Our Lutheran Hour Ministries International Volunteer Team from St. Paul Lutheran Church, Mt. Prospect, Ill., concludes the journal of their trip to participate in the ministry of our Cambodia ministry center.
It is hard to believe this was our last day in Prich Village. Today’s task was to haul rocks and clay to build a firm foundation around the structure. The construction foreman spoke very little English, but it didn’t matter. He pointed and gestured, and we knew exactly what he wanted us to do. More hoeing, shoveling, hauling and dumping—boy, we had gotten good at this! Since it was Saturday, the youth group showed up to help us work. Our load was made much lighter as the youth carried one handle of the hauling baskets and a team member carried the other.
Then it was time to say good-bye. So we gathered inside Prich Lutheran Church for a Thank You service. The youth group sang some songs for us. Then Pastor Sopheap thanked us for traveling so very far to help them build their preschool. He spoke about how much we can accomplish when the body of Christ works together. We thanked him and his congregation for their hospitality and generosity. It truly was an honor to be here.
We presented Pastor Sopheap with two wood crosses that our Sunday School preschoolers had decorated, one for each classroom. To represent the unity of our congregations, we also gave him a cross that St Paul’s Communion assistants wear.
To close the service, Pastor Sopheap asked us all to pray together. “Together” did not mean “in unison” as is our custom, but rather “all at once”—for everyone started praying their own prayers, bringing their individual needs to their Lord. So many voices, two different languages—and our amazing God clearly heard each one of us
It was hard to say good-bye, but we are looking forward to coming home. Please keep us in your prayers as we travel back to America. We thank you for your prayers and support and for joining us on our mission through this newsletter.
The St Paul Cambodia Team
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. —Philippians 1: 3-6