Grace in the Face of Horror
I'm so glad you are here! I hope during your visit you get a glimpse of God's heart for we become what we are gazing at. I pray that God refreshes you and gives you readiness to persevere in what He has for you today. My desire is to be a blessing to you in helping you know God more and make Him known so I've made these Resources available to you and have the Missional Living blog tab for practical ideas of how to live on mission right where you are. And if you're a blogger, come link up a post for Brag on God Friday.
Judges 9:33-57 This story is just plain awful. Awful. A king murdering his own people. A king lighting his own people on fire because they dishonored/talked bad about him. Awful.
It reminds me of Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge. 2 million were killed by their own "government" in 3 years. They killed off all the educated and religious known as the killing fields. When I say "they" I mean the government had the kids kill their own parents. They put many people in death camps and had little 9 year olds torture them. Those kids are the parents of little ones today which is why the most horrifying things you can ever imagine happen there. The vast majority of parents sell their daughters even as young as 4 for sex any given night to pay their gambling debt or pay for alcohol. Awful.
Sin has horrendous effects. For Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, 35 years and counting.
I found this paper (picture at the top) hidden behind a mirror of the dresser that was handed down to us. Written in 1976 about the rise of the government that would kill off it's own people. After witnessing first hand the horrifying things that happen in Cambodia today as a result of this one event, I wonder how things would have been different knowing what we know now. Would anyone have stepped in and stopped the Khmer Rouge before they destroyed their country?
The essense of the gospel is that we individually and we as the human race are far worse than we dare imagine and Jesus' forgiveness is far deeper than we are able to imagine.
Having held these little girls who are sold at night, having hugged them and smiled at them and sang to them, I felt the pain of sin in Cambodia from the hand of the government. And yet I also saw that even on the most evil place on earth, God was even there. God's presence, the fullness of who He was, was there pursuing hearts, comforting, reminding of truth. (Here's more about how God showed me Himself in Cambodia)
The essence of the gospel is that we can not go too far that God can not reach us.
The effects and scars Abimelek left on the Israelites are undeniable. Yet we serve a Redeemer God. Sin brings pain. And the Lord brings joy in the morning. This life is short, like a vapor. Pain for the believer will end. Sorrow will only last for a night for those who trust in Christ.
Thank You Lord! Thank You that You make all things new. Thank You that You showed me first hand that You are fully there in Cambodia ministering to the hopeless and helpless. Thank You for AIM, ministering to these sweet tiny girls. Oh Lord give them strength and perseverance. Let them see You continue to rescue and restore these girls. Oh Lord, keep us from temptation for the effects of sin are far reaching. Help us cling to Your strength and ability to live this Christian life. Oh Lord, let our short vapor of years not be wasted but used to the greatest effectiveness for Your glory and the furtherance of Your kingdom.
Austin (with the help of two students) are leading a team back to Cambodia for Spring Break. Will you pray for them as they plan and prepare? And for the 7 students going with them, please pray that they would be faithful to step out and raise support and God would show off in how He comes through in providing for them.
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1/31/2012 12:39:16 pm
I enjoy your blog a lot. I have you on my prayer list that the Lord will bless your blog and be a blessing to all who read it. Doylene
1/31/2012 03:01:53 pm
Evil unmentionable is in the hearts of man, and it sends out roots that kill the souls of those it touches. God bless Austin and his team and others who are ministering the life giving Word of God to those hurting and sitting in darkness.
2/1/2012 01:00:29 am
Thank you for this reminder of our need to pray. I've been sharing some of what you write with my husband. He has been so surprised and unaware of some of the awfulness that goes on. Thank you also for reminding us that "...even on the most evil place on earth, God was even there. God's presence, the fullness of who He was, was there pursuing hearts, comforting, reminding of truth."
It seems like recently awareness is being raised and people are taking action. Which is much needed b/c there is actually more slaves today all over the world than in any time in history (27 mil) My heart goes out to these poor girls and am so grateful to support organizations like Agape International missions.
2/1/2012 02:47:33 am
Some of this reminds me of "The Lord's Army" in Uganda - where soldiers invade communities, make the little boys kill their families. Mission groups minister to the women who are raising children born of rape - and these women see a different light, a hope for their children in Jesus Christ. Praying for these children, for these mothers and fathers - that their hearts fall in Christ's arms!
Hi Laura - its the hurting of all the innocent children that really gets to me. So grateful that there are people like you guys going out there and showing the love of God. Praying for you guys. Thanks for linking up Laura. You were the one who taught me to link up in the first place :) God bless
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