Communion and Farewell

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“Navee and Ming Nee, could you bring some large bowls?” I asked. Stephanie Lewis had tiny pink cups that she offered to bring. Things were starting to come together for our final Sabbath in Dei Tumei Village.

For months leading up to this day, Kristin and I had been sensing the same thing in our hearts. After living in Cambodia for three and a half years, some family needs were requiring that we return to the States. As we talked together about our thoughts and feelings, we realized we were on the same page about the timing of this big decision. Our next important step was to make sure that our plans were fitting into our Maker’s plans, so we brought the question before Him and laid out a fleece. On the last day of our one-month timeframe for the decision, God came through and answered our fleece petition, solidifying our resolve to head back to the States.

For our last Sabbath in the village with our group, the Holy Spirit impressed me to share the Lord’s Supper along with the foot-washing ceremony. I was surprised to find that the only two Cambodians in our group who had been Adventist for years had never participated in this special ceremony. In our second-to-last Sabbath, we studied the last supper Jesus had with His disciples, and it was beautiful to hear people’s thoughtful responses to the life of Jesus who lived like a servant though He is the King of the universe.

Things were so busy leading up to our final Sabbath that I forgot to buy bowls and cups for communion, but our church members supplied the need. Navee and Ming Nee brought the water basins, and Stephanie brought the tiny cups. Kristin made the unleavened bread with some local flour and hand-pressed coconut oil that Ming Neang made herself.

As the service began, we revisited Jesus’ actions at the supper and the meaning behind the bread and grape juice. Kristin and I washed each other’s feet first to demonstrate, and everyone found partners and did the same. In Cambodia, flip flops are the usual footwear, and people’s feet tend to be the dirtiest part of the body, as they were in Jesus’ day. So the symbol of foot-washing was truly fitting for us, reminding us how Jesus cleanses our sins and how we must forgive and serve each other.

So much has transpired in our three and a half years in Cambodia that the time seems much longer. We have seen your investments in heavenly treasure bear fruit. Hundreds of people have been helped with their medical needs and lifted up in prayer. Many have experienced healing as a direct result of asking God through Christ. God has brought others to us to study from His Word and to become baptized into the faith that we hold so precious. Praise God! And, thank you for your faithfulness over these years in allowing us to minister in this unreached corner of the world.

As it turns out, three families will be working together to continue the Great River Project. In addition to the Lewises and Tirados, the Faure family from South Africa is preparing to launch. Please keep them in your prayers. Each family is gifted in unique ways. As they work unitedly in God’s strength, expect awesome things to happen!

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