The Dry Lands

I am starting to feel anxious and let Carly take a turn at the wheel as we drive hundreds of miles through the Arizona desert. We have said goodbye to my parents in the humid East and are on our way to her pare6nts’ home in Washington. The further west we drive, the drier it seems to get. We’ve been drinking gallons of water and plastering on the lotion and lip balm, yet our skin is scaling, and our lips are chapped. I am in disbelief that human beings make their home in this desert. It’s hundreds of miles away from natural sources of shade or water . . . or Walmart! But as we drove past a church, I was humbled to think that a missionary had come to this place to bring the gospel to the indigenous people. It begged the question, would we be willing to serve as missionaries here? Honestly, we would probably hesitate.

But as a lightning bolt from Glory, the outline of a passage I had memorized 10 years earlier came to my mind. At first, it was just a single word: pool. With a concordance, I found the passage, and it was as if God spoke to me with a tender teaching voice as I read, “The poor and needy seek water, and there is none. Their tongue fails for thirst. I, Yahweh, will answer them. I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. I will open rivers on the bare heights, and springs in the midst of the valleys. I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water” (Isa. 41:17-18).

It was clear. God had kept his promise and put a spring of water—a church—there.

Cambodia is a spiritual desert infinitely more brutal. In a world of corruption, injustice and spiritual oppression, the people seek to appease spirits, fulfill religious duties and dilute their bad deeds with good ones to find redemption. But those pursuits are endless deserts without shade or water for their thirsting hearts. My anxiety in this desert pales in comparison to their thirst, yet God can satisfy them.

“Like cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country” (Prov. 25:25). “Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never thirst again; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life” (John 4:14).

As we go to Cambodia, will you join us by praying and supporting the work of turning its dry lands into springs of water?

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