2015 Cambodia – Gon Kim

The Father’s Heart

When my team first got together in December for Missions Recon (a list of fun “missions” completed by each team before arriving in the field), everyone knew the team was filled with supernatural joy. This was even more evident when we all physically united for the first time at the airport, hours before departure. Although most of us didn’t know each other, we knew we were family. Our interactions foreshadowed the joy and love that we would get to see in and release to the Cambodian people throughout the week.

At every ministry site we visited, our team released supernatural joy. At the same time, we were also overwhelmed with the love of God carried by each church and orphanage. We couldn’t help but have a great time, celebrating the beautiful collision of our joy, with God in the middle of it all.

On New Year’s Day, our team got to visit one of Pastor Sinai’s orphanages in Kampong Chhnang province, which is about 57 miles north of Phnom Penh. Our team member Bethany shared a powerful testimony about trusting God, and our team preacher Rona gave an inspiring message about hoping in God and dreaming big. This was followed by an altar call, and afterwards our team got to spend a few hours with the orphanage children in addition to some of the village children. I went to the playground area and sat on a two-person swing with a boy who was by himself. He had a blank look on his face and didn’t seem like he was having fun. I asked him what his name was in my limited Khmer, but he didn’t respond. I later learned from the other children that this boy’s name was Cheomrang, and that he insisted on communicating through body language. When I stood up, he would stretch his arms to me to tell me to pick him up. He would point at places he wanted to go to if he got tired of playing wherever we were. Whenever I set off to take him to where he wanted to go, I kept saying “가자” which means “let’s go” in Korean.

Although he wasn’t speaking at all, Cheomrang stayed by me, most of the time in my arms. While we were playing with the other kids, Cheomrang gestured for me to pick him up and go to the playground. I said, “가자” like the other times. This time however, he repeated after me! I was so shocked and excited that he was speaking, even though he probably didn’t know what he was saying. From then on, I said his name, my name, “I love you,” and “God bless you,” and he repeated these words and phrases. Even though it wasn’t much, his speaking and opening up like that was such a huge blessing to me. As we spent more time together and as he kept repeating after me, God kept on giving me a greater heart for him. I was amazed at how much he was smiling and laughing, because he was so stoic and expressionless just a short while ago. I really started to feel God’s love and heart for him. Because every moment with Cheomrang was precious, I did not want to leave him.

On the bus ride back to our accommodations, our team was listening to Good, Good Father by Housefires, and God started to speak to me through the song. He was telling me that while I had a big heart for Cheomrang, all the beautiful children, and the hopeful youth of Cambodia, His heart for them is infinitely greater than mine. He is a good Father to them, just as He is to me, and I found a lot of peace, joy, and gratitude in that truth.

Though from the vantage point of history books, Cambodia is known for the Khmer Rouge genocide in the 1970s, the Lord is releasing His redemptive love over this nation. Though recent historical traumas are still a scar on the Cambodian psyche, our God is a restorer. God loves this nation and its people, and I am honored to have met some of the children and youth who will go on to lead this nation in the future. I am excited to see God move in a miraculous way to restore the nation and heal its people, and would love for you to continue to partner with me and my team in this vision. Thank you for your support!