Sunday, April 29, 2012

Living in the Power of the Resurrection

Dear friends,

Do you remember the story of the centurion who asked Jesus to heal his servant? It is a story of amazingly strong, yet simple, faith. Jesus hears that a centurion’s servant is sick, so he goes to visit him. But even before Jesus can reach the house, the centurion sends word to say, “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But say the word, and my servant will be healed.” Even Jesus is amazed! He tells the crowd, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.” Then the men who had been sent return to the house and find the servant well (Luke 7:2-10).

In my twelve years of working in Cambodia, I have rarely witnessed such faith. This is Yep’s story.

A handsome 7-year-old Herod
The first time Yep brought her daughter Chhab to us was in 2004, when Yep asked her local church to pray for her daughter who had been married for several years yet still had not had a baby. We all prayed, and then we took her daughter to the hospital, where she was treated for an infection. Shortly, she became pregnant and had a son, Herod.

Two years ago Chhab got sick again with rheumatoid arthritis. She received treatment at a local hospital for two years, but medication side effects were slowly killing her. Her mother knew Phnom Penh Hospital could give her further treatment, but her church, family, and community thought Yep was crazy to try to take her to Phnom Penh; Chhab was so weak, she would surely die along the way. Yep stood firm. “If it is God’s will for her to live, she will live. Her life is in God’s hands.”

Chhab, Herod, and Yep
Chhab and her mother made the 7-hour trip to Phnom Penh, where she was treated and released after three weeks. As they were preparing to return home, I asked Yep, “Do people at home know you are coming back?” Yep answered, “I’m not telling them. I want them to see for themselves. They won’t believe it.”

Such simple faith, but Jesus called it “great.” Yep’s faith is also unique here in Cambodia. Instead of resorting to the many rituals that the majority of Cambodian families engage in to increase a woman’s fertility, she called upon her church to pray and praised God for healing Chhab through the local doctors’ diagnosis and treatment. Then, undeterred by her own community’s unbelief, she brought Chhab to doctors in Phnom Penh, understanding that if God wanted Chhab to live, God would work through the medical staff in Phnom Penh.

I think Yep makes such a vivid impression on me because Yep understands that God does miraculously heal people through prayer, but sometimes, he miraculously heals through doctors and medicine, too.

Yep’s faith for her daughter is just like the centurion’s faith for his servant. They simply believed that God would heal them, and God did. Yep’s faith is simple, but because it is so simple and pure, it shines with the power of the resurrection. As Paul puts it in Ephesians, God wants us to know his “incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead” (Ephesians 1:19-20). I have been so blessed to witness such simple faith as Yep’s this Easter season. The power of her faith isindeed the power of the resurrection, and her simple faith is a living witness to Jesus Christ for us all.

Thank you for all your prayers and support. May Yep encourage us all to open our hearts to receive this power of the resurrection in our lives.

In His Love,

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