Satan, Sex and Saving Grace

The darkness is overwhelming. As I stand on the rooftop of my hotel and gaze into the blackest night, I can see the fluorescent flashing lights and hear the THUMP, THUMP, THUMP of the music coming from five local brothels around me. As I gaze down on the rows of young women, most of them my age or younger, who are dressed up to be bought for sex, I hear the lyrics of the worship music playing behind me:

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me…
My chains are gone, I’ve been set free,
My God, my Savior has ransomed me,
And like a flood, His mercy reigns, unending love, amazing grace.

My voice chokes and tears fill my eyes as my heart breaks for the girls and men in chains below me. “God,” I cry, “have mercy on them! Free them from slavery to sex and money.” My heart breaks as I realize how much my Father’s heart is breaking too; He created each and every one of those men and young women with the same intimate love and design and purpose as He created you and me. He created them to love them and to be loved by them, but I am free and they are oppressed by the overwhelming evil that covers this city.

Satan has Battambang in his claws.

Satan is spreading the lies that prostitution is just another way to make money, that homosexuality is to be embraced, that buying sex is normal, that HIV and AIDs is a reality to be ignored, and that money means power and control.

But then I remember that God is good. God is faithful. God is sovereign. God actually reigns. And God will honor all of the thousands of prayers of His people being lifted up on behalf of this city and all of its men, women and children. I remember that Light shines the brightest in the darkest places. I remember that love always wins. And I remember the faces of the faithful Cambodians I know who are working to change what Satan means for evil into good, into justice, into love and mercy and into a new way of true Life.

And slowly, slowly the brothel’s thump, thump, thump is being drowned out by the praises to God that are being sung and practically shouted out around me.  I close my eyes and see my Creator, my Redeemer, and my Lover staring back at me. And I remember that our prayers are powerful, God is faithful and He will rescue those who cry out to Him and one day, one day, all of our tears will be wiped away. All that was meant for evil will be worked out for good and God will reign, on Earth, forevermore. Oh, glorious day!

Peace in Christ!

Prayer Requests!
We are entering into our final week in Battambang. Pray for seeds of the Gospel to be planted in more souls and for the seeds to be protected from Satan. Pray for me and my team to have good health (many of us have been getting sick; pray it away with us!), and for us to put 200% into our last week of pouring into people here and loving on them. Lastly, pray that we would have a safe journey to our new home in Phnom Penh!

Kori had the privilege of baptizing Pow (a girl from the center) this week!

We had the privilege of feeding some of the precious people at the abandoned railroad station!

Sarah Rochel lovingly serving a local little girl!

She's so thakful for some rice and eggs!

Three street boys who are eating a much needed meal! I love these guys!

Me and Whoah! This little guy, a local who comes and visits us at the center everyday,
has captured my heart!

My beautiful team! We are so serious…

…not! I love you guys!

With Love From Battambang–