Final Thoughts Over Coffee

ThinkingIt is the day of my departure and I’m in my room enjoying a cup of coffee, looking out over the city, and thinking about the work in Cambodia we did over the past couple of weeks. We barely scratched the surface. There is so much to do.  But our primary goal is to be ambassadors for Christ.  Jesus came to seek and save the lost, and our three staff guys do the same. He said, “Go and make disciples”, they try to obey.  Jesus said, those who believe in him will do “greater works”, Chantha, Mout and Van are taking him at his word.

Yesterday, we began early with breakfast and a Bible study. We always enjoy our Bible studies.  God’s Word is encouraging and builds everyone up. Those morning Bible studies are a highlight for me. I need to do more of them when I get home.

Some days while I am here we do not have a master plan for a particular day.  Often we will say, Let’s just go and see who or what God puts in our path.  We call those days “fishing expeditions” and like real fishing, they are so much fun. We never know what will happen or who we will meet.

Looking at life as an adventure from God is a good way to approach each day. If I go about my day aware that God is in control of everything I encounter, e.g. waiting in a long line at a store, stuck in traffic, flat tire, whatever it may be, then I begin to have a better attitude. Perhaps God has me in that long line to give an encouraging smile to the person in front or behind me? Or to say a positive word, or to spend time praying, or speaking with the tow truck guy about eternal life?  It is difficult to do and takes practice, but try to consider every inconvenience as a gift from the Lord.

We did that and came across four men who arrived in Phnom Penh six days ago. They were hanging out in a park with no direction and not sure about what they should be doing or how to do it. We prayed with them and discussed getting jobs and making a new start in a new country. They need help and if they want it, we will be there for them. These were older guys (the oldest was 54).  They had spent some time in prison in the U.S. and were happy to have their freedom here. One of the guys was from Fresno, but had been locked up in San Quentin for many years.

Mout and I had a meeting earlier in the week with an American who is setting up an organic farm and needs some guys to run the tractors and work various jobs.  The position includes housing and three meals a day.  These men, being older, had worked on farms as children and youth with their families and enjoy farming. Mout and Chantha will take them to the farm next week to see if it is a fit for them.  Did God place these men in our path today for this reason?  We will find out. Remember, it is an adventure!

Our day ended with dinner and goodbyes. It is always tough to say goodbye. May the Lord bless Chantha, and Mout in Phnom Penh and Van in Battambang.

My coffee cup is empty and it is time to wrap up a few things before heading downstairs with my luggage, getting in my taxi, and beginning the 30 hours trek home. Thank you for following and supporting this journey and Hope Now’s work in Cambodia (We need ongoing financial support to help these men). I will post updates from time to time and will keep you informed about my next trip once God gives me the thumbs up to move ahead.

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Breakfast and a Bible study. A good way to start the day.
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We found these deportees sitting aroud.
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They had only been in the country six days.
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We talked to them about their future.
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Guys who want our help will get it.
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Mout prayed for the guys.
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Imagine your life with no direction. Hope Now can help.
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Goodbyes are difficult. I will miss these brothers. We have a bond of love. Van was already back home in Battambang but was with us in spirit! God will bring us together again in his timing.

 

 

Author: pastor roger

Pastor Roger is retired Executive Director of Hope Now For Youth. Hope Now is a Christian rescue organization. The ministry helps young gang members get out of the gang life and into a job. He is a licensed pastor in Hope Now Bible Church where he preaches on various Sundays throughout the year and leads an adult Bible study during the week. He serves on the Board of Directors and assists the new executive director as the organization’s Director of Communications and Director of Cambodia Ministries. He graduated with High Honors from Moody Bible Institute with a Bachelors degree in Biblical Studies. He attended Riverside Community College, Biola College (University), and he received his certificate in Strategic Planning and Management in Retailing from Babson College. Roger was a member of the U.S. Coast Guard in the early 70s. In 1980 he began a 24-year career with Berean Christian Stores (now Lifeway Christian Stores). In 2000 he became president of the company and served in that position for four years. He became Executive Director and CEO of Hope Now For Youth in 2004 and retired from that position in 2018. He has traveled to Antarctica, Chile, Peru, Mexico, Canada, New Zealand, South Pacific Islands, Cambodia, Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Jordan and Israel. In 1975 he married Carol and has two married daughters and eight grandchildren (Six grandsons and two granddaughters). He believes in the U.S. Constitution and supports all efforts to defend it. Roger enjoys learning how to be a better writer, coffee (not tea) reading, playing golf, watching (soon to be World Champions Dodgers) baseball, and hanging out with his grandkids.

6 thoughts on “Final Thoughts Over Coffee”

  1. Once again I find myself touched by the work all of you do. I can only imagine the difficulties and challenges all these men face. I praise God for the work that is done, the opportunities that present themselves. It is a reminder that God suppplies.
    Praying blessing for all and safe travels for you Roger.

    Liked by 1 person

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