I recently returned from the country of Cambodia with my dad, and this trip was such an incredible way to start off the New Year. For as long as I could remember, my dad has been doing ministry overseas in distant, foreign countries, ministering to lost and unreached people groups. When I turned 13 I finally got the chance to experience this myself. We crossed the ocean and arrived in the country of Pakistan. It was a wild adventure, and it has been from then until now, and I wouldn’t exchange this life for any other life.
A year or two after that first trip to Pakistan I began to preach at youth conferences and church services. At first I wasn’t a huge fan of this whole “preaching” thing. I would arrive at the youth conference or the church service and I would immediately begin to feel nervous about preaching. I would walk up to the stand, set my Bible down with sweaty palms, and then read, word-for-word, a sermon that my dad had typed out for me. I was certainly no natural at preaching. But, as time went on, and I grew in my relationship with the Lord, I realized that I actually enjoyed preaching, and I was actually somewhat good at it. I soon became aware that this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I want to preach. This trip to Cambodia reminded me once again that this truly is my calling, to reach out to the broken, hurting and lost people of the world and to show them God’s love.
The entire time that I have been coming along on these evangelistic trips, I’ve always been the youngest on the trip. My dad has always instituted the same sort of plan for his 4 sons: we will start out by preaching at youth conferences and in churches but once we turn 18, he hands the baton onto us to start leading our own crusade trips. I am 17 years old and my dad wanted to prepare me for taking on this responsibility of beginning to do my own evangelistic trips, and so on this trip to Cambodia, he asked me to preach two sessions of the pastors’ and leaders’ conferences and also to lead one of the nights of the crusade.
I felt like I was 14 again, sweaty palms and everything. I walked onto the stage to preach on the second night of the crusade. It was the largest crowd that I had ever preached to in my life, and I was nervous, to say the least. But, in that moment, I realized something that I wish I could have back when I was 14—preaching, ministry, winning people to the Lord, is not my job. My job is to be obedient to the guidance of the Holy Spirit and to simply let God speak through me. I am simply His mouthpiece; and honestly, I am perfectly fine with just being a mouthpiece, because that means that there is no pressure on me to speak the right words or say the right things or talk the right way. All I have to do is let the Lord do His work through me and I will see the fruits of being willing to do what He has called me to do.
That night I truly saw the fruits of my labor. I truly saw the fruits of being willing to be used by the Lord. I saw lost, hurting, broken people come to know Jesus, not because of what I said or did, but because of what Jesus said and did. I will always remember that night as the night when I first preached at a crusade meeting; but I will also remember that night as the night when I realized that I simply needed to be willing and God would do the rest of the work.
All in all, this trip to Cambodia was extremely successful. We saw thousands of lives changed. We were able to minister to many of the city’s pastors. We were able to see many of the teenagers and young people of this region respond to the Gospel. People were saved, healed and delivered. As I reflect on this trip I can see that God is changing Cambodia. God is changing the world. And He is doing it through people who are willing to be humble men and women of God, humble enough to admit that they are not the answer but, as God’s mouthpiece, they carry the answer for lost people all over the world. I am humbled by God’s grace in using me to be His mouthpiece in Cambodia, and because of that, thousands of lives have joined the family of God.
For The Lost,