When Flood Waters Rose

June 30, 2014

 

Church Planter Thearith Sim came up to Chenda at church one day and asked, “Will you pray about becoming a literacy teacher in your village?” Chenda was stunned by his question. “Why me?” she wondered. She had barely said a word in church because she was so shy. She always sat way in the back, minding her own business. “How could I ever stand in front of children and teach?” She was flooded with questions and fears, but she confessed her fears to the Lord and also her weak faith. Through His Word, God assured her that His strength is made perfect in weakness. After praying, the Lord clearly showed her, “Yes,” it was His plan for her to work as a literacy teacher.
 
Chenda started out teaching five children on the porch of her parent’s home. The number quickly grew as children told their friends that school is fun and that their teacher loved them. The children enjoyed hearing the Bible stories and loved to sing. She taught them Bible songs with the motions. Stories like David and Goliath amazed the children and taught them that even though they are small, God can win battles through them. All they need to do is trust in Him. The students brought their My Bible First lessons home and read them to their parents. They sang Christian songs as they did their chores.

Unfortunately, Satan started attacking Chenda’s literacy school. One by one, Chenda’s students stopped coming to class until she was down to only two. She was discouraged and went to Tearith to resign. She heard the mothers and fathers were forbidding their children to come because they did not want them to learn about Jesus.
 
When Chenda went to Tearith, she had her list in hand with all the reasons why she wanted to resign.He listened quietly and patiently, paused, and then said, “No, I do not give you permission to resign.Remember the promise in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” They knelt down and prayed, asking God to turn things around. Chenda left there encouraged! God answered their prayers and the students that left started coming back to class. Many new students also came. They started praying daily for a bigger, more suitable place for the students to study. God touched people’s hearts in America to donate money so they could build a literacy center. 
 
This village is surrounded by a large lake and many of the villagers make a living building and selling boats. They were not prepared for the flooding that happened shortly after the literacy center was built, though. As the rain poured down, the Holy Spirit also poured down His blessings on this little village. The waters kept rising and simultaneously, the prayers kept ascending from that new little school.

The flood waters rose so high it damaged many of the homes in the village. Students did not want to miss school so they came in boats, or whatever they could find. The school was packed with villagers who sought refuge in the literacy center because it was built on higher stilts than most of their homes. Two babies were even born in this literacy center during the floods! The people felt like Noah and his family probably did. They wondered, “Would the torrents never cease and the water ever recede?” The rain finally stopped, right before it reached the floor boards. Everyone inside remained safe and dry. This was the result of God answering the united prayers of His people.
 
God brought good out of the storm. Donors generously gave funds so the missionaries could bring rice and necessary supplies in by boat to the people. This opened the hearts of the parents and even more families sent their children to the school. It grew to 208 students, two teachers, and four assistants. Almost all the children come to church each Sabbath.
 
Satan gets angry when people unite to pray. R. A. Torrey writes, “When the devil sees a man or woman who really believes in prayer, who knows how to pray, and who really does pray, and above all, when he sees a whole church on its face before God in prayer, he trembles as much as he ever did, for he knows that his day in that church or community is at an end.”
 
When Satan saw young lives coming to Christ, he attacked in a new arena. Chenda became engaged to a Buddhist man. An unequally yoked arrangement would certainly weaken the work. She got wise counsel from caring Christians and she listened. Though it is almost unheard of to break an engagement in Cambodia, she made the difficult decision to end the relationship. The little school with the big stilts carries on to this day.
 
Julia O’Carey, Director
ASAP Ministries 

Used with permission by ASAP Ministries
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