A few weeks ago, the Clarks attended Pine Cove Family Camp. The theme this year was “Fight” – we are in a battle each day and must be on the offensive. The battle is spiritual and it rages against our families as we try to live for Christ. With all humility I wanted you to know that my golf team won the scramble tournament ;), and we won a shirt that says “Our family FIGHTS”. Of course all families fight, but this is again about the spiritual battle. On the back of the shirt is Nehemiah 4:14 “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.”ESV.
Over the past few years, it has been obvious the Clark family has been under attack, but as the time at Pine Cove reminded us, the attack doesn’t stop with our family. It expands into our ministry and our work with Kerusso. Although Kerusso is a support team to organizations in Asia, we still have to go to the front-lines of intense spiritual battles. A battle that the enemy wages so he can try and keep Christ unknown. During my trip to Asia this month, our Heavenly Father reminded me of this battle through my visit to Phnom Pen, Cambodia.
Although the Church has made inroads into Cambodia over the last 20 years, the country is still a spiritually dark place. It is estimated that around 3% of the population is Christian in this land of over 14 million people. Many of the 13 plus million who are not Christian have never heard of Jesus and the Gospel.
Buddhism is the majority religion and it is common to see the temples on major streets and the monks walking around. The last few trips, I’ve changed hotels, and on this visit, I moved to the third floor. The only problem was that my room was close to the street and across the street was a Buddhist temple. I showed Anne via Skype and she was definitely praying for me. Of course many times the spiritual battle is overlooked, and we try to explain it away as “circumstances” or “coincidences”. Well, what better way to battle me than to wake me up from precious little sleep I get when traveling. The first night I was in Cambodia, I fought jet lag and stayed up to 8pm (late for me on jet lag). Around 9pm I was jolted up with a loud banging on a bell. It took me a few minutes to calm my heart rate and finally ascertained that it was coming from the Buddhist temple. I then realized what they were doing and thought, “Just great. They are calling the spirits!” It took me awhile to fall back to sleep which was highly disappointing since I usually wake up around 2:30AM anyway with jetlag. The lack of sleep is a constant battle in my work but it is compounded with frustration about being so tired but not being able to sleep. The battle was not circumstantial or coincidental but evident. The enemy did not want my attitude to be right as I started the training for World Relief Cambodia. He will pull out all stops like changing my hotel room and placing me in front of a temple.
In the end, God always wins and provides the power for me to serve the leaders at WRC without distractions, but this incident served as a real reminder that our brothers and sisters in Cambodia are fighting a huge battle. It has eternal consequences as souls are at hand. So please pray for them as they fight the battle to share Christ in all provinces in Cambodia.