Sunday, 14 February 2016

Its Church, Jim - but not as you know it!

Today was church day. We did church twice, once in the villages and once with the CHO team at Safe Haven.

Ann and Malcolm went to Toul Prasat; Fiona, Martin and Jim went to Sok San. It was very different from church as we're used to it. Both churches are very small, about a dozen at one and 20 at the other. Both churches meet in the space underneath the house of the leader. The service is simple: they sing 3 hymns, pray, read the Bible and listen to the preacher - in Sok San that was Jim - take their offering, sing again, have a closing prayer and then go back to their village. The simplicity of the service means that the gospel shines through; there is no building and we're reminded that the church is the people. 

At Sok San the leader of the church (the man in the white t-shirt) is a farmer and we were treated to a guided tour of his farm. He farms chickens, ducks, fish and frogs - yes, they are huge! He is offering land to build an agriculture technical centre for the village so that others can learn how to farm better. 

In the afternoon we took part in the CHO team's worship. They sang some songs, one of which was "How great Thou art" - they sang in Khmer, we sang in English. How God must be pleased when His people demonstrate their unity in worship. Jim preached and the rhythm of the translator helps us to take in what is said more easily; he preached on Thomas and the strengthening of our faith through times when faith is tested. There is a photo of the CHO team with us and with the Tearfund Gap teams of 6 girls who are here for the next 6 months. The girls have a blog to follow - 

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