The joy of our hearts is to see young people enter into joyful and productive lives of trust in and obedience with the Lord Jesus Christ. Unlike the summertime, when we came previously, the youth are extremely busy with school, English studies and work. It has been hard for them to carve out time for Bible study and mentoring.
Early in the week I had asked about a half dozen guys if we could meet together for a sharing, encouragement and prayer time. They set up Saturday afternoon at 3. The time came and only one showed up. I was disappointed, but decided to do the best I could with him. Later on the other guys gave the same old tired excuses I have come to hear over the years.
But what a time I had with Sombat! I poured it all out on him - for about an hour & 1/2! Poor guy! He is 26 - single and interested in a beautiful girl in the church named Mei Mei (pronounced MY MY - she likes him too :). His parents are Buddhist and he lives at home. The retirement system for Southeast Asia is your kids - particularly the first born son. There is no government plan.
He has taken the commandment of obeying his parents to heart. They even have a nice Buddhist girl picked out for him. Pastor Keat has encouraged him to move out - so that he can more freely and openly serve God. I spoke to him about walking with God - trusting Him and obeying Him - one step at a time. I encouraged him to get baptized, as a simple sign of identifying obedience. I also showed him Jesus' words in Matthew 10 about loving God more than family. I spoke to him about the difficulty of balance in life, and how every Christian wrestles with it. He asked me to pray for him, that he will hear God, trust Him and obey. Will you pray for him?
But there is more. Sombat is employed as a Bible translator. He and a team of folks are working hard on a 10 year plan to re-translate the Bible for the Khmer people. They do not have theological training. They do not have training in Hebrew and Greek. They do use lexicons and English translations. (I encouraged him to include the NASB in his work!). The Bible they use now is over 80 years old and contains omissions, errors and has other problems associated with it - as I have been told.
What an awesome responsibility! I can hardly fathom it. I introduced him to the Bible Gateway website for free English and foreign Bible translations. When I showed him my MacArthur Study Bible his eyes misted up, "We have no cross-references, we have no concordance. We have no explanatory notes."