As we have said many times in the past, we feel so blessed for the home that God has provided us here in Siem Reap. It has a large yard, plenty of fruits trees and plenty of space for our family. But, ever since moving in last year, we have had one thorn in the flesh as it relates to our rented house. WE’VE HAD WATER PROBLEMS!!! At times, it has felt like one water problem after another. It started last July, a few weeks after moving in, when we tested our well water to find out it had high levels of various minerals and E-coli levels that well surpassed WHO safety standards. Thankfully, we were able to address those problems with some cleaning and installation of various filters. Praise God for clean potable water. Hooray!!!. But shortly after that, more water problems arose. We have had water pumps that kept malfunctioning, leaking pipes that burst (one in particular that burst 3 times in the same area….long story…), knocking pipes or “water hammer” and times of no water. Through it all, we are thankful that we have a landlord who was very quick at trying to fix all the issues. In speaking to our fellow expats here, we know that not all landlords are as great as ours.
Fast forward to this past week, our water pump that pumps water from the well was coming up dry; meaning no water was coming into the house. Our wonderful landlord spent the good part of the morning problem solving the issue and eventually, after tracing it to 3 different problems (Yikes!!!), got our water back to normal.
We have been asking ourselves over and over through these last 11 months of water problems, “what is God trying to teach us here?” The Bible talks A LOT about water. Scriptural allusions of water in the Gospel of John speak of the water that God gives us which quenches our eternal thirst but also of the living water that flows from within us. Living in Canada, we have rarely ever worried about water. We grew up in BC where we had some of the best water in Canada to drink. The weather was rarely hot enough where we felt that we would die of thirst if we did not have water. Living here in Cambodia with the water issues that we have had, combined with the year-round hot weather, we have developed a new appreciation for water. But not just any water, but fresh clean water that gives life to those who drink it rather than make them sick.
The living life giving water that Jesus offers to the Samaritan woman in John 4 has taken on a deeper meaning for us. Our life here in Cambodia is often so much removed from so many of the issues that we are reading about around the world. That became so clear to us this past week as we did visitations and had Bible studies with various families because we are still able to gather in small groups. On the Friday, while I (David) studied the story of the Garden of Eden with the adults, Joyce was able to share a similar story with the many kids who just flocked around her to hear a Bible story. Then on Sunday, we were able to once again to gather with another family to share the Bible with them. There are discouraging times for sure in this past year but there are moments such as these where you get to witness the thirst of those who still receive the words of the Bible as fresh words. We pray that many of them will desire to not only hear but will desire to receive of the living water that Jesus offers.
While physical hunger and thirst is real for many around the world, including some families that we work with, we feel privileged to be able to share the message of living water that can quench eternal thirst. We recognize that the events of past months have brought about many new and challenging realities for many of your families. We thank each and every one of you who continue to support us through prayer and finances. Your support has allowed us to do a third round of food aid for over 40 families this month but more importantly, it has opened doors for us to share the hope in Jesus Christ. Our presence here in Cambodia would not be possible without you. As we rejoice in the inroads of the Gospel in Cambodia, we hope you can rejoice with us as well.
“20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen” Ephesians 3:20-21
Dave, Joyce, Jadon, Elisabeth and Josiah
Please continue to prayer for us in the coming weeks:
- Pray for our team as we focus on discipling 4 key leaders in the church.
- Pray for sensitivity to the spirit as God opens new doors for us to share the Gospel.
- Pray for the weekly in-home bible studies and small group worship that we have been able to start up again these past weeks. Pray for a continued desire to learn from the Bible.
- Pray for the shortages in the Global Advance Fund as many individual and churches are facing financial hardships during this time.
Thanks again for journeying with us!