two KEC members had died that morning, and funeral arrangements had to be made immediately. One leader returned home to conduct the service; the other continued on the trip.
Two days before the trip, political turmoil broke out in the vicinity of a village church where the team had arranged to stay. The travelers were redirected to Abundant Life House Church, another KEC congregation in the province.
A God-Ordained Detour
“God had arranged for this to happen ahead of time,” Syna observes. The believers in this remote village, quite a distance from the other KEC groups in the province, had endured lengthy isolation. The visiting team’s changed plans brought much encouragement to the Christians and helped to strengthen their faith.
Although the congregation held regular weekly services, members had never been encouraged to give to the Lord’s work.
So, at the suggestion of the short-term team leaders, the believers took their first offering—a total of $140 was collected. “That is about a month’s salary, based on average local income,” Syna notes. As the money was presented to church leaders, the visiting team leaders explained the biblical concept of stewardship and how God’s resources are to be used.
In another location, the team ministered in a newly established village for military families. The Cambodian government had recently assigned 300 soldiers to the area. Previously, a one-star general from the village, along with his wife, had become Christians. He invited the group to spend the night in his village.
On Sunday morning, more than 300 people attended the worship service. “This is the first time we’ve had so many in one service!” villagers exclaimed.
“The Workers Are Few”
In the same village, the Lord opened the eyes of participants to the need for Christian workers. Of the many people who attended church, a number were unbelievers. “They were open to hearing the gospel, but workers in this area are lacking,” says Alliance international worker Kandi Lay.
Seeing this need deeply affected the team from Poipet. “They realized how blessed they are to have many wonderful teachers in their own churches, while this church had none,” says Kandi. “Pray that this eye-opening experience will lead Poipet believers to join in the mission to reach the lost—near and far.”
On the journey home, during a violent rain and wind storm, a total of eight trees were knocked onto the road; some barely missed the team’s motorbikes.
One couple sought shelter under a large tree, which toppled over seconds after the two decided to leave the area. Soeuth’s truck, which was full of young people, swerved dangerously and then stopped after another huge tree fell right in front of them.
“But other than being blown around by the wind and drenched by the rain, everyone came through the storm unharmed,” says Kandi. “We are grateful to all of our prayer partners who interceded for our protection!”
Gospel Seeds Take Root
One young nonbeliever was on the trip because his three sisters invited him. “He still had fun with us,” Kandi says. “He was also exposed to the gospel in both word and deed.”
Soon after returning home, the young man gave his life to Christ.
Following the journey, the team members met to debrief. “[All of them indicated] they clearly understood . . . how the power of God was at work but also how much the enemy sought to thwart this trip,” Syna observes.
“The stories went on and on, all testifying to how the Lord had miraculously delivered the believers from harm. With 43 people riding on 16 motorbikes and in two pickup trucks, traveling more than 900 kilometers across four provinces, not one accident took place. There was not even a flat tire among the vehicles. All praise to Jesus!”
What You Can Do
Read about another missions trip in the Asia and Pacific Region—this time to a city where there are half a million people and only 12 churches.
Join the Alliance family in interceding for our workers in Cambodia and worldwide, who are taking the good news—in word and deed—to hurting people who desperately need the hope only Jesus offers. Use the weekly Alliance Prayer Requests to assist you.