Friday, November 14, 2008

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Some more changes

We received some updated photos and news. 3 weeks of Vacation Bible School are on now and the school itself will be opened by the end of July.

Old view from the back

New view from the back

Old Kitchen

New Kitchen & Medical Supplies

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Shack

I am currently readiung this book. It is excellent. I do not want to give the story a way so you will have to read it for yourself. But I do want to quote a paragraph from page 59.

"With evening quickly approaching, an intense discussion began regarding the efficacy of immediate pursuit or holding off until daybreak. Regardless of their point of view, it seemed that everyone who spoke was deeply affected by the situation. Something in the heart of most human beings simply cannot abide pain inflicted on the innocent, especially children. Even broken men serving in the worst correctional facilities will often first take out their own rage on those who caused suffering to children. Even in such a world of relative morality, causing harm to a child is still considered ABSOLUTELY WRONG. Period!"

Well, I don't thing I could agree more. What say you? Keep up the great work everybody at ARC and Rahab's House. And I think my prayer today is for Gary and everyone at IJM. Bless you all.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

How many sacraments are there?

Marty's Daily Diary #15

#1 - to transform communities so that injustice isn't acceptable any more
#2 - Sway Pak is a "cesspool." There is no other word that I can use right now. ... BUT the Kingdom of God is in-breaking in it.
#3 - But at the end of this very hard day 2 I am also full of HOPE.
#4 - help me to use these [God-given] opportunities
#5 - I had the holy privilege of painting that shower
#6 - Today I saw some of hevaen's angels
#7 - Perhaps today is the day I will look back on for the rest of my ministry as the day I sincerely prayed that I would never again pray the Lord's prayer from my memory but rather from my gut.
#8 - So what about Rahab's House? Could it be the yeast that is needed in Svay Pak?
#9 - I am not very fond of this place.
#10 - Is the work we are doing in Svay Pak so profound that the devil is trying everything to disrupt this work and frustrate us?
#11 - 2 worlds colliding - Two worlds where evil is manipulating and controlling, and the kingdom of God is freeing and life fulfilling.
#12 - What makes someone rob a child of their innocence for 'pleasure' in 'room 9?'
#13 - These stairs have led children up to a hell-hole of iniquity like nothing we can imagine in our darkest nightmares. But now I pray that these stairs will lead child after child after child up in to the new shining rooms where they will hear about Jesus.
#14 - Instead of asking "where is God?" I need to be asking "where are God's people?"

We arrived back from Cambodia on May 18th, 3 1/2 weeks ago. So much has happened since then. I am back to work, preaching, being interviewed, preparing stuff, meetings, lunches, conversation after conversation, and 1 game of golf. Life is back to "normal." Talk of Cambodia and our "trip" have, for all intense purposes, vanished. What did I expect, really?

But I am still trying to deal with those 2 weeks. I journaled everyday during it and my thoughts and the thoughts of the rest of the team still resound in my head. So many questions. So many emotions. So many challenges. How have I changed? Have I? How have the rest of us changed? Have we? Will this change my view of my future ministry? Has it?

When I get a chance to stop whatever I am doing my thoughts often go back to Rahab's House and I wonder what is happeneing right now in that place? I can still see some of the faces of the kids. I can still see the garbage heap. I can still see Sochea and Clay and the rest of the blessed people who are devoting their lives to God's work there. I yearn to know if the place is making a difference. I yearn to know what God's kingdom is looking like right now in that cesspool.

Things are not "resolved" for me but I know that is OK. I don't like loose ends. If I begin to watch a movie late at night then I'm in for a late night - I need to see the end. I would love to see the end to this story, to this place, to this part in the in-breaking kingdom. Wouldn't you?

But the more I think about it the more I realise that I saw something even greater. I have read our team's diary entries and I think most of us have asked if we really have made a difference? Physically we have - the photos prove it, but is that all? I have found a profound sense of peace that we witnessed the emergence of a "sacrament" in Svay Pak. As an "aspiring minister wanne be" as I have been called in the past by the "super-intendant" I believe that a sacrament, in simple terms, is an ourward visible sign of an inward invisible reality. The reality that I beleve and I know is occuring in Svay Pak, in particular through Rahab's House, is that God has moved in to Svay Pak and has setup His house, His business and He is working to do His will in that place. I saw God's removal van drive right in to the heart of evil and take up residence. I'm sure there is a song title in there ... "God is in the house!"

I will never forget Rahab's House. I will never forget Svay Pak. I will never forget those angels in ARC. (God bless you all!)

I have re-entered "normal" life. But it will never be normal again because I have seen God on the move and I want to see that happeneing everywhere I go. There are so many places that need God to move in and claim as His house.

I hope that God will use me, my family, my friends, my church family, and anyone else I meet to help Him move in to another house, wherever that may be.

God bless the continued sacramental work of Rahab's House.

All my love and prayers
Marty (a.k.a. Squirrel)

Second thoughts....(Kit)

I was pleased with the work we did. We all worked so hard, and Rahab’s House looked so terrific when we were done. Sure, there is still work we could not accomplish in our time frame, but we got those walls down, we obliterated the Pink Room, we connected with the kids in a meaningful way…it was so satisfying, so wonderful…or was it? I’ve been trying to convince myself since I came home that we had done something significant in Svay Pak, but this little voice kept eating away at me, reminding me of my own word: ‘speck’. Weren’t we just a bright, eager, outraged little grain of sand on a mighty shore of degradation and human trafficking and sexual abuse? We, the little niggling voice said, were insignificant, we will be washed over, we will be forgotten . Who were we kidding?

I didn’t mind our work being ‘small’ – as I said early on in this blog, I am well used to ‘Speck Work’. I just didn’t want it to be futile. And that is what that voice was saying.

Then last week I went to the regular monthly Elders’ Meeting. We have started each meeting for the past few months by studying a chapter from a popular Christian book, and we settled in for another session this evening. But Grant, trying to recover from Cambodia, prepare for a week in Ottawa, be with his family, minister to a congregation, etc, etc, had actually forgotten to read his chapter. So, we decided that just for this meeting, we would put the book aside, and turn to Scripture. Completely on impulse, Grant said, “Let’s turn to…um…Luke 9, the feeding of the 5000”. God forgive me, I felt a flash of disappointment – what was there to discuss in this well-known story? And then Grant started to read, while my little world quietly turned upside down on me.
Of course! We WERE just grains of sand, just little threads. But in the same way that a kid with 2 dead fish and a bit of bread could actually participate in - be a living part of! - our Lord feeding 5000 people, and have twelve baskets of leftovers….we also, in our own tiny way, were making our little stitches in a heavenly tapestry. Suddenly the work we did in Svay Pak took on a wonderful, fresh significance for me. It mattered after all. It mattered to the One who counts the most.