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Battambang: Life, Liberty & Love

Swey-sdie! Hello!

On my first day in Phnom Penh our team went to the Tuol Sleng (or S-21) prison. During the Cambodian genocide the evil power of Khmer Rouge tortured and killed over 20,000 people in this prison. Of the 20,000 prisoners, only 7 survived and only 2 of them are still alive today. I met one of them; his name is Chum Manh (pictured below) and he told my group and I his story. Chum Manh stared into my eyes as he recounted to me the story of the atrocities the Khmer Rouge did to him and his family- I began to wonder, "Lord, can you really make despicable evil like this turn for his good and Your glory?" Chum is not a Believer that I know of but I've read a story of another man who survived the Khmer Rouge genocide and through all of the hell he went through, he became a Believer! So, YES! The Lord CAN really make a hell that you go through turn out for your good and His glory. The Lord really IS in the business of restoring our brokenness into what makes us strong and loving and more like Christ. Romans 8:28 really IS TRUE! "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose."

 The next day we traveled for 5 hours on an incredibly bumpy bus ride through the Cambodian country-side to a smaller city called, Battambang, which is now our home! We first stayed at what we affectionately call our "tree house"- it's a square room made of plywood. There's a kind of stone outhouse outside the house with a squatty potty (pictured below!)- essentially a basin in the floor that you have to squat over in order to go to the bathroom- try pooping in one of those things without falling over! Haha. We grew to love the community we had in the tree house because we all lived in the same room, but the Lord provided a way for us to be better stewards of our money and time and long-term well-being by giving us a new home- a hotel in the city! I'm especially grateful for the Lord providing this because my hearing aids were constantly wet and starting to mess up, to the point of me believing I'd have to go home and not complete the trip. But the Lord is SO GOOD and now has provided me with AC so that my hearing aids can dry out overnight. God provided me with a way to stay in Cambodia! Thank you, Lord!

 
The Lord is teaching me that the shame and guilt and fear from the past are things that DO NOT apply to me anymore. Because I accepted Christ's free gift of salvation, He has made me a brand new creation- a brand new person! The "Old Sarah" has died and all of my sins and shame and guilt died too! Now instead of shame and guilt, God is pouring joy and life and peace into my life. Joy, peace and life now define my life. This is who I am now, because it's who God is and it's who God says I am! If you surrender your life to Christ by accepting His free salvation (really, you don't have to do anything for it!), then God will give you EVERLASTING JOY, ABUNDANT LIFE and a PEACE that surpasses ALL understanding! These are God's promises to us found in Isaiah 61:7, John 10:10, Philippians 4:7.

Here are some ways you can pray for my team and I (we crave your prayers because we know that if you are a Christ-follower, your prayers are powerful!):

— Strength and creativity has my group at I prepare to teach English classes, music classes, bible studies and do street children ministry, youth group and children’s group ministry and Sunday morning talks.

— For the salvation of the girls we are working with and for our tuk-tuk driver, "Mr. S", and his family. (His daughter, "Y", is now hanging out with us daily and is helping us translate, so pray for her to absorb and crave the Gospel that she hears daily!)

— For the health of myself and my teammates! New culture, new food = extended bathroom time. Haha.

—For protection against Satan's tactics and temptations, particularly protection from doubt, anxiety, and fear. Pray for God's Spirit to grant us trust, assurance and peace instead.
 
Don’t forget to check out the pictures below!
Peace in Christ!

Much love,
Sarah
 

Life at Transform Asia and in Battambang!

These are some of the beautiful young women we get to work with at Transform Asia!

On the left is "C", who just accepted Christ! She once was an orphan and very antisocial and now look at that big Spirit-filled smile! On the right is "Y", Mr. S's daughter. She is precious but a Mormon and needs Christ's salvation!

Isn't she adorable?! The kids here truly are some of the
most beautiful I've ever seen! And so hungry for love too.

My new friend, "N", and I!

Entrance to a local Buddhist temple- you can see the
temple in the background. Battambang, is filled with temples and monks.
Pray for this stronghold of Satan to break and for Christ and true Christianity to flourish!

From Battambang with love—
Sarah

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