2014 Cambodia – Emily Suen

Can These Bones Live?

“The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, ‘Son of Man, can these bones live?’” – Ezekiel 37:1-3

I’ve pictured this passage in my imagination many times before but as I walked into a slum in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, for the first time, this passage became a reality. I was walking into a valley of dry bones that once only existed in my imagination. Then God ask me the daunting question; “Son of Man, can these bones live?”

On our third day of ministry, early in the morning we travelled to a small Muslim slum. The slum itself was not Muslim. It was called a “Muslim Slum” because it was located amidst a Muslim village. Despite Cambodia being over 95% Buddhist, it has a Muslim population of approximately 2% which is double the Christian population of approximately 1%. On our way into this small hidden slum, we saw a cow slaughterhouse which made it evident that we had stepped into Muslim territory; Muslims, unlike Buddhists, have no problem killing animals for food as long as they meet Muslim dietary laws. As the team drove into the slum, the road was littered with dry bones from all the cow carcasses. I had never seen such dry bones before. All that remained were specks of dried blood on the bones infested with flies. I never thought I would actually see a literal valley of dry bones.

When we arrived, as soon as we opened the van door, flies swarmed into our van and we were hit with the shockingly strong smell of manure. We got out to find that the grounds of the slum was completely covered in cow manure. As I looked down and saw maggots dwelling within the manure, I couldn’t believe that people lived on this land, which I didn’t even want to put my foot on. Naked children sat in the manure with their bare bottoms, in the slum surrounded by piles of dry bones. I couldn’t help but re-ask God the same question He asked me, “God, can these bones really live?”

Before going on this trip, God spoke to me very clearly as to what my mission was. Isaiah 43:18-19 says, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” God told me that he has already been making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland but the problem was His people did not perceive it. After seeing this Muslim slum I could see why God’s promises were so difficult to perceive for the Cambodian people. But my job was to stubbornly hold onto the promises of God and help the people of Cambodia to perceive the streams in the wasteland. Thus this was what I was determined to do.

So how was I going tackle this overwhelming sight of dry bones? In Ezekiel 37:4 God commands Ezekiel to prophesy to the bones and say them, “Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!” So I prophesied wherever I went. In one village we went to, a man with a demonic presence came to our meeting and began to scream directly into my face as I preached the word of God. I was told he was drunk and mentally ill. But supernaturally, there was not a single ounce of fear in me. I knew I was untouchable. As he screamed and got very close to my face, I could smell the alcohol on his breadth. Immediately, I remembered all the experiences I had when I did homeless ministry back in the United States and I recognised that alcoholic demonic stronghold. Under my breath I spoke to the demon, “I remember you, get out of my face.” I continued to prophesy and supernaturally, God made me completely oblivious to any distraction the enemy was trying to stir up through that man. I was consumed with a vision of dry bones standing to their feet and becoming a vast army. During debriefing, my teammates were so shocked that I didn’t notice the devil’s obnoxious distraction. The enemy has no ability to touch the word of God.

At the end of the message, I released a word of knowledge that someone had a skin condition that needed prayer. God told me prior to the trip that we would see the healing of skin disease. Thus our team waited patiently for whomever God wanted to touch, to come forth. As we waited, behind a cloud of dust, I saw a young man throw down his cigarette and walk slowly up to the front. I sensed that he was escorted by a thick angelic presence. It felt like a scene from a movie. I couldn’t believe my eyes! This young man’s name was Pol. All throughout our ministry times, the peoples names in Khmer and impossible for me to pronounce. But I remember this young man’s name because shockingly, it sounded just like the Christian name “Paul.” We had met him at his house earlier. I invited him to come to our outreach service. During our house visit, he was cold towards us and refused to give us any more than a raised eyebrow. He laid in his hammock as if a pile of dry bones. He looked rebellious, emotionless, and intimidating. But as this prophetic word of knowledge went out, what looked like dry bones lifted itself to its feet and slowly approached our team. He responded because he had severe burns on half of his face and body from a gasoline accident. As we prayed for his skin condition, he began to tremble under the power of God and said he felt a cool sensation around his burns. Later, I gave the mic to Danny Kim, our team leader, who led him to devote his life to the Lord with the whole village as his witness. Till this day I continue to pray the transformation of the Apostle Paul over him.

After every outreach, whether it was a land full of dry bones like the Muslim slum or a village full of demonic opposition, my answer to the Lord was “Yes God, these bones can live!” God’s word opened graves and raised those who were spiritually dead, back to life. God is definitely doing a new thing in Cambodia and as we helped people begin to perceive it, I could hear the sound of dry bones rattling. As the people of Cambodia begin to perceive the new thing God is doing, they will be able to have hope in the midst of darkness. Please pray they would be able to perceive a way through the desert and see the streams in the wasteland. Pray that even in the midst of extreme poverty, the nation of Cambodia would be able to abandon all victim mentality and go forward for the things ahead. Without a doubt, I am confident that the Lord will breathe life into dry bones in the nation of Cambodia and His people will stand to their feet as a vast army for the Lord!

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