The close of 2013 was incredible. It was my busiest but also my favourite time in Cambodia so far. We had so much on, but Jesus showed himself strong and wonderful as He always does.
I (Steve) received a prophecy from a women of God who was visiting back in August which said “I see a time ahead coming, it is going to be like in Holland where the land is lower than the sea level and there are walls to stop the sea from coming in. There is a gap in the wall and you are going to step in and help stop the sea from coming in...” As I was reading this in the lead up to the crusade it struck me that it was talking about December and the gospel campaign in Siem Reap. The main visiting and organising team (TRIN) are a ministry based in HOLLAND! Things had changed on the ground in Siem Reap and a few organisers of the crusade and outreaches had pulled out, so they asked me and our team to step in and help out with organising things.
By God’s grace and with the help of our wonderful team we managed to make it happen. God’s favour was clearly on this as we managed to get exactly the people we needed to fill in the gaps. A lot of them travelled up from Phnom Penh with us (including the whole Khmer worship team and main translator) and they managed to get time off work at the last minute (and had enough favour with their bosses for it to not count against their holidays). Many other things like this eventually came together to enable the event to go ahead.
During the time the teams were here we had many outreaches in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap to villages, slums and even to a floating village!
The main crusade lasted three nights and each night the Holy Spirit seemed to be focusing on a different theme. The main speaker Mattheus Van Der Steen (from TRIN) was very sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leadings. The first night the theme was about repentance and salvation. It was a real privilege to see an anointed man of God get on the stage and preach a powerful Gospel message, he held absolutely nothing back in clearly and passionately telling people about Jesus; later he told us that he preached as though it was the last message he would ever preach! During the response time many people came up to the front to receive Jesus for the first time.
The theme the second night seemed to be more about healing and deliverance with dozens of people coming up to the front after the message to respond and receive healing. This was an intense time with some people in the crowd manifesting demons and receiving prayers for deliverance. Even though this was the smallest crowd of the three nights Jesus was still powerfully at work, bringing freedom to many people in a town that has many oppressed by the darkness.
In the end it was the last night that was my favourite. To be honest before the evening session began I had come to the end of myself. The weight of organising and leading the teams, going to outreaches in the days, communicating to crusade organisers and resolving issues and planning things had worn me out. I didn’t crash but I had ran out of fuel! The months before this point had been intense and with it all coming to an end I had spent everything I had. With the spiritual battle on top of this and having to constantly be on my toes I was exhausted. Even though my body was aching and sore, my energy had been spent and I was spiritually exhausted I knew I had nothing else to give. I had done all I could so I just began to join in with the worship! I worshipped and worshipped then I began to be supernaturally re-filled with energy. I fixed my thoughts on Jesus and my emotional attention on Him until my thoughts went from negative to positive and I forgot about my tiredness in my flesh. Completely relying on and being empowered by the Spirit I had my favourite night so far.
Mattheus preached a message on the Holy Spirit and many came up to the front to receive Jesus’ living water. At first we were waiting for God to move and for a while nothing seemed to happen. We seemed to be waiting for a long time but then the Holy Spirit started touching people and people started hitting the floor. It was great to see the Cambodian people I love so much receiving the incredible gift from the Father, the inheritance that Jesus had earned for them. We then as a ministry team started to minister and more and more people started hitting the floor as we prayed. I had never experienced this before when I had prayed for people. I prayed for the people who God led me to and they kept receiving a powerful touch from God. It ended up that the whole open section in front of the stage looked like a huge pile of bodies sprawled everywhere.
It was so wonderful to see so many people receive from God. It was so incredibly needed. Siem Reap is such a dry and barren place and Father God brought a spring of living water to refresh, bless and empower the believers and the new believers who had been coming the few nights before.
My joy was summed up when I got back to the Hotel a few hours later. I was chatting to some of the Holland TRIN team. I saw one of our hotel’s Khmer staff walk past me with a huge grin and a spring in his step. I could tell just by looking at him that there was something about him, he was carrying joy and had a completely different countenance compared to the other hotel staff I had seen. I didn’t recognise him but I asked him if he had been at the crusade at all. He replied with a big grin on his face that he had. I asked Him if he had been this evening and he replied that he had and that he too had “sleeped” (I think he meant he too had been slain in the Spirit). He seemed so happy! It was such a joy and a delight to see God move and touch so many Khmer people.
As I look back I am so thankful to God to be a part of something so special and work along-side such incredible and inspiring men and women of God.
I finished December the most exhausted I had been in Cambodia so far. We were both physically and emotionally drained so our break over January has been an incredible well timed blessing.
We have been so incredibly and lavishly blessed by God. We got to stay in Sydney with my brother and his girlfriend in time for New Years Eve and then we were blessed to join Mollie’s parents on their trip to New Zealand. They generously paid for flights, accommodation and transport we just got to go along for the ride. It was over this time with the fresh air and the beautiful scenery that we were refreshed and refuelled ready for the year ahead.
It is going to be a great year. As I was stood watching the fireworks welcoming the New Year at the stroke of midnight the Holy Spirit spoke to me and told me that this is going to be an incredible year. Such an excitement arose in my heart.
For the next few months ahead; we are moving to a new city in the south of Cambodia, we have new missionaries joining our team, our teams will potentially have two new Iris centres and are going to be ministering to new groups of people as we move into new territory. God is doing so much more in this beautiful nation, there is so much more to come!
Thank you so much for your continued prayers, love and encouragement! They really do make a huge difference.
With love Steve and Mollie.
Photos above by Frans van Lieshout for the TRIN team, for more Photographs from their Cambodia trip click here.