An Experience I Will Never ForgetBy Brent Chrishon
2008 Cambodia Mission Trip
In February of 2008 I was blessed to be part of an ASAP Mission Trip to Siem Reap, Cambodia. As I sit here and reflect back on my mission trip experience I will always be grateful to the missionaries at ASAP who coordinated the trip and filled with a renewed appreciation for what God has allowed my eyes to see (Matt. 13:16-18).
I had been to Cambodia years before and I longed to return although I didn’t know when or how. When I heard about the ASAP trip I knew it was an answer to my many prayers! It would take place in Siem Reap an area of Cambodia known for its overwhelming presence of literal idols.
God blessed me and provided for all of my needs. As I registered for the trip I was asked what skills, interests and background in ministry I possessed. There were several different teams inside our group and each one of us was assigned a different ministry based on our answers to the questions. There was so much to do and be an active part of! The main teams worked with speaking/teaching, medical missionary work, and children’s ministries. Beyond these opportunities there were many other things we could be a part of. For example, I was blessed with the job of interviewing native Cambodian Adventist missionaries and recording their stories and mission reports into the computer so that ASAP could share their testimonies later on the ASAP website, in the ASAP quarterly newsletters, or through PowerPoint presentations or church stories.
Many of the people in the surrounding areas came to the camp meeting to fellowship or to receive medical attention. Many came though to hear the Word of God. Day after day, people gathered under the large tents to sit on the ground and hear the wonderful news of Salvation through Jesus Christ alone. It was explained simply not only in Biblical terms, but also in how to bring it home with them and use it in practical everyday living.
The entire camp meeting experience was wonderful however nothing could have prepared my heart for the scene of the great mass baptism in the river at the end. My heart was filled with joy and happiness to the point of overflowing as I saw more than 20 pastors wade into the river and call for those who had made the decision to follow Jesus. There were endless rounds of people it seemed filing reverently toward each pastor, as they were simultaneously baptized, going down to their watery grave with Christ, then to, like Him, raised into a newness of life. The sun seemed to shine brighter after each round of baptisms. I will never forget what my eyes beheld that day. There were grown men who were not planning on being baptized that day, suddenly rushing through the crowds when a pastor had an open spot. It was not an emotional experience but one that was deeply solemn and spiritual, as if everyone knew they were seeing the issues of eternity being decided and opened up before us. There were many tears being shed from on lookers, including myself, as we together experienced the fellowship of the Holy Spirit as we never had before.
I was so moved by the experience at the river that one of the last evening of camp meeting, I decided that I would stay on the camp-grounds with the native people, who had been staying there every night, instead of going back the comforts of my hotel room. My heart just felt drawn to remain there in the fellowship of the saints sleeping under the stars, and to contemplate what I was seeing while I was still in the midst before I returned home to the hustle and bustle of home. I am so thankful that I did, and for my entire experience in Siem Reap.
If you hear the voice of God calling you to participate and join your brethren at ASAP in reaching God’s children in Southeast Asia, I urge you please do not hesitate. You will make a sacrifice, and you will be blessed with one of God’s most precious blessings if you chose to receive it.
|Campmeeting attendees gather together to worship.|| A Cambodian man preparing to be raised into a new life with Christ.
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