Cambodia is this weird country where so many unjust things happen, but there is so very little one can actually SAY about it.
Or maybe we should be saying more regardless of the consequences. [And sometimes they are steep – for Cambodians especially. Like imprisonment. Like exile. And sometimes even, death.] But the issues are also serious. And it does make me reflect on the role of the church here in Cambodia.
Where’d this all come from? Well part if this philosophizing sparked from a recent BBC report on land grabs in Cambodia. you can read it here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12152759
but part of it too is my own struggle with finding my passion again. All these things. The corruption. The serious abuse of human rights. The silence. The constant hum of frustration has squelched something inside of me – instead of igniting some deeper, more profound burning passion.
I used to get angry. Now I just take it. Like it’s normal. The Lexus who drives over a motor bike and gets away with it. The colleague who’s driving down the highway, and a young moto driver drives into him and is killed in the accident, and then his family tries to sue my colleague for $20,000. The girl who comes to my organization because she’s been brutally raped, her brother murdered and the perpetrator on the run never to be seen again.
The papers are spilling over with examples of exploitation and abuse – the richest taking advantage of the weakest. I see so many signs of the Khmer Rouge regime still living on. And on. And on in this country.
And sometimes its so depressing. And hopeless.
And that scares me.
Not necessarily the hopelessness of the Cambodian situation. But, because if I don’t believe Cambodia can change in the here and now, do I actually really believe in the resurrection? Jesus promised after all that His Kingdom is Come. And that as the Church we are His Body. His blessed, most beautiful Bride, here to live out that resurrection every day and to bring hope and healing to the dark and brokenness around us.
And so I pray not just for my own heart to be transformed by the absolute unbelievable-ness of that reality, but also that Cambodia will be transformed by the very people within its borders who call on the name of Jesus as Lord and Saviour.
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.
Strangers will shepherd your flocks; foreigners will work your fields and vineyards. And you will be called priests of the LORD, you will be named ministers of our God. You will feed on the wealth of nations,
and in their riches you will boast.
Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours. [isaiah 61:1-9]
Oh God, may your Kingdom come through me, through your Church, in this Kingdom of Wonder.