As I mentioned in Tuesday’s post, Good Shepherd’s founding pastor Claude Kayler forged a relationship with Cambodian pastor Sopeung Sok in 1999 and 2000.
As a result, our church was able to build a church building for Pastor Sopeung’s church early in the last decade.
So today, I got to preach a sermon and then lead a baptism service in that same building.
There were 200 or so people present. And two very interested dogs.
The village went all out to welcome us, including a welcome tent usually reserved for once in a lifetime events like weddings, and a covered dish, Cambodian style.
Anyway, the highlight of the worship was not my preaching but the baptisms that followed it.
Because we baptized 50 new people into the kingdom. All were adults, many were elderly, and most were making the daring move of giving their lives to Jesus in the middle of a culture (and a village) that is almost exclusively Buddhist.
It’s a journey that Sopeung himself has taken in his own life.
So we baptized them, one after another. It was exhiliratingly exhausting.
One interesting note about the baptisms: Ron Dozier, our pastor of Missions and Community Impact, performed them with me. So we had an African-American and an Anglo baptizing Cambodian people into the kingdom of God.
Good Shepherd is full on, full color. Even halfway around the world.
Tomorrow: we visit the Phnom Penh office of International Justice Mission plus a wrap up with Methodist leadership in this country.
Also – a couple of technical glitches are preventing downloads of some of our many photos. We’re working on it.